SOUTH ASIAN PEOPLE’S ACTION ON CLIMATE CRISIS

04 July 2019

A Summary of the minutes of Preparatory Committee meeting held on 27 May 2019, Nagpur is given below. In this meeting representing the CPI(ML) Red Star, CC member comrade Vijay and representing the AIRSO comrades Akshay and Satwik participated – RS.

Introduction : Human activities are estimated to have caused ~1°C of global warming above pre-industrial levels. Inter-governmental cooperation to tackle climate change began in 1997, but has had little impact in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Many studies warn that without drastic and immediate cuts in GHG emissions, temperature rise by 2100 may be between 3-4oC, causing drastic changes to the environment and putting earth’s ecology and human society to great risk.

Climate change poses a particularly high risk to South Asia. The Maldives will drown, Pakistan and Bangladesh are in the top-10 most vulnerable nations and India and Nepal in the top-20. If the national governments have been sluggish in tackling climate change, the people must take a cue from the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres’s recent speech in New York where he said that unless a course change is made by 2020, we face the possibility of a runaway climate change with disastrous consequences. He called the current situation an “emergency we face.”

To reduce the risk of climate change impacts, the people of the world must now ask for urgent and appropriate measures to be implemented, and for the people of the world to have a direct say in global governance.

Accordingly, in May 2019, the South Asian People’s Action on Climate Crisis (SAPACC), a rainbow coalition of organizations was setup by a Preparatory Committee consisting of representatives from 12 organizations.

The core demands of SAPACC are:

a          Emissions control, consumption reduction, sustainability index: North nations’ emissions must become net zero by 2030, and South nations’ by 2040. Gross global consumption should be reduced to sustainable levels and a sustainability index should be agreed upon to measure efficacy of sustainability objectives.

a          Responsibility for climate change related losses: All nations should take responsibility for climate change related injury, displacement and property loss to people, and damage to the environment, in proportion to their historic emissions.

a          Consumption equity: By 2040, global energy consumption equity should be achieved such that the ratio between the lowest and highest per capita energy consumption of people everywhere in the world is d”2.

a          Decentralized autonomous social structures; transparent democratic decision making: Decentralized and autonomous local self governing bodies of communities must have oversight powers over provincial and national governments, and international cooperation agencies. Decisions at all governance levels must be democratic and transparent.

a          Restoring the environment: Air, water, land, soil, and to the extent possible biodiversity, should be restored to their earlier quality.

SAPACC will bring together scientists, farmers, youth, workers, women, etc, from all the South Asian nations to ask for a people’s climate emergency to be declared in South Asian countries, and for the implementation of the above demands, and ask South Asian governments to table a resolution in the UN to have a global climate emergency declared.

SAPACC is convening a 3 day launch meet in the third week of September 2019 either in Delhi or Hyderabad with delegates from all South Asian nations. SAPACC will co-opt co-organizers who agree with the above demands for the September 2019 launch meet. The launch meet may be preceded with pre-launch conferences on themes such as Climate change impact on women, youth, workers, farmers, Climate science and policy, Climate change and the law.

Like-minded civil society organizations that agree with the above core demands will be invited to become co-organizers of the launch meet. The budget for the launch meet was estimated to be Rs 8-10 Lakh, and would be raised through crowd-funding.

Prior to the September 2019 launch meet, build-up programmes, such as talks in different places, the setting up of websites, etc, would be done to mobilize civil society groups. Post-launch programmes suggested include the setting up of a journal, holding people’s assemblies in each country, etc.

SAPACC’s Preparatory Committee elected Mr. Sudarshan Rao Sarde as its convener, and Mr. Sagar Dhara and Mr. Soumya Dutta as its co-conveners. Dr Sanjeev Kulkarni, Mr Sudhir Paliwal, Mr Vijay Kumar, Ms Karnika Palwa and Mr Sajjan Kumar, along with the convener and co-conveners will form the Working Committee that will take decisions on a weekly basis. The Preparatory Committee will have overall supervisory control of SAPACC in the runup to the September 2019 launch meet.

We need you to stop climate change turning into a crisis: SAPACC requests your cooperation and support for organizing the September 2019 launch meet, and to campaign for the five demands listed above. Whether you are a small organization or an individual, you could volunteer time till the launch meet to do the many things that are required to organize a large international meet. Or you could also help collect money through crowd funding methods.

It is only with you that SAPACC can take its message to people and the governments of South Asian countries. Thank you.

For further queries, please contact: South India — Sudarshan Rao Sarde and Sanjeev Kulkarni; North India — Soumya Dutta, Sajjan Kumar, Karnika Palwa and Vijay Kumar; West India — Sudhir Paliwal; East India — Sagar Dhara; Other countries: Sudarshan Rao Sarde: Soumya Dutta: Sajjan Kumar. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Central Committee of CPI(ML) Red Star discussed the above minutes and other papers on Climate Change and the report of com.Vijay and decided to issue the following Call: Organize broadbased Climate Change Groups at state level or  Area Level uniting comrades from class/mass organizations and like minded forces. The Preparatory Committee has now decided to hold the South Asia Convention at Hyderabad on 21st to 23rd September. Organize meetings wherever possible, form Committees against Climate Change, organize public programs to mobilize the masses for this, and suggest names of comrades to participate in the Hyderabad Convention. Connect it with the International Strike on 20th September against Climate Change. Let us actively take up the question of Climate Change and struggle for an egalitarian, people oriented and sustainable development paradigm. n

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Kabeer Katlat

The Communist movement in India has a history of almost a century after the salvos of October Revolution in Russia brought Marxism-Leninism to the people of India who were engaged in the national liberation struggle against the British colonialists. It is a complex and chequered history.