Earth Day 2020 statement-
Responses to COVID 19 pandemic showed that many of our world’s leaders are incapable of handling disasters. While some run away from saving lives, others do not have a strategy or the resources to manage them. Their unplanned and untested solutions let not only the poor but also the middle class suffer. Since the 90s we have left climate solutions to the very same incapable leaders. Leaders around the world meet annually, to give us the impression that new solutions are underway. However, they only bring business-friendly alternatives that will only save the rich and large corporations.
COVID19 has also showed us that we do not have a balanced earth system. We have gone beyond our and planetary limits. We need to allow the earth to recover to ensure human survival on earth, the science, technology, and wealth generated through the destruction of natural resources cannot help us here. Capitalism is the main pandemic behind this natural resource destruction, climate change, poverty, and all other discriminations and injustices. COVID19 shows that the dominant capitalist model is unable to solve our crisis.
The COVID 19 pandemic is a clear warning signal to wake humans up before the major disaster comes. The disaster is the climate catastrophe, which is already showing its tendencies as droughts, floods, storms, and pandemics ravage different parts of the world. Climate change represents the biggest challenge of the future for humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable. At the end of 2020, nations will be expected to increase their national commitments to the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. Developed countries are required to curb their fossil fuel emission to zero by 2030 and all other countries are required to do so by 2050, in order to avoid the increase in global average temperature by two degrees.
This rise in global average temperature will be one indicator of multiple disasters. The time is now for citizens to demand greater global strategies to tackle the climate crisis. Unless every country in the world steps up – and steps up with urgency and ambition – we are consigning current and future generations to a dangerous future. Earth Day 2020 will be far more than a day. It must be a historic moment where citizens of the earth rise and unite to call an end to the unsustainable system, seize the enormous opportunities of a zero-carbon future, and to save us from a climate crisis.
For further Information
Hemantha Withanage -Executive Director (0777-600503)
Ranjan Karunanayake (071-7774947)
Centre for Environmental Justice,