Like Corruption, Climate Crisis is a Matter of Life or Death: Transparency International

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SWITZERLAND, SEPTEMBER 21 – Global corruption watchdog, Transparency International(TI) has likened the issue of Climate Change to corruption and stated that both issues are a matter of ‘Life or Death’.

This was contained in a report Transparency International sent to Today’s Echo on Friday on the state of corruption in the world.

Anxious about their future on a hotter planet, angry at world leaders for failing to arrest the crisis, thousands of young people began pouring into the streets on Friday for a day of global climate protest.

In New York the main demonstration was scheduled for midday, but participants began assembling early and it appeared that turnout would be large. Many brought handmade signs. “Think or Swim,” one read.

“I’m feeling very hopeful,” said Azalea Danes, 20, a senior at the Bronx High School of Science who was waiting at Foley Square for protests to begin. “This is our first inter generational strike.”

Demonstrations in North and South America will be the culmination of a day of global strikes that began almost 24 hours earlier as morning broke in the Asia-Pacific region.

More than 100,000 protested in Melbourne as the protests began, in what organizers said was the largest climate action in Australia’s history. The rally shut down key public transport corridors for hours.

In Sydney, thousands gathered in the Domain, a sprawling public park just a short walk east of the Central Business District — grandparents escorting their children holding homemade signs, groups of teenagers in school uniforms, parents handing out boxed raisins to their young children.

“Adults are, like, ‘respect your elders.’ And we’re, like, ‘respect our futures,’” said Jemima Grimmer, 13, from Sydney. “You know, it’s a two-way street, respect, and I’m angry that I have to be here.”

Rarely, if ever, has the modern world witnessed a youth movement so large and wide, spanning across societies rich and poor, tied together by a common if inchoate sense of rage.

Read the statement from Transparency International below:

The climate crisis, like corruption, is a matter of life or death. 

The evidence is hard and clear. The last five years are the hottest ever recorded in the 139 years that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has tracked global heat. 

Already we are witnessing the alarming consequences of climate change. The Arctic, Amazon and parts of Siberia and Indonesia have been burning, Iceland recently held a funeral for a 700-year-old glacier killed by climate change, and more than half of all earth’s species have been lost since 1970 – just to name a few. 

Global heating is no longer a future threat. It is here. 

Climate change and corruption share many symptoms. They hit the poorest and most vulnerable first and worst and are caused by powerful individuals or entities seeking short term gain. In the long term, they put lives and livelihoods at risk, threatening all species and entire economies. And both thrive on the flaws of national governments. 

To stop them, we need strong global cooperation.

World leaders agreed to pledge US$100 billion in climate finance by 2020, and the same amount each year thereafter as part of the 2015 Paris Agreement. 

Although funding has fallen short, the way these funds are spent could save lives of millions now and ensure billions in the future are set on a safe path.  Our role, through our Climate Finance Integrity Programme, is to safeguard climate funds from corruption. 

This is just one aspect of what can be done. 

Global cooperation also means standing together in solidarity, putting pressure on their governments to act on the two greatest threats to humanity and the planet. 

It means doing something. 

Today and through the next week, thousands of climate strikes will take place in cities across the world.

We will be striking as well.  

Whether you’re striking today or not, you can support the health of our earth and those who seek to protect it in several ways.”

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