YMost people know that our generation is already feeling the effects of climate change. Most of the severe heatwaves in Europe since 1950 happened during my lifetime. It’s likely they will only get worse.
Unfortunately, PolandMy hometown has stuck to a fossil fuel-based energy model for too long. This irreversible destruction violates our right to life, health, property and values of the natural world. At 17 years old, my decision was to sue the Polish government in June 2021 for failing to address the climate crisis.
My generation faces dire consequences. It has been over five years since world leaders made a pledge to limit global warming below 1.5C. Since then, emissions have continued rising, and according the International Energy Agency, they have risen to 1.5C. will hit a record high by 2023If the green recovery fails, If green recovery fails, newest report publishedThe Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has stated that human-caused climate change has already caused irreversible changes in the climate system and is rapidly moving us towards an uninhabitable world.
What is the most important thing for world leaders to gather for the Cop26Climate summit in Glasgow is a global system shift. A world built on business as usual is clearly falling apart – it has already for the most vulnerable.
The world economy depends on constant growth and human exploitation to make profits. That’s why it is no surprise to see that a country’s rise in emissionsIt correlates with its growth of GDP, energy consumption, and pollution. However, capitalist growth is not compatible with a zero-carbon world.
By popularizing concepts such as “green growth” or “green capitalism”, world leaders sentence humanity to a life of dystopia. These proposals are, in reality, the same ideas that brought us to this crisis in the first instance, but disguised. Activists call this greenWashingThere is a reason.
When high-income nations transition their economies toward “green” solutions, what happens to low-income nations? Will the global north continue to profit from other countries in order for them to fulfill their climate pledges and grow their economies? What about climate reparations to the most affected communities?
While leaders in the global north continue to perpetuate exploitation of others, the poor socio-economic conditions in countries they profit from only exacerbate the situation. In other words, high-income nations use “growth” as a justification for the torture caused in other territories.
When more urgent issues like feeding their people, securing electricity, quality healthcare, education, or ending conflicts become a priority, low-income countries are robbed from their ability to address climate change. Climate change worsens these “more pressing” issues, perpetuating the downward cycle even more.
The climate crisis may center on the term “climate”, but it may be one of the biggest social crises humanity has ever faced. Climate justice cannot be achieved without prioritizing social justice across the globe.
Every day, I think about the climate crisis in all its interconnectedness. Since summer 2020, I have been a full-time activist since the beginning of my activism journey over two years ago. While activism may take a toll on my physical and mental wellbeing, I find it’s the best antidote for climate depression.
Utopia quite literally means achieving a perfect imaginary world that doesn’t exist (from Greek Or-topos – no place, nowhere). We have one chance to save humanity today, and that is to work towards a near-utopian future.
In today’s world, limiting the global average temperature to 1.5C and achieving climate justice may seem out of reach due to the fundamentals on which the global north has built its societies. However, the miracle happens when one realizes that this system is not inherently this way – it was created.
If we address the colonial racism, oppressive and other causes of our current crisis, we can realize the utopia that we long for. Communities fighting on the frontlines have been making their radical visions of a fully-liberated world a reality.
Everything must change, including our understanding of what is impossible.