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People of the World, Surge Forward for Climate Justice!

Posted on 3 November 2014
 
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People of the World, Surge Forward for Climate Justice!
November 1, 2014
On the first year of Typhoon Haiyan
 
Download a copy of the statement  here.
 
It has been a year since Typhoon Haiyan struck central Philippines: one of the strongest and deadliest tropical cyclones ever recorded, leaving tens of thousands of people dead and missing, millions homeless and livelihoods destroyed.
 
In commemoration of the first year of Typhoon Haiyan and to honor all the victims of the global climate crisis, we declare this day, November 8, as International Day for Climate-Affected Communities as we call on all climate-impacted communities and their organizations to unite in demanding justice and system change.
 
The sufferings of the communities hit by Typhoon Haiyan are also true in countless other places around the world. Globally, the number of reported weather-related disasters has more than tripled since the 1960s. Every year, these disasters result in over 60,000 deaths, mainly in underdeveloped countries. Direct economic losses (averaging US$100 billion per annum in the last decade) in relation to GDP were more than double in low-income countries in contrast with high-income countries. On average, 250 million people are affected annually, up by more than 30 per cent in just a decade as a result of climate change. Women suffer the most in morbidity (up to 14 times more), the long-term loss of livelihoods, forced migration, climate related conflicts, and yet have the least influence over climate policies at local and international levels.
 
The Carteret Islands of Papua New Guinea are literally sinking, with king tides washing away crops and rising sea levels poisoning those that remain with salt. Indigenous population have been forced to flee and relocate, making them the world’s first climate refugees.
 
In Central America, as in many places in the Global South, warming climates have resulted in reduced yields, increases in pests and plant diseases, and losses in livestock. The same is true in a number of countries in Africa, like Kenya where perennial drought has decimated most of the livestock and crops of small-scale farmers and pastoral communities. This is catastrophic for regions where millions of people heavily depend on agriculture for their food and incomes.
 
In the South Asian region, frequent and more intense rainfall is destroying lives and livelihood. In Pakistan, frequent and intense weather patterns are destroying harvests, particularly in South Punjab and Sindh provinces which provide much of the wheat and rice supply for the whole country. In June 2013 in Uttarakhand, India more than 5700 people were reportedly killed by flashfloods and landslides. This year, the state of Jammu and Kashmir witnessed intense rainfall 400 times the average rainfall.
 
This madness is the direct result of the global capitalist system that is predicated on unending growth in extraction, production, consumption and waste for unending growth in profits. A tiny fraction of the world’s population benefit from this system — the richest one per cent of people now own nearly half of all global wealth. Developed economies, accounting
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