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Our reflections on COP 27: Justice is a solution to the Climate Crisis

“What do we want? Climate Justice! When do we want it? Now!”
This was our mantra at COP27, where we – members of the Legal Empowerment Network from all over the world – made the case that empowered communities are critical to solving the climate crisis.

We raised our voices in communal spaces, like the first-ever Climate Justice Pavilion. Our colleague from Natural Justice, Nonhle Mbuthuma, shared how the Amadiba people mobilized and won a court order to stop the energy giant Shell from prospecting for oil in their sacred waters. Namati’s Sonkita Conteh described how Sierra Leone’s groundbreaking laws reflected citizens’ demands by requiring community consent for new development projects. Such victories set a precedent for more sustainable investment practices.

We influenced formal negotiations at COP27, as well. Together with our allies, we successfully pushed for countries hardest hit by climate change to receive financing to cover their loss and damages. We convinced governments to include language about human rights and indigenous people in the Action for Climate Empowerment plan, which highlights protection for justice defenders who are too often under threat.

While we are far from realizing a global, justice-centered approach to the climate crisis, we leave COP hopeful. We have seen the impact of empowered communities standing up for their future. That’s why, over the next several months, we are redoubling our efforts to connect impacted communities with each other and to find ways for their voices to influence climate policy.

 

You can be part of this movement, too. Here’s how:


December 1, 2022 | Namati


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