A Letter From the Global South
Abel Rodrigues (Brazil)
Bhavreen Kandhari (India)
Fernanda Rodrigues (Brazil)
Grace Maddrell (United Kingdom)
Kaime Silvestre (Brazil)
Ruben Herrera (Cuba)
Vanessa Nakate (Uganda)
Unite Behind the Science and Together We Can Save Our Future
The fight we face today against climate emergency is a global fight. This is not a European fight or a North American fight. The only way to prevent climate collapse is by working together. We cannot just save a city, or a country. If this battle is lost, we will all lose. This is Planet Earth’s fight. This is humanity’s fight.
It is not a future problem. It is already happening. Countries are burning, political instability is rising, and conflicts are emerging. Is anyone really surprised by this? Humans have fought wars over gold, oil, even trade routes. Is it not easy to imagine a starving world where wars are fought over access to clean water and dry land?
Recently, the world has seen many young Europeans, and North Americans, challenging the status-quo, speaking up about the climate emergency, and being listened to by world leaders. Although the Global South is essential in the fight against climate emergency, those of us from there find it difficult to be heard. We are speaking up. But mostly the world cannot hear us.
Unfortunately, many of us live in countries with governments that try to silence us, to hide us, and to ignore us. But we from the Global South are already suffering from this. Our forests are burning. Our people are dying. And we are screaming.
Many of us do not have enough political freedom to challenge the system. But we are trying, I can guarantee you that. Of course, those of us in the southern hemisphere are not the only ones that some try to silence. In Russia, we saw Arshak Makichyan recently jailed for holding a Fridays for Future protest without permission. And in Davos, we saw Vanessa Nakate cropped out of a group photo with four other young climate activists.
Arshak’s and Vanessa’s experiences both had a silver lining: it raised awareness that, more than ever, all of us, no matter where we came from, must to work together. We need each other because we all live on the same planet; we are all humans and we are all sisters and brothers. We must all fight for a better future. And we must all fight for those of us fighting for a better today.
I implore you to hear the voices from Africa, from Asia, from Latin America. I beg you to hear the voices of those who are silenced… and to hear the screams of those who are quieted. We are stronger than we were yesterday, and together, we will become even stronger tomorrow.
Unite Behind the Science, and, together, we can save our future.