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Climate Change and Democracy

CLIMATE CHANGE AND DEMOCRACY

BY ADENIKE OLADOSU

One of the existential crises of the twenty-first (21st) century is climate change. The interplay between climate change and democracy can’t be over-emphasized. Democracy in its fullness guarantees human rights and good governance with the requisite frameworks and guidelines. The concepts of democracy have metamorphosed from the time when the famous American President Abraham Lincoln defined the “government of the people by the people and for the people '' as a system that fights against oppression. Previously democratic righteous were entitled to only feed powerful white men and monarchs. Currently, democratic concepts mean fighting for women’s rights and the protection of the environment (including climate change). Many questions like can we fight climate change without democracy or will climate change end democracy? These and many answers will be given broadly in this article.

CLIMATE CHANGE WITHOUT DEMOCRACY

Just like Covid-19, climate change is one of the crises facing humanity today. Hence, requires a detailed and organized system that can fight its consequences. A truly democratic system gives freedom of thoughts and ideas which are needed to fight climate change. Democracy has a positive effect on environmental quality. It is a known fact that democracy sustains and encourages freedom of speech, freedom of the press, political participation, and social awareness. These factors provide a conduit for social demands and progress succinctly. Democratic governments have incentives to protect the environment as environmental degradation and climate breakdown are issues affecting many Democracies all over the world that allow for public interest litigation- an increasingly used tool for climate action. Moreover, democracy will do its best at controlling climate change as in countries. Where it is fully practiced, global warming and climate change are declining. More so, democracy is better structured to handle most crises emanating from climate change. To lead the climate action movement we fight for the restoration of Lake Chad through a democratic framework and action. I am one of the greatest champions of green democracy in Africa with the view of fighting climate change crises through a democratic and ecofeminism lens.

WILL CLIMATE CHANGE AND DEMOCRACY?

Climate change is in advance due to a lack of political goodwill to check its progression. It already has an impact on democratic governance through its effect on food security, conflict, water scarcity, migration, and other natural disasters. Invariably, climate change can exacerbate the factor of governance and most important infrastructure development. How can democracy survive in a society filled with famine, drought, and food insecurity contributing to the Arab uprisings and war disturbing the growth of democracy in the middle belt (Arabian Peninsula)? Africa is the only place where climate change is leading to conflict and conflict is leading to climate change simultaneously. Conflict arising from climate change in the Lake Chad basin has led to the failure of democratic tenets like free and fair elections occurring in the region.

In Africa, climate change is one of the causes of the rising unemployed rent and poverty as a resort of crop failures. Unfortunately, in some parts of the west and central Africa, farmers-herdsmen conflicts arise as a result of competition for national resources such as land, all occasioned by climate change leading to the deaths of thousands of people.

CONCLUSION

It is all accepted that democracy is the best form of civil government in the world and is practiced by more than two third of the world’s population, hence the need to use it to fight against climate change. Established lead climate initiative to see to climate change crises by fighting it through a requisite and dependable democratic framework.

ADENIKE OLADOSU IS AN ECOFEMINIST AND CLIMATE JUSTICE ACTIVIST

EMAIL: [email protected]

 

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