Massive Climate Change Demos Today

Residents of Kampala will today join hundreds-of-thousands of people around the Globe taking to the streets ahead of the December UN Climate summit in Paris calling on local and world leaders to take urgent action to halt man-made climate change, eradicate poverty and address inequality.

Japan's Head of Mission to Uganda Yutaka Nakamura with Kamuntu and Obong
Japan’s Head of Mission to Uganda Yutaka Nakamura with Kamuntu and Obong

As part of the Global Climate March, citizens will call on governments to speed up action on climate change by signing an ambitious climate agreement.

In Uganda, thousands will rally in the streets of the capital Kampala, echoing the call for climate action from the Pope, who completes his Ugandan pastoral visit today as part of his first trip to Africa.

The climate change bicycle ride with murals and 5000 people rally to Bwaise slum, a Kampala suburb which is one of the stand out areas heavily affected  by climate change.

The rally will also see at least a 100 people share their stories on how they have been affected by climate change. The rally will be addressed by Ephraim Kamuntu, head of Uganda’s delegation to COP21 and other key government decision makers and politicians.

The summit in Paris is the second of two unique UN summits in 2015, which together provide a once-in-a-generation opportunity to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change.

At the UNGA in September, world leaders committed to a new set of Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

Now leaders face their first test on whether they are serious about making these goals a reality. Isaac Kabongo, Executive Director, Ecological Christian Organisation (ECO) said, “Addressing climate change, and ending poverty and inequalities are two sides of the same coin. We cannot deliver sustainable development without tackling climate change, and we cannot tackle climate change without addressing the root causes of poverty, inequality and unsustainable development patterns.

If leaders want to fully implement the newly adopted Global Goals, tackling inequality and ending poverty within a generation, they will need to fairly transition their economies from fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy.”

The impact of climate change is already affecting people in all corners of the world, with the most vulnerable being hit hardest.

Storms are strengthening, droughts are lasting longer, and floods are worsening – all of which will make it much harder for affected communities to survive.

Minister Kamuntu with Sheema district leaders recently
Minister Kamuntu with Sheema district leaders recently

A strong agreement in Paris could help poorer countries reduce carbon pollution and help vulnerable communities adapt to the impacts of climate change.

From the Amazon to the mega cities of the South, from the streets of America to the squares of Europe, from villages in Africa and Asia to low-lying island communities in the Pacific – in cities, towns and villages across the world citizens will be marching for change and highlighting how decisions in Paris will have an impact nationally.

Ashwini Prabha of Climate Network said: “This weekend hundreds and thousands of people are calling for action to fight climate change – one of the defining issues of our time.

In Paris, governments must agree a robust, universal agreement which signals the end of fossil fuel emissions by 2050, the main cause of climate change.

Now is the time for a strong deal for climate action. Climate change affects us all and we are uniting today from all walks of life to demand action. Our calls must not be ignored.’’

Written by Charles Gazza