The Telegram in Saint John’s NL reports, “During a town hall meeting at the Lantern in St. John’s Monday evening, two people living in Third World countries gave first-hand experience of the devastation climate change is having on their homelands.”
Isaiah Kipyegon Toroitich, program officer for policy and advocacy with Norwegian Church Aid in Kenya and Naty Atz Sune, general co-ordinator of the Association for Community Development and Promotion in Guatemala, were in Saint John’s as part of the KAIROS G20 Climate Justice tour, Not Business As Usual Tour for which the Council of Canadians and Canadian Youth Climate Coalition are partners.
The tour is stopping in 6 Canadian cities – check out the website to see if there is an event in your community.
As reported in the Telegram, “…Toroitich shared how people in Northern Kenya lost 70 per cent of their livestock five years ago due to prolonged drought. After the drought, massive flooding took lives and left many people homeless….Rising temperatures mean more diseases… predicting 67 million people in Africa could be at risk of a malaria epidemic by 2080.”
The Telegram also reports that Toroitich said Canada must cut greenhouse gas emissions up to 50 per cent by 2020, develop clean technology and provide leadership in the fight against climate change. “It is possible to change the world … what is lacking is the political will.”
Naty Atz Sune is described as calling for leaving minerals, gas and petroleum “in the ground.”
“Currently with climate change humanity is in danger of extinction … it is urgent that we struggle to save the planet … and protect the land and territory for future generations,” Sune said.
The event in Saint John’s was organized by Oxfam Canada and the Lantern Social Justice Committee. Ken Kavanagh, chair of the St. John’s chapter of the Council of Canadians, also spoke, sharing his experiences on a 2008 tour of Alberta’s tar sands.
As reported by the Telegram, “The oil industry likes to use the words oil sands because tar sounds dirty, which is exactly what it is,” Kavanagh said. When looking at climate change, Kavanagh said, those hurt most are people like Toroitich and Sune who live in Third World countries. “And they are the least cause of this climate change,” he said.”