Reacting to the vast numbers of people worldwide expected to mark Earth Day on 22 April, Marta Schaaf, Amnesty International’s Director of Climate, Economic and Social Justice, and Corporate Accountability programme said:
“Hundreds of millions of people around the world are expected to mark Earth Day this year, reflecting growing and well-founded concerns about the damage being inflicted on our climate and environment. Amnesty International salutes everyone who is helping to promote the protection of our planet and human rights.
Amnesty International salutes everyone who is helping to promote the protection of our planet and human rights.Marta Schaaf, Amnesty International’s Director of Climate, Economic and Social Justice, and Corporate Accountability programme.
“The impacts of climate change are not borne equally – many countries that contributed little to carbon emissions face near existential threats and overall there are severe health and other human rights consequences experienced mostly by racialized and marginalized people. The more attention and public support that is mobilized, the better the chances we have of limiting and reversing damage.
“The effects of the climate crisis are increasingly evident. A severe heatwave is currently gripping large parts of Asia, including Thailand, Laos, Bangladesh, parts of China and swathes of India, with temperatures far exceeding 40˚C. There is water rationing in Tunisia and a shortage in Spain, the forest fire season has already begun in France, and there are warnings that the harvest in Morocco and the wider Maghreb will be reduced by drought. A just energy transition away from fossil fuels has never been more urgent and we are not moving fast enough to prevent a catastrophic rise in global temperatures.
This international show of solidarity should motivate many more to engage in the campaign to protect our human rights from the potentially devastating impact of climate change.Marta Schaaf
“Yet the public pressure on states and corporations to act is having some effect. Output from renewables has never been higher, and there are tangible advances in international and domestic legislation towards delivering climate justice and holding polluters accountable. There has been progress towards establishing a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty and a loss and damage fund to help those who have suffered most from climate change but done the least to cause it.
“Everyone marking Earth Day should be encouraged to know that their collective action is having an impact and that this international show of solidarity should motivate many more to engage in the campaign to protect our human rights from the potentially devastating impact of climate change. We see too how essential the right to protest is to claiming human rights and on this Earth Day, we thank climate activists.”