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African Parliamentarians and Civil Society Appeal to Obama for Climate Justice

COPENHAGEN - The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), a coalition of civil society organizations in 43 countries across Africa, issued an urgent appeal to US President Barak Obama as he prepared to receive the Nobel Peace Prize Thursday night in Norway.

African Parliamentarians and members of African civil society groups were joined by representatives from US civil rights, human rights and environmental justice NGOs in Copenhagen at the UN climate talks in calling for bold American leadership on climate justice.

Recalling President Obama’s inauguration day pledge to the people of poor nations “to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds,” PACJA stated that, “we take these pledges seriously. And we intend to hold you to your word.”

The letter implores Obama to consider the impacts of a 2 degree temperature rise on Africa. The letter, echoing the IPCC findings, describes this target as a death sentence for millions of Africans. “We fear for our mothers and fathers, our sisters and brothers – your uncles, aunts and cousins. Your policy on climate change threatens not only our families but also your own,” it reads

The US NGOs will take the letter to President Obama as a follow up to COP15 negotiations

“Obama’s America should not be the one that turns a blind eye and deaf ear to the injustice that is causing untold misery to the world’s poor. He should earn his prize today by securing the wellbeing and prosperity of his suffering kinsmen,” Augustine Njamnshi, PACJA Central Africa, said.

“The situation demands that America steps forward to lead the way by taking bold steps to reduce emissions and to usher in an era of equity in global agreements. We therefore join with Africa in an appeal for aggressive, just and sustainable change,” said Felicia Davis, Coordinator of the Black Women’s Roundtable.

“We urge you to fight for climate justice to seal a fair and effective deal in Copenhagen which is in line with what science demands. The future peace, security and prosperity of Africa should not be compromised to rich countries’ interests. We look to you for enlightened leadership to ensure an end to this climate injustice,” Mithika Mwenda, PACJA Coordinator, said.

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