This year’s United Nations climate change conference in Paris (COP21) is fast approaching, and climate change is – for the moment – high on the media radar again. But in the run up to the conference what kind of reports can we expect? On the one hand, right wing papers will continue pushing the perspectives of powerful business lobbies. Liberal papers will take their lead from the press officers of the bigger NGOs: mostly reporting on the work and activism of a privileged global minority – white and relatively wealthy.
In the middle of all of this, what chance do the most important stories have of breaking through? The many people of colour world-wide impacted by climate change, doing vital work to sustain the earth and the possibility of life for future generations? The voices of the people, groups and movements who deeply understand how we got to our current state and who are taking action on it? This isn’t a token diversity pitch. This about our collective future together on this planet. We are approaching a point of ‘no return’ a point at which – whatever we do – it may not be possible to prevent the catastrophic impacts of climate change. Organisations such as Parcoe and Colombian Social Movements need to be heard.
Anna Lau, an activist based in London plans to commission a team of writers to amplify the voices of people of colour in the climate change debate. She has launched a crowd funding campaign to raise the funds to create a platform for these groups to share their experience, knowledge and insight. To support the campaign please click here.
Anna is working with Open Democracy, who over the next three months will host a series of articles written by diverse groups working in powerful ways on systemic change. Among other things, the series will explore environmental justice and its relationship to race, power, class, migration, conflict and other issues related to colonialism and its ongoing legacies; both in our everyday lives and in the social structures that continue to damage us, the environment and hope for future generations.
Climate change isn’t just about C02 emissions, it’s about people.