[By Kate Cahoon and Fenton Lutunatabua with the 350.org team in Bonn] As dawn rose yesterday morning, the Pacific Climate Warriors gathered in Manheim village in the heart of the Rhineland, one of Germany’s biggest coal-producing areas. Manheim is due to be consumed by an enormous, expanding open-pit coal mine, and the local villagers joined the Pacific Warriors in holding a beautiful, traditional Fijian ceremony, “to seek permission when entering new land.”
With COP23 starting tomorrow, today lights the beacon for climate justice and peoples’ leadership and you can follow and share all the action on this live blog.
The Warriors have made their way from Manheim village past the ancient Hambach forest, which is also planned to be cleared to make way for the vast coal mine. Right now, they’re at the edge of the mine, looking down at the scene of coal’s destruction.
And soon, thousands of activists from Germany and across Europe will put their solidarity and commitment to climate justice into action. Together they will say Ende Gelande — “Here and no further” — to call for an immediate end to the extraction and burning of fossil fuels. The Warriors’ solidarity message will be symbolically delivered on traditional Tapa cloths to the action.
Just one day before the opening of the UN Climate Talks (COP23) in nearby Bonn, the Warriors bring a powerful message: to respect the Paris Agreement, stay below 1.5°C of warming, and for countries like Fiji to stay above water, the world must come together now to keep fossil fuels in the ground.
The gap between countries’ official commitments in the Agreement, and what’s really needed to confront climate change is staggering. It means communities all over the world must stand up and take ownership of this fight against fossil fuels right now.
At COP23, we can’t afford to wait for the governments who contribute to the climate crisis to save us. With Fiji holding the presidency this year, we have an opportunity to follow Pacific leadership. If people like you and me join the Pacific call to action in order to keep global warming below 1.5°, we can make real change.
“The world needs to hear Pacific voices on climate change because, our islands, culture and people lie in the eye of the storm.”
— Brianna Fruean, Samoa
This is up to us. Let’s make the voices of the Pacific Climate Warriors and all climate protectors heard in the coming days, weeks, and months.
Follow the events here and share this powerful moment with the world to support the Warriors and all courageous climate protectors.
#HaveYourSei #EndeGelaende #FossilFree