Last year in Paris, the international community reached a historic climate treaty, where 195 countries agreed to limit the average global temperature rise to below 2.0 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and to implement their intended nationally determined contributions for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It took 20 years to reach such a consensus since inter-governmental discussions on climate change were initiated in 1995.
However, many climate scientists are concerned that the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) of the many countries that joined the Paris agreement are too low to limit the 2-degree Celsius rise. Small islands like Kiribati and Tuvalu are submerging, and extreme weather events such as severe heat waves, floods, drought and stronger storms are threatening the lives of the poorest and the most vulnerable around the world, despite the 1.1 degrees’ Celsius global temperature increase above pre-industrial levels.
Most of the climate specialists suggest that each government should raise their targets and INDCs as soon as possible. If this does not happen, our planet’s global temperature is expected to rise above 3.0 degree Celsius by the mid-21st century. Given the fact that the world’s governments are slow in taking ambitious action for GHG reduction due to their short-sighted interests of short term domestic industrial growth, it will not be easy to guide them to take ambitious action. Major International forums such as the UNFCCC, COP, and the WCC are global platforms that provide hope for achieving constructive agreements amongst country governments on setting GHG reduction targets and pledging to take action to achieve these targets.
The ICE Network believes in the power of advocacy; with the support of its strong network of local partners and members, we envision that we can raise our voice at the highest platform, in front world leaders, to encourage them to take urgent and immediate climate action for the benefit of our planet and all beings. The ICE Network also strives to advocate the ethical issues pertaining to climate change, such as climate injustice. The ability of populations to mitigate and adapt to the negative consequences of climate change are shaped by factors such as income, race, class, gender, capital and political representation. As low-income communities possess few if any adaptive resources, they are particularly vulnerable to climate change. People living in poverty or in precarious circumstances tend to have neither the resources nor the insurance cover necessary to bounce back from environmental disasters. On top of that, such populations often receive an unequal share of disaster relief and recovery assistance. This gives rise to climate injustice, in other words, those who are least responsible for climate change suffer its gravest consequences. The ICE Network’s main motive behind advocacy is to strongly address climate injustice by bringing the voice and concerns of the world’s vulnerable communities to international forums.
In order to advocate for the ethical issues pertaining to climate injustice, and in general to advocate for the overall issue of climate change, the ICE Network is going to work on two levels as described below, in order to encourage governments to take more ambitious actions for renewable energy transition, GHG reduction, and actions to enhance climate change resilience within vulnerable communities.
National Level: The ICE Network’s member organizations based in local communities at grass root level in Asia. The ICE Network can support and empower its member organizations to speak for the voice of the vulnerable in local communities affected by climate change, and to influence its policy makers and governments to help the most vulnerable become resilient to climate disasters. Additionally, the ICE Network is going to share with its local partners and members about global climate plans and actions on climate mitigation and climate adaptation, for helping them raise awareness of how global climate policy can impact their daily lives.
Global Level: The ICE Network is going to influence global climate discussions in terms of addressing the ethical and holistic perspectives on climate change and their solutions. Our member organizations are mostly from developing countries in Asia, struggling to tackle climate change and help the vulnerable adapt to climate change. ICE Network can deliver the voices of the vulnerable who are most affected by climate change, especially to policy makers who participate in global climate discussions at UNFCCC, COP and other global international climate forums. In order to do this, we are going to work together with different inter-faith groups, and strengthen our solidarity with them. The lessons we learn from our advocacy in UNFCCC and other international forums will be shared with our local members and partners for their understanding about the climate regime and mechanism.