This is our way of life — when are you going to face yours?
CJN! Statement to the Adhoc Working Group on the Kyoto Protocol, Monday 4 October, Tianjin China, read by Maitreyi Shankar, coordinator of KKPKP.
I speak on behalf of Baida, sitting by my side, who does not speak English.
“My name is Baida Bai Gaikwad and I am a member of Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat, a union of wastepickers in Pune, India and a member of Climate Justice Now!.
I work as a wastepicker: I recover recyclable materials from the trash – materials that no one else sees any value in. But my recycling reduces emissions: it means less deforestation, less mining, and less energy used in factories. Instead of being rewarded for my work, I have been thrown out of work by a CDM-backed waste incinerator, which is reducing recycling and increasing emissions. Like me, a lot of people in developing countries have lost their livelihoods due to CDM projects.
This is the reality outside these walls and the consequences of the policy failure inside them. We know that many parties have made a huge effort to reach an agreement; but effort is not enough. Courage is what we need and solutions are not that far away.
All over the world, indigenous communities are protecting forests, small farmers their land and we the wastepickers are already recycling effectively. This is our way of life -- when are you going to face yours?
Thank you very much.”
So, having heard Baida’s words, here we go again: developed countries must commit to deep emission reductions, based on science and equity, in a second commitment period now. Pledges are not enough. Emissions must be reduced without recourse to loopholes and offsetting that make a mockery of their emission reduction commitments.