Hyderabad: The South Asian People’s Action on Climate Crisis (SAPACC), a rainbow coalition of organizations and individuals, has organised a four-day conference on People’s Action on climate change titled, “Keep the Climate, Change the Economy” 18-21 Sept 2019, at Hyderabad.
The conference deliberated upon people’s action in South Asia to mitigate climate crises and intends to appeal to South Asian governments to make declarations and follow them with appropriate actions to mitigate the climate crisis and to table resolutions in the United Nations for taking urgent action at the global level.
SAPACC was formed in May 2019 to bring together youth, women, farmers, workers, fisherfolk, scientists, and people of all walks of life who are concerned about the impacts of climate change.
The objective of the Hyderabad conference was to get South Asian civil society organizations to become aware of, and contribute more to mitigate the impacts of climate change, which will be particularly severe in most South Asian countries.
SAPACC will work with South Asian civil societies to take urgent measures to reduce the risk of climate change impacts and influence governance and policymakers to take all measures urgently and contribute for achieving the goals of Paris UN Climate Change Conference. The conference deliberated on the core demands of SAPACC.
Core Demands OF SAPACC
- Sustainability: Emissions of developed nations must become net zero (CO2 emissions must equal sequestration) by 2030, and of developing nations by 2040. Gross global consumption should be reduced to sustainable levels.
- Equity: The ratio of maximum to minimum income or energy consumption for all people in the world should not exceed 2.
- Decentralization, democratic, transparent governance: Governance should be decentralized and democratic; all governance information should be in public domain.
- Environmental restoration: Degraded land, water, air, and to the extent possible, biodiversity should be restored to their pre-industrial period quality.
- Responsibility for loss & damage: All nations/regions should take responsibility for the impacts of climate change —displacement, property loss, environmental damage, etc—in proportion to their historic emissions (emissions from 1800-todate).
The inaugural meeting was held on 18th September 5 pm, Hari Hara Kala Bhavan, Secunderabad, and attended by 1500 people, followed by three-day deliberations at Montfort Social Institute, Ramanthapur attended by 350 delegates. Youth, Women, Farmers, Workers, Scientists, Trade Union leaders, civil society representatives from India and South Asia attended the inaugural meetings and the conference.
Justice J Chalameshwar delivered the keynote address and observed that ‘Everything is under the control of human beings, unfortunately, humans pollute the environment ignoring long term needs of the coming generations’.
Sudhershan Rao Sarde, Convener of SAPACC and noted Trade Unionist said that ‘’Workers are the first environmentalists of the world, while we want to live free at the same time we kill the society and the world by polluting it’’. Sagar Dhara, Co-Convener of SAPACC and Environmental Engineer stated that “Water is going to be the most expensive element to buy if we are not saving it for the future generations.”
All the dignitaries who’ve attended appealed that “Climate crises are a man-made disaster and it is the responsibility of all of us to mitigate and prevent it”. The conference has discussed various strategies of integrating various climate movements taking place in South Asia by reaching out to them. Workers and peasants representatives from Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have participated in the conference.
SAPACC has submitted the petition to the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Guterres on 22nd September 2019.