His family have benefited from a Christian Aid programme which is focused on building resilience for vulnerable communities experiencing climate extremes. This includes being part of a weather ‘listening’ group which sends detailed short and medium term forecasts to their mobile phones so they can plan accordingly. But the forecast for the next few months isn’t promising.
The good news is that, like the vaccine for Covid-19, we do know how to fix the climate crisis. We need to keep fossil fuels in the ground, boost clean energy investment and help those who are suffering on the front line. The only way to solve the crisis is for rich countries, like Scotland, to urgently reduce their emissions and to support those communities which are living with the impacts. It’s reassuring that President Biden has already brought the US back into the Paris Agreement. Let more action for climate justice follow.
This year, in Scotland, we have a unique opportunity as the UK prepares to host the crucial UN climate summit (COP26) in Glasgow in November. As thousands of people from across the world come together to push governments on climate ambition, we hope that the talks will offer a chance to amplify the voices of grassroots and Indigenous communities, to unlock progress and to drive levels of ambition across the world so that tangible outcomes are achieved. We also know that this moment offers an invaluable chance to energise the climate movement towards climate justice. If we act now, we can build a better world, where everyone, including Mekonnen, can flourish.
Coronavirus has disrupted our lives in an unprecedented way. Now we face a choice - we can go back to business as usual, perpetuating the climate crisis and growing inequality. Or we can become campaigners for climate justice and take positive strides towards a healthier, safer future for everybody.