Put an end to use of fossil fuel and save children, say Warrior Moms
“Isn’t it worth saving 13 lives a minute worldwide, or three lives a minute in India alone, just by saying ‘no’ to fossil fuels? Asks Bhavreen Kandhari, co-founder of the Warrior Moms Collective in India, back from Stockholm. Bhavreen along with mothers from Europe, Latin America and South Asia met UK COP26 President Alok Sharma exhorting him to work towards putting an end to financing for new fossil fuels to save children’s lives. The mothers explained how air pollution was harming children’s health – not just causing chronic respiratory illnesses but also impacting their cognitive development.
“Fossil fuels are killing our children, clean energy can save lives, and our political leaders are backsliding on the promises they made in Glasgow,” says Bhavreen, informing that they would meet Sharma once again before the start of COP27 in Egypt in November.
At the meeting that happened on the sidelines of the UN’s Stockholm +50 summit to advance planetary health, Sharma agreed with the mothers that the acceleration of the clean energy transition has the double benefit of clean air for public health and to boost economic prosperity.
This was Sharma’s second meeting with the mothers since nearly 500 parents’ campaign organisations from 44 countries wrote an open letter to world leaders during COP26, warning that children are being poisoned by the burning of fossil fuels and asking for speedy transition to clean, healthy energy sources.
“It is time Sharma holds all governments accountable for the promises made at COP26. This is a health crisis, our children are being killed by fossil fuels. Clean energy and clean air – in line with the WHO’s air quality guidelines – will save lives. The UK must set an example now that the rest of the world will follow, while we still hold the COP26 presidency,” says Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, BreatheLife ambassador and Founder of the Ella Roberta Foundation, UK.
As per available information, 93 per cent of children worldwide are breathing toxic air.
“I live in the most polluted country in the EU,” says Polish mother Kamila Kadzidlowska, co-organiser of Parents for Future Poland (Rodzice dla Klimatu). “We are at present hosting a mother and her baby who escaped from Ukraine. Just days after they arrived, they both began having respiratory issues. This young mother is now scared to step out of house because of the pollution,” she adds.
“In the last two decade, Colombia has lost 1.66 million hectares of green cover due to coal mining, cattle and cocoa farming and illegal deforestation,” puts in Ana Maria Ancines, co-organiser of Parents for Future Colombia
Calling out all parents everywhere to push for clean energy, Frida Berry Eklund, Co-Founder of Our Kids’ Climate and Swedish climate parent group Våra barns klimat say, “Fossil fuels are killing our children. The inaction and dragging of feet of governments is unacceptable, immoral and we won’t stand for it anymore.”