2020 will remain in memory as the year COVID-19 killed millions, and turned many more human lives into a nightmare. Under such circumstances, it is all too easy to forget for us, North Europeans, that the pandemic wasn't the only disaster that struck humankind last year, especially given that many tragedies took place far from our homes, in the Global South. Except for COVID-19, all of these catastrophes were direct consequences of the climate crisis.
From Australian bushfires to locusts in Africa, floods in Asia and Atlantic hurricanes, 2020 has been a record year in terms of natural disasters, with a death toll of 3.500 people, 13.5 million more displaced and a record €120bn of insured damages. Given that only 4% of climate-related losses were insured in low-income countries, and 60% in high-income countries, the real cost of 2020's disasters is much higher, and most of the burden falls on developing countries, although they pollute the least.
The situation is critical. If we don't revert the tide, the number and toll of natural disasters will keep growing, and slowly but surely countries in the global south will become inhabitable, with unprecedented human suffering as a result.
The UN Climate Change Conference in November 2021 (COP26, Glasgow) will present a crucial opportunity for humankind to drastically reduce CO2 emissions and keep global warming under the 1.5°C that the vast majority of scientists agree is the ultimate threshold to avert the very worst.
Extinction Rebellion Belgium is a force for good. Together, we stand strong in our fight for climate justice. The future of all lives, including our own, will depend on the decisions made at COP26. Let's all join forces to make 2021 the year that humankind saved itself from social and ecological collapse!!
Meanwhile, may you and your loved ones stay in good health!
Love and Rage,
#FightFor1Point5 #XRCOP26 #COP26 #Climate #ActNow