Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Contact

Pascale Hunt
Email: pascale.hunt@350.org

Press Release

Climate change induced heatwaves in South Asia demonstrate how fossil fuels exacerbate global injustice

GLOBAL -

Over a billion people are currently contending with deadly temperatures as the relentless heatwave in Pakistan and India continues to climb, with spring-time temperatures already 5-8 degrees Celsius above normal. Temperatures have broken 122-year-old record highs, with no alleviation on the horizon. People in South Asia, who have contributed the least to worldwide fossil fuel emissions, are on the frontlines of the climate crisis, experiencing its worst impacts. 

Namrata Chowdhary, Chief of Public Engagement at 350.org says, 

“The truth behind these heatwaves is searingly clear: fossil fuels did this. While these temperatures are quite literally shocking, they come as no real surprise to communities that have long since lived on the frontlines of the climate crisis. This is the latest spike in a rapidly worsening disaster, one that was foretold by climate activists the world over.

The IPCC report had already predicted that this densely populated region, where the vulnerabilities of over a billion people are compounded by power outages and lack of access to water, will be one of the worst affected by climate impacts.

The science is equally clear: unless we ditch fossil fuels immediately in favor of a just, renewable-energy-based system, heatwaves like this one will continue to become more intense and more frequent. Access to energy is such a critical factor for coping with deadly temperature changes, with cooling as critical for families braving the South Asian summer as heating is to those in the freezing European winter. Considering the cost advantages of renewables put together with the social justice arguments, the case for urgent investment in decentralized renewable energy solutions has never been more compelling.”

Shibaya Raha, 350.org South Asia Senior Digital Organiser says,

“We cannot deny this climate crisis any longer. We are experiencing heat waves in spring. The heat is unbearable and people are suffering. Many in heavily populated areas do not have access to air conditioning, and workers with outdoor jobs are unable to carry out their work in this extreme heat, impacting sources of income. 

The IPCC report predicts significant increases in heatwaves globally, but we are the human faces of that science. It looks daunting on paper but is even more devastating in reality and we demand immediate climate action. Governments can no longer approve fossil fuel projects, and financial institutions can no longer fund them, without our suffering on their hands.”

South Asia is on the frontlines of the climate crisis and will experience devastatingly high temperatures if leaders do not take urgent action to lower carbon emissions. The recent IPCC climate impacts report predicts frequent temperature extremes and heatwaves in Asia, especially in densely populated South Asian cities, where working conditions will be exacerbated and day-time outdoor work becomes dangerous.

Much of South Asia could become uninhabitable if temperature trends continue, potentially leading to a large-scale humanitarian crisis. South Asian climate activists continue to call for real climate leadership, an end to fossil fuel extraction and a swift redirection of funds away from fossil fuels and into just and sustainable energy solutions. 

###

350 is building a future that's just, prosperous, equitable and safe from the effects of the climate crisis. We're an international movement of ordinary people working to end the age of fossil fuels and build a world of community-led renewable energy for all.

'Bloodbath': At Least 6 Dead, Dozens Wounded in Mass Shooting at Illinois July 4th Parade

"What freedom do we have if we fear being gunned down at a parade?" asked one progressive politician horrified by the reported carnage.

Brett Wilkins ·


On This July 4th, Abortion Rights Movement Says 'We're Not in the Mood for Fireworks'

"If we don’t have the ability to make decisions about if, when, and how to grow our families—we don't have freedom."

Brett Wilkins ·


Deadly Glacier Collapse in Italy 'Linked Directly to Climate Change'

At least seven people were killed when a glacier slid down a mountainside near a popular climbing route in the Alps on Sunday.

Julia Conley ·


'Organized Whitewash': US Claims Israeli Military's Murder of Journalist Not Intentional

"The odds that those responsible for the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh will be held to account are all but nonexistent," said the human rights group B'Tselem in response to findings of U.S. State Department.

Brett Wilkins ·


Hundreds March in Akron Enraged by Police Killing of Jayland Walker

"The police can do whatever they want," said one local resident through tears. "They can take our children's lives and think it's okay."

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo