Skip to main content

Climate Justice for the future!

The XXV Congress of Naturefriends International demands from the wealthy states a stronger commitment to climate protection and climate justice!

Vienna, 11 October 2023

"Climate Justice for the Future" was the motto of the XXV Congress of Naturefriends International, which took place on 7 October in the Naturefriends Hotel in Spital am Pyhrn (Austria). 60 participants from 15 countries discussed the global effects of the climate crisis and adopted a catalogue of demands to the industrialised and emerging countries as well as concrete measures of Naturefriends for more climate justice.

NFI President Manfred Pils, who was confirmed with 100 percent of the delegates' votes, emphasised the responsibility of the wealthy states, which still cause the majority of global greenhouse gas emissions: "Immediate ambitious and binding measures to curb greenhouse gas emissions as well as efficient support for the countries and people most affected by climate change are necessary to enable future generations to have a future worth living. Supporting the countries of the Global South in coping with the consequences of the climate crisis is not charity, but ultimately also secures the future of the people in the Global North".

Michael Müller, President of Naturefriends Germany, underlined the discrepancy between the main polluters and the main victims of the climate crisis: "The consequences of climate change are distributed in tragically highly diverse ways socially, temporally, and regionally: There are decades between the causation and the full unfolding of the consequences, and the main polluters are usually not the main affected. In addition, adaptation to the consequences of climate change is not possible, or only possible to a limited extent, especially for island states and low-lying countries as well as countless countries in naturally dry regions such as the Sahel. And the countries of the Global South lack the necessary financial resources for the required measures."

Scientists agree that considerable parts of the Earth will become uninhabitable in the near future as a result of drought, heat, desertification and/or coastal erosion. Instead of efficiently supporting the countries of the Global South in coping with the consequences of the climate crisis and taking effective measures to curb greenhouse gas emissions, the rich regions of the world seem to want to seal themselves off from the rest of the world in oases of prosperity – a development that also increases the danger of climate wars.

Demands on the industrialised and emerging countries

Climate justice is a necessity for securing a decent life for all people! This requires a fundamental social and ecological change of the existing conditions in the countries of the Global North and the Global South.

Naturefriends therefore demand from the industrialised and emerging countries:

  1. the complete conversion of energy production to renewable sources (wind, water, sun, geothermal energy - in each case in accordance with the applicable nature and environmental protection laws);
  2. the rapid reduction of CO2 emissions in all industrial processes in line with the EU target of climate neutrality by 2050;
  3. a consistent change in transport with the aim of phasing out the production and use of combustion engines as quickly as possible. The expansion of public transport systems must take place quickly and must also be made attractive in rural areas and across borders. This requires a concentration of financial resources on the expansion of sustainable mobility, i.e., cycling and walking, rail, and local public transport systems;
  4. an immediate transformation of industrialised agriculture and forestry with their massive negative impacts on biodiversity and the climate towards ecologically compatible and resource-saving land management;
  5. a consistent turnaround in heating with the climate-friendly refurbishment of flats and houses and a rapid phase-out of fossil heat supply and air conditioning, preferably through community-based solutions on the local and regional level;
  6. the immediate halt of environmentally harmful subsidies;
  7. regionalisation of supply, so that transport routes and at the same time the risks of global supply chains are reduced;
  8. preventing the relocation of CO2 emissions to other countries (e.g., through the relocation of environmentally harmful production facilities);
  9. a comprehensive legal due diligence for all companies to prevent environmental damage and human rights violations along the entire global value chain;
  10. the financing of a global solidarity-based compensation and support fund by the states of the Global North in the amount of at least two percent of their gross national product for the necessary adaptation measures and the promotion of sustainable development in the states of the Global South;
  11. a refugee policy oriented towards humanitarian and human rights standards, and the recognition of climate refugeeism as an issue under the Geneva Refugee Convention;
  12. in the necessary restructuring of society, to consider the particular impact on socially disadvantaged, excluded, and discriminated groups of people and to support them in the best possible way and protect them from further exclusion;
  13. effective participation of young people in all areas of life that affect them, as stipulated in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The contribution of Naturefriends to climate justice

Naturefriends International has set up a climate fund that offers the opportunity to make a personal contribution to more climate justice. The donations flow 100 per cent into concrete projects of the African Naturefriends, which mitigate the consequences of climate change and improve the living conditions of local people.

In addition, Naturefriends see it as their responsibility, as a large civil society movement, to make their own contribution to mitigate climate change.

Concrete measures to achieve this are:

  1. promoting climate-friendly travel to all Naturefriends activities;
  2. the progressive greening of the Naturefriends Houses and an ongoing expansion of the range of vegetarian and vegan dishes with regional ingredients;
  3. the implementation of awareness-raising measures for climate-friendly action and sustainability;
  4. supporting the activities of Naturefriends International to raise the visibility of the Naturefriends Climate Fund and to acquire donations;
  5. the compensation of unavoidable flights via the Naturefriends Climate Fund;
  6. support for peaceful climate protests and a clear no to the criminalisation of climate activists.

Resolution --->

Climate justice is a principle that grants every human being worldwide, including future generations, the same right to an intact world climate and at the same time strives for equitable financing of measures necessary because of climate change. To prevent the world's climate from going off the rails, human-induced global warming must be limited to less than two degrees Celsius. This means that each person in the world may only cause a maximum of two tonnes of CO2 per year. In 2019, CO2 emissions per capita in Germany caused by energy consumption and consumption were 7.9 tonnes, almost twice the global average value. This is in stark contrast to the CO2 emissions caused by people in the Global South, which in many cases amount to less than one tonne per year. At the same time, however, the countries of the Global South are the most affected by climate change.