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African Women Speak Out at COP21, Demanding Climate Justice

GUESTS: Martha Agbani from Nigeria, Executive Director of the Lokiaka Community Development Center, Pinki Alanga from South Africa, with the South Africa Green Revolutionary Council, Patience Muramuzi from Uganda, with the National Association for Women’s Action and Development, and Sophie Ogutu from Kenya, with the World March for Women.

Representatives from 190 countries announced success on negotiating an agreement to regulate greenhouse gas emissions after years of failed attempts. The historic climate accord, reached in Paris, France this Saturday at the COP21 summit, after more than 2 weeks of talks, aims to reduce emissions to curb warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius, while aspiring toward 1.5 degrees. However, critics point out that at the rate our emissions are headed, global warming will reach 3 degrees. Additionally, emissions curbs are neither legally binding, nor are there any penalties for missing targets.

Alongside the Paris talks, hundreds of thousands of activists from all over the world had also descended on the city to keep up the pressure for a robust deal and to demand what they call “climate justice.” I had the privilege of reporting from the latter part of the talks for Truthdig.com. On today’s show I’m proud to present some of that reporting. On December 10, to mark International Human Rights Day, a group of activists called the It Takes Roots delegation organized a gathering in front of the Peace Wall at the Eiffel Tower. Among them were four African women who I spoke with.

Watch the video of this report: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyd2BFYbBRE.