Wednesday kicked off the WSF Climate Space anchored by GGJ and framed by organizers, trade unions, faith communities, indigenous people, women, and others. The morning’s first session set the tone for connecting environmental struggles to the siloed social struggles we face and organize against daily. The global group of panelists made it clear that the climate crisis was not going to be solved in a UN space, but rather in popular spaces such as this one where ideas could be put forth and contested to forge a new way forward.
The session focused on the invisible communities left unseen to international forces and neoliberal agendas, such as the peasants, bus riders, indigenous communities, poor and landless people that are on the frontlines of the falsely created tension between the environment and the economy. These are often the communities that are offered false solutions that provide quick fixes rather than transformation and building towards a broader movement based on dignity and justice. The panelists stressed the complexity of the issues and the forces we face, but more so a need for collective strategy and direction, which includes challenging these false solutions as well as creating our own real alternatives.
Most importantly the panelists and participants brought forth the stories and voices of people on the ground resisting the top down solutions that continue to isolate, exploit, and silence frontline communities. Throughout the week the Climate Space will continue to be a forum for convergence of our struggles and a place to address immediate impacts and strategies for lasting change.
We are looking forward to connecting with and learning from the people of the Magreb Mashreq region and other international movements. We want system change, not climate change!