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#ClimateJusticeThursday: Protecting people with disabilities

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#ClimateJusticeThursday: Protecting people with disabilities

Hello readers.

Welcome to #ClimateJusticeThursday on CleanbuildVoices!

Climate change, which is already causing loss of human lives and economic damage, has spurred individuals, governments, cities, and organizations to take action and develop mitigation and adaptation strategies to respond to the different climate risks.

However, while these strategies are being developed, not much consideration is given to people with disabilities as they are not included in these plans.

That is why on today’s edition of #ClimateJusticeThursday, our climate justice advocacy is for the disabled who have either been disproportionately affected by climate-related disasters or are not considered when such occurs.

According to the World Bank, about 15% of the world’s population experience some form of disability and an average of these disabled people are more likely to experience adverse socioeconomic outcomes than able-bodied people.

In other words, a greater number of people with disabilities will likely be affected by the intensifying impacts of climate change and may lack the resources needed to adapt.

Since climate change leads to extreme weather conditions and by extension, displacement, people with disabilities are faced with mobility issues because they are unable to migrate and therefore, are forced to live in unhealthy environments without healthcare services, food, and housing.

Therefore, governments must think carefully about how people with disabilities can access healthcare services, transportation, food, water, and shelter during climate crises.

Their plans must include early warning systems tailored towards their peculiar disability so that they can easily interpret them and have ample time for evacuation if there are impending disasters.

As one of the most impacted by climate change, governments must uphold the rights of people with disabilities when they develop climate policies and implement them, ensuring that they effectively participate during the process.

Because disabilities vary, it is also important for governments to recognize and consider these differences when creating and implementing climate action.

The world must prioritize these communities that are so disproportionately impacted in order to guarantee their resilience in these times.

Finally, individuals who are not disabled, as well as organizations, also have a role to play. They can start by including the experiences as well as perspectives of people with disabilities when taking action on climate-related issues.

People with disabilities should not be left out of climate conversations – be it at protests or town hall meetings, they deserve to know how the changes can impact their lives.

They also deserve to be heard. It is only through dialogue that we can truly know the toll these events have on them and their immediate environment.

Watch this space as we’ll be back for another edition of our #ClimateJusticeThursday.

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