"Protection from climate change the unjust birthright of the rich"

Wed, 03 Nov 2021 09:12:00 GMT
Dr Mary Robinson delivers the keynote address
Dr Mary Robinson delivers the keynote address

Protection from many of the effects of climate change is the unjust birthright of the rich and privileged, Dr Mary Robinson told GCU's first COP26 Green Zone event.

Hosted by GCU's Centre for Climate Justice, Mobilising Equitable, Just and Gender-Sensitive Climate Finance, featured a keynote address from former President of Ireland and took place in front of a live audience at Glasgow Science Centre and online.

An expert panel provided insights on the challenges faced by communities as they try to access finance and the success stories of women’s negotiating skills around accessing climate finance.

Opened by Professor Pamela Gillies, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of GCU, the event was chaired by Professor Tahseen Jafry, Director of the Centre for Climate Justice.

Dr Mary Robinson said: "We are not equal in the face of the climate crisis. It is an unjust birthright of the rich and privileged to be protected from many of the effects of climate change.

"Women's voices are muted when decisions on policy are made but women are uniquely positioned as fierce agents of change in responding to the climate crisis."

Malawi's Minister of Forestry and Natural Resources Nancy G Tembo spoke of her experiences in accessing finance.

She said: "We need simplified procedures to facilitate direct access to climate finance for grassroots women's organisations, indigenous women, and local communities.

"The bureaucracy is painful, it is so cumbersome and it does not help us."

The session also featured contributions from Flavia Bellaguarda, Climate Justice Coordinator at Climate Reality, Brazil, and Kavita Sinha, deputy director of mitigation and adaption of the Green Climate Fund.

Professor Jafry said: "Recognising and supporting those who are on the frontline of the climate crisis is a moral duty and an obligation, particularly for the world's wealthiest and largest economies.

"The injustice is clear. The poorest who have contributed the least are on the frontline of the climate crisis."

To find out more and watch the session visit https://www.gcu.ac.uk/cop26.