Climate justice in Brazilian cities – summary

A brief summary concerning climate justice in Brazilian cities.

By Amanda Costa

Translation: Erik Martins, AJN Brazil

Hey my climate beauties 🙂

It’s been so intense participating in the 27th UN Climate Change Conference, COP 27 – Egypt. There are many events, incidences, troubles, coffee with friends, outbreaks, coffee with funders, the desire to rip the heads off the assholes males in Egypt and an enormous joy to be here, a space that brings together the greatest global leaders.

You can tell it’s an explosion of feelings, right? 😂.

Because of my work as an UN Youth Ambassador and Executive Director of the Instituto Perifa Sustentável, I was invited by the Secretary of International Relations of São Paulo, Marta Suplicy, to participate in an event at the pavilion of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and I accepted because I know that cities are a fundamental part of the process and I want to see CLIMATE JUSTICE coming out of the discourse and actually being implemented!

According to Nabil Bonduki, 85% of the Brazilian population lives in urban areas. Many of our cities are already suffering the impacts of the climate crisis and the consequences are even worse in the peripheries and slums.

Now I ask you, my dear reader, How to make themes such as adaptation, mitigation and resilience leave the concept and be actually implemented?

Talking about climate justice is not rocket science! This topic concerns:

  • guarantee of basic rights,
  • tackling inequalities,
  • economic growth and generation of green jobs,
  • adaptation of cities to face the climate crisis with a focus on combating environmental racism.

And it’s no longer possible to let only straight cisgender white men bring the narrative, right?!

These people have been in power for a long time and haven’t brought effective solutions to society in general, they only served a specific group, the people privileged by the Patriarchal Capitalist system of White Supremacy. Over the years we have seen the maintenance of a system that reproduces a racist, sexist and classist logic, deepening social inequalities and the marginalization of black, poor, peripheral, indigenous, quilombola and riverine people.

Dear reader, come with me and I will darken some questions:

Our Brazil was built on a CENTER-PERIPHERY logic, that is, people on the peripheries spend hoooours squeezed on public transport to travel to the center and thus have access to work, quality education and leisure. This triggered a swelling of large urban centers and privileged a city based on the interests of capital ($$$).

“It is people similar to me, that means, black and peripheral people, who have their rights denied, being prevented from enjoying benefits, quality public transport, cultural, social and leisure spaces.”

This dynamic causes people who occupy the base of the social pyramid to be constantly “thrown” to the borders of cities or metropolitan regions of neighboring cities, occupying places such as slopes, riverbanks and dams, riparian forests, hilltops and other risk spaces that, technically, should be of environmental preservation.

WE NEED TO BREAK THAT LOGIC!

It’s essential that cross-cutting initiatives are developed, through an urban and housing policy built in an integrated manner with the environmental agenda.

Black and peripheral youth, who experience this logic daily, NEED to be not only in communication spaces, but also in decision-making places, being protagonists of a sustainable development project for their respective territories!

I’m aware that the high is crazy, but as a romantic, creative and passionate libra, I learned to dream:

I dream of the day when my hood, Brasilândia, will be a sustainable place.

But being a passionate romantic doesn’t mean being naive, see? I know that this dream can come true, but for that is needed that a new governance articulates the three levels of power (municipal, state and federal) with the private sector, social movements, universities and the third sector in the construction of a project of urban development of sustainable territorial transformation.

And before anyone points a finger and criticizes, I need to say: we are already making this [ride, strolls???] happen! Click here and check out the Participatory Mapping that Instituto Perifa Sustentável did in Brasilândia together with Instituto Pólis, Alma Preta Jornalismo, Comunidades Vivas and USP! 🙂

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