October 28, 2002: Communities from around the world gathered at the Climate Justice Summit in New Delhi on October 26 and 27, 2002 to provide testimony to the fact that climate change is a reality whose effects are already being felt around the world. Over 1500 participants from 17 states in India and over 20 countries, and comprising mostly of farmers, fishworkers, the poor, Indigenous Peoples, Dalits, youth and the development displaced in India, attended the summit.
India, home to a sixth of the world's population, is under assault from climate change impacts and if allowed to continue, it will further devastate the health and livelihoods of communities. Climate change is a matter of life and death for most communities in India and we reject the way in which our world is put up for sale under the climate change negotiations being held in Delhi. Some of the immediate concerns of the gathering include:
- Starvation deaths of over 10 children in Rajasthan due to drought this month;
- Rejection of the Indian government policy which will destroy over 20,000 families' in Jumbu island, West Bengal because of a ban on fishing to allow for "development";
- The massive crop failure in India for farmers this year due to the delay in monsoons.
We recognize that if consumption of fossil fuels, deforestation and other ecological devastation continues at current rates, it is certain that climate change will result in increased temperatures, sea level rise, changes in agricultural patterns, increased frequency and magnitude of "natural" disasters such as floods, droughts, loss of biodiversity, intense storms and epidemics;
We recognize that the impacts of climate change are disproportionately felt by the poor, women, youth, coastal peoples, indigenous peoples, fisherfolk, dalits, farmers and the elderly;
We recognize that climate change is being caused primarily by industrialized nations and transnational corporations;
We recognize that local communities, affected people and indigenous peoples have been kept out of the global processes to address climate change;
We recognize that market-based mechanisms and technological "fixes" currently being promoted by transnational corporations are false solutions and are exacerbating the problem;
We recognize that unsustainable production and consumption practices are at the root of this and other global environmental problems;
We recognize that unsustainable consumption exists primarily in the North, but also among elites within the South;
We recognize that the impacts of climate change threaten food sovereignty and the security of livelihoods of natural resource-based local economies;
We, representatives of the poor and the marginalized of the world, representing fishworkers, farmers, Indigenous Peoples, Dalits, the poor and the youth, resolve to actively build a movement from the communities that will address the issue of climate change from a human rights, social justice and labour perspective. We affirm that climate change is a human rights issue- it affects our livelihoods, our health, our children and out natural resources. We will build alliances across states and borders to oppose climate change inducing patterns and advocate for and practice sustainable development. We reject the market based principles that guide the current negotiations to solve the climate crisis: Our World is Not for Sale!.