Despite global warming sceptics (some of whom are actually in charge of taking the most important decisions for the future of the whole humanity, but let’s not panic), climate change is real and leads to devastating effects on the environment, and thus on the people.
The youth at high risk
Because climate disruption creates natural disasters, children in developing countries are the first victims to suffer from it. As UNICEF pointed out, 99% of deaths due to climate change take place in developing countries, and children represent 80% of these deaths. Worst: it is known that climate change could kill 250 000 children more per year by 2100. Indeed, if the planet warms up by 4 degrees, several regions will lose water availability by 50%. As each minute in the world, a child dies from low quality water and a lack of access to basic health facilities, which are compounded by climate change, you can now picture what the future looks like if we don’t all act now. In addition to that, UNICEF points out developing countries’ youth is also the one having the least access to sustainable energy. For instance, air pollution contributes to the death of half a million of less than 5 years old kids each year. At last, if youth is our future, it also represents a very huge part of the population. In the poorest countries, less than 15 years old children are almost half of the population: this is around 350 millions of people in developing countries.
How climate change is increasing inequalities
Farming is one of the main economic sector in developing countries: it provides incomes, jobs, food security and export revenues. As temperatures keep rising, the future of farming is in jeopardy. As an example, Sub-Saharan Africa will probably have to increase the cost of its food of 12% by 2030, while 60% of its inhabitants’ incomes is spent on food in average (World Bank report). And there is no need to live in Africa to notice it: the phenomenon occurs everywhere. Plus, the natural disasters we mentioned earlier are forcing people to leave their home, turning them into climate refugees. By 2050, it is around 143 millions of people who will need to by find a new place to live (United Nations). As European laws do not clearly define the rights and status of climate refugees in its territory, the crisis is imminent. Thus, the lack of policies on climate change is leading to a tragic health, ecological and economical crisis for the coming years, impacting poorest countries first. If you wonder what countries are actually contributing the most to this global disaster, China, the US, India, Russia and Japan are on the top 5.
How about Brazil?
Well, Brazil used to be a leader in terms of ecologic measures. Depending on a great amount of renewable energy sources and after a successful campaign to reduce deforestation by 80% between 2005 and 2012 (Foreign Policy), the election of Bolsonaro changed it all (no way). Choosing production over ecology, the president earned the support of agribusiness lobby and threatened to withdraw Brazil from the Paris agreement. Among other complex issues, deforestation is now one of the main ecological issue in Brazil. As Bolsonaro seems to be unwilling to continue the efforts made until 2012, Brazilian people can no longer count on the government and must fight by themselves.
And now, what do we do?
If you feel like your voice doesn’t even matter in this mess, you are wrong. First of all, you can be a daily activist by using the basic principles of a sustainable lifestyle in your own daily life (I swear to you, Nutella without palm oil tastes just as good). You can participate in debates on ecology, attend conferences or protest in the streets and scream until you’re heard. Now is time: walks for climate protection have never been so crowded. You can get committed to NGOs, local associations, or even volunteers in worldwide farms during your holidays if you feel like it. The only thing that matters is that you raise your voice too.