Emmaus International

PRESS RELEASE - Emmaüs International movement responds for and with the most excluded. Let’s put human rights at the heart of our efforts to tackle climate change !

The US withdrawal from the Paris climate accord may come as a resounding blow to the international community, but it is the very poorest who will pay the highest price.

Within the Emmaus International movement, climate change is already exerting a tangible, and painful, impact on many of our groups. India is facing spells of drought – now chronic – which are forcing hundreds of thousands of farmers and their families to sell their livestock and land before fleeing to cities. In Peru, tens of thousands of people have been hit by flooding and mud flows caused by torrential rain. These destroy their homes and livelihoods. In May 2017, our groups and the movement launched an emergency appeal to help 4,000 families who had lost their homes.

The Emmaus International movement’s experiences all around the world show that pollution stemming from the energy industry and all the products derived from it – plastic in particular – as well as transporting them hits the poor and excluded from society particularly hard, both in their daily life and in their access to their fundamental rights.

In the United States, reviving the oil, gas and carbon industry will not provide any lasting solution to either social or environmental inequality. Quite the contrary, more land will be occupied for extractive or infrastructure projects. Whole families are being chased from their homes and the precarious jobs offered to them do not enable them to find new accommodation. The H.O.M.E Emmaus group, based in Maine, is already managing a critical situation by purchasing land to build small houses, in order to provide decent lodging for homeless people.

The time will come when the law will recognise the obligation to tackle climate change and protect the most vulnerable from its effects. Then, President Trump and all the political leaders who prefer to enrich a minority now rather than ensuring that everyone else can live a safe and dignified life will be held accountable for their choices.

In the meantime, the heads of state and government who intend to respect the commitment they made in Paris in December 2015 have been left with only one option – refocus their transition strategies on the local solutions devised by the most vulnerable. This is the only way for the Paris accord to have a tangible impact.

The Emmaus International movement calls on decision-makers to respond decisively to this state selfishness, and to give the poor and excluded a full role in their societies by recognising their initiatives on recycling, agroecology, local handicraft as well as on exploiting natural and energy resources in a frugal and shared manner.

Let’s put human rights at the heart of our efforts to tackle climate change!

Contact : Nathalie Péré-Marzano, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +33.(0)