“Climate protection and climate justice must be lived”

“We in Bangladesh are paying the price for climate change,” said Anjalina Diana Podder, head of the climate department of the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace of the Bangladesh Bishops’ Conference, to the participants of the 6th Stuttgart Forum for Development.

And then she listed the facts. Less rain and shifts in rainfall, less drinking water and less water for agriculture, crop losses, increasing salinization of groundwater and soil in coastal areas and violent hurricanes are the effects of climate change that can no longer be overlooked.

The result – a destroyed environment. The people in the affected areas have no choice but to move away. Their destination is the country's large cities, which are completely overwhelmed by the onslaught of climate refugees. The social effects of climate change are at least as bad as the effects on the environment. “The women and children suffer the most,” says Anjalina Diana Podder. Because the climate refugees are so poor, the children have to work and cannot go to school. And time and again, women looking for work fall into the hands of human traffickers or are raped. Anyone who has once fled from the consequences of climate change has no chance of ever returning home.”

According to Podder, the 6th Stuttgart Forum for Development could be a bridge between Germany and Bangladesh. Germany could learn from the experiences that people in Bangladesh have and have already had with the consequences of climate change. And it could sensitize people here to “choose a lifestyle that will help us in Bangladesh to better cope with the consequences of climate change.”

“Each and every one of us must take on more responsibility,” demanded Philipp Keil, Managing Director of the Baden-Württemberg Development Cooperation Foundation (SEZ). “Climate change is essentially caused by us in the north. We are causing it and people from the global south have to live with the consequences.” Climate justice, Keil continued, means that every person has the same rights to use the atmosphere and everyone must take the same responsibility for avoiding man-made warming if possible become. The 2030 Agenda with its sustainability goals made it unmistakably clear that ecological and economic issues are linked.

In this context, Keil also referred to the SEZ's funding of micro-projects in the area of ​​climate protection. “We are also partners for the state government when it comes to issues of climate compensation. Last Monday I handed over a solar system in the Mam Rashan refugee camp in northern Iraq to the Kurdish government. This is a unique and innovative project in a region where solar energy production is long overdue.”

Stefan Wilhelmy, head of Engagement Global's Municipalities in One World (SKEW) service unit, emphasized the responsibility and commitment of municipalities in matters of climate protection and climate justice. The motto of the 6th Stuttgart Forum for Development is a central topic, especially for municipalities. “For example, you can use CO2-Savings in Germany make a very significant contribution to reducing global warming. But you can also work for global climate justice through projects with your partners in the global south. We are very happy to support the municipalities in this.” In this context, he referred to the municipal climate partnerships project and emphasized: “The basic idea of ​​the project is to strengthen the technical cooperation between German cities and municipalities in the global south in the areas of climate protection and climate adaptation and action programs for long-term cooperation. The project now has 60 municipal climate partnerships worldwide. Of these, 12 are in the state of Baden-Württemberg.” Among other things, the Enzkreis has a climate partnership with the Masasi District in Tanzania.

In her welcoming speech, State Secretary Gisela Splett from the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Finance emphasized the responsibility of the state of Baden-Württemberg for combating climate change. “We have already taken a lot of measures. But we still have to step up our efforts.” The country alone cannot pull the levers in many areas of action. “We need our own efforts, but we also need the right framework at international and national levels. That’s why it’s so important to cooperate internationally.”

According to Splett, climate protection is a cross-sectional task that concerns all departments and affects all political levels. “Climate protection and climate justice must be lived. Politics needs broad social support in order to take the necessary measures.” The 6th Stuttgart Forum is important support on this path.

The 6th Stuttgart Forum for Development is being organized by the Baden-Württemberg Development Cooperation Foundation (SEZ) for the third time in cooperation with the Service Agency for Communities in One World (SKEW) from Engagement Global and around 40 other institutions. Around 550 visitors took part in this year's Stuttgart Forum.


Contact for the press:

Baden-Württemberg Development Cooperation Foundation (SEZ) Beate Wörner, Tel.: 0711 / 2 10 29-40, Email: woerner@sez.de

Philipp Keil, Managing Director of the Baden-Württemberg Development Cooperation Foundation
Opening event of the 6th Stuttgart Forum for Development
State Secretary Dr. Gisela Splett, Ministry of Finance Baden-Württemberg
Dr. Stefan Wilhelmy, head of the Service Center for Communities in One World (SKEW) at Engagement Global

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