Participation, leadership, equity were climate justice themes discussed during “Voices from the Frontlines”, a thematic session of the UN Climate Summit 2014 on Tuesday 23 September
As women and men are affected differently by the impacts of climate change and therefore climate actions have to be gender sensitive Mary Robinson emphasised the need to include women in decision making processes: “Women are the ones solving problems in their communities, women have an understanding of what’s happening but they are not represented around the table. If we take away the barriers to women’s participation we would combat climate change more quickly.”
Outlining the issue of participation, panellist Alina Saba, a Mugal indigenous woman, said: “People on the front lines of climate change don’t have access to resources and don’t have a voice”.
Her fellow panellist Sylvia Atugonza Kapello, a Ugandan climate and development expert, agreed: “Let the most affected people in to participate in decision making.”
Christina Ora, panellist and Youth activist from the Honiara Youth Council from the Solomon Islands, voiced a clear message: “This is reality. We need leadership.”
Leadership was a key message emerging from the Leaders’ Forum and Mary Robinson told the session that “we need political leadership and a long term vision at all levels”.
“The call for climate justice has resounded in New York and around the world over these past few days. From the People’s Climate March to the Leaders’ Forum on Women Leading the Way on Climate Action, the voices of those living on the frontlines of the impacts of climate change have been heard. I was here today along with my fellow panelists to amplify these voices and make sure they are heard in this Summit of world leaders. Together we can carry the momentum created by citizens into this political process and on to the Lima and Paris. We must link human rights, development and climate change issues.”
“Voices from the Frontlines” was one of four thematic sessions held during the UN Climate Summit 2014. Other speakers on the panel included Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, Enele Sopoaga, Prime Minister of Tuvalu and Ronan Farrow.
Give people worst-hit by climate change a voice: activists – Reuters, Sep 25, 2014