Facing Climate Change, Part II
By Emillia Noordhoek
Editor’s Note: Emillia Noordhoek, executive director of Sust`ainable Molokai, traveled to Europe to attend the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last year. This is the second in a three-part series about the Panel’s conclusions and how global climate change will affect Molokai and the world.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) met at the end of last year as a collaborative effort between countries, scientists and policy makers to address growing evidence of real and serious global climate change and discuss a report on the latest findings. The day after the IPCC was released, activists from Swedish environmental group, PUSH Sweden, organized a demonstration to bring attention to the report and the lack of action they felt was being presented by the Swedish government. According to their website, PUSH was founded in early 2013, and has already managed to raise young people’s voice in the Swedish sustainability debate.
Much like similar events held on Molokai, the demonstration was widely attended by over 400 Stockholm residents representing all ages from small children to grandparents holding banners and signs and shouting slogans as they walked through a busy shopping district in the middle of Stockholm.
“What do we want? Climate action! When do we want it? Now! When? Now!
What do we want? Climate justice!” Marchers also asked their Minister of Environment, Lena Ek, to mandate a 50 percent decline in greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2020.
Olivia Linander Andersson, of PUSH, called the conclusion of the report “urgent,” signaling the need for immediate and responsible action, and added that the “ambitions of the Swedish government are embarrassingly low.”
“We are here today to show solidarity with those who are already affected by climate change — people on Pacific islands who will sink when the sea level rises, people in Ethiopia who are hit by more severe droughts than ever, people in the U.S. who are hit by a greater number of severe storms, our own indigenous Sami people and everyone else living in the Arctic north, who will be hit by changed weather conditions and melting ices,” said Linander Andersson.
She said a lot of solutions and alternatives to climate change exist, and some people are already living models of those solutions.
“Even though it might seem like we’re always fighting against lots of things, we need to remember — we’re fighting to overcome the obstacles to reach the world that we want,” she said. “We’re here today to stand up and fight for a society that looks to everyone’s needs, we’re here to fight for ambitious climate action and true climate justice, we’re here to fight for the world for future generations.”
On Molokai, we share the same concerns, and Sust`ainable Molokai is working to do something about it through our energy efficiency HUI UP programs for the past years to collecting data through interviews and surveys from the community of Molokai for the community of Molokai. We are publishing the results as the Molokai Energy Assessment this month. We will be holding meetings to roll out the assessment to the community and create dialogue around what future renewable energy projects work best for Molokai. Please email Emillia@sustianablemolokai.org or call our office 560-5410 for dates and times.