On November 23, Vila Nova de Famalicão hosted a workshop on the theme “Climate Change and Climate Justice”. This was an initiative of the partnership Association Famalicão em Transição and ZERO – Sustainable Terrestrial Association that had the support of the Cupertino de Miranda Foundation, where it took place.

The session began with a welcome by the Councilwoman for Youth and Mobility, Sofia Fernandes, who called for the participation, especially of youth, followed by the president of the Famalicão Transition Association, Manuela Araújo, who focused on the key importance of reducing consumption, and Francisco Ferreira, president of ZERO, who made an introduction to the workshop theme.

In the first session, Francisco Ferreira took stock of the current and future scenario of the impact of climate change. Focusing on the most important areas to work on such as energy, transport / mobility, food and consumption globally, not forgetting waste. The goal of carbon neutrality in 2050 must be a priority for public bodies and individual change needs to be taken on and implemented faster.

“What happens with climate change is that global warming is slow and when we react it is too late, because we only react at dramatic times. The good news is that the UN scientists report that it is still possible for the temperature not to rise more than 1.5ºC from the preindustrial era; the bad news is that although we have the recipe, knowing what to do, how to do it, we are still far from applying it »Francisco Ferreira

Paulo Magalhães, jurist and founder of the Common House of Humanity, presented this project, of international scope that has been developed since 2016 and aims to ensure the preservation of the planet’s habitability conditions. According to Paulo Magalhães the “Earth System must be recognized as a global legal good, a good that exists inside and outside all sovereignties, the only global heritage of humanity.” The proposal involves the creation of a condominium accounting system, in which we all know the positive but also the negative contributions of the states involved.

“The atmosphere is a genuine common good: we cannot divide, either legally or materially, we cannot appropriate it, but we can degrade it because we chemically change it.” Paulo Magalhães

After a short break, the People Climate Case presentation video set the tone for the second session, which was attended by representatives of the Portuguese families who are an active part of this court case. The People Climate Case involves 10 families and a youth association from different countries in Europe: Portugal, France, Italy, Germany, Romania and Sweden, and outside Europe – Kenya and Figi Islands, which united by their vulnerability to climate change, demand more ambition for European policy makers.

Families consider that the EU is not doing everything it can to combat climate change and protect their fundamental rights. As such, citizens are appealing to the court to assume that climate change is a human rights issue and that the EU is responsible for protecting their rights and the rights of future generations.

Armando Carvalho, Forest Engineer by profession, has spent more than 20 years managing and protecting a biodiverse forest on his properties near Santa Comba Dão, described how he saw and lived the destruction of his forest in the forest fires that occurred in Portugal in October. In a report with a clear link between fire and climate change, he gave his point of view on how he sees the future of the Portuguese forest and how much needs to be done.

Joaquim Caixeiro belongs to one of the 35 families that together with Alfredo Sendim do the management of an agricultural cooperative at Herdade Freixo do Meio, near Montemor-o-Novo. Their concern was expressed about the lack of water that could put endanger the agriculture in organic production, which they practice. As the frequency of adverse weather events increases, they may have to abandon farming.

Ildebrando Conceição has been engaged in beekeeping for decades in the Tomar region. He passionately conveyed to those present the current impact of climate change on bee activity, a fascinating living being with whom he has been working for decades. It has found that changes in the flowering season and the increasingly uncertain climate with irregular and unpredictable seasons have begun to jeopardize bee survival, leading to a loss of honey productivity, which reached 60% in 2017.

 

About 100 people signed up for this workshop, including those responsible for NGOs, municipal technicians, university students, teachers and the general public.