Right from the beginning of the climate change conference which was taking place in Paris, France, the message to leaders from both developed and developing countries was crystal clear and loud. This is no time to gamble with people’s lives. Politicking which has seen many of the good ideas, on climate change fight remain just good ideas cannot be allowed and must stop now.
But as expected, politics took centre stage of the talks with developed countries pointing at developing countries and vice-versa.
Climate change is mostly about science, figures and the language that goes with it. It’s most talked and discussed in abstract terms which is where we are all getting it wrong. Climate change is about people’s lives. Whatever is happening right now because of this human induced problem, affects people’s lives and livelihoods.
People whose homes have been damaged by floods, have lost their crops and land cannot be expected to contribute to national, regional and global development. Their productive time is spent looking for food and just trying to make it through the day. Consequently, the economy of countries is also heavily affected. We need not look very far for us in Malawi. We are yet to pick ourselves up after the devastating floods early this year. Money meant for other development projects has been channelled to respond to the disaster.
It is for this reason that leaders need to put their political egos aside and work for the betterment of people’s lives. Those with the moral responsibility of paying for causing climate change should do so. A better deal that will help reduce carbon emissions, hence reducing climate-induced catastrophes is what people are looking for. That’s not too much to ask.
People did not gather in Paris to massage your political ego. Do your work and they will do their part too. n