From the 1st of December 2014, at the beginning of COP20, to the 30th of November 2015, at the beginning of COP21, 365 fasters will successively fast for one day – that is, refrain from food during a whole day, or at least one meal. This chain of fasting will travel from Lima, Peru, to Paris, France. The 365 fasters will successively fast on all continents.
The Fast begins: COP19 in Warsaw
In November 2013, the Philippines were hit by the super-typhoon Haiyan. It was one of the most intense typhoons ever recorded. Thousands lost their lives and millions lost their homes and livelihoods. When Haiyan struck the country, Yeb Saño, its climate commissioner, was already in Poland to attend the UN Climate Change Conference (COP19). On the first day, he declared in a moving speech in front of the delegates of all nations that he would fast for the duration of the meeting, in solidarity with his people and to push the negotiations toward a meaningful outcome. He was joined in this fast by hundreds of people in Warsaw, in the Philippines and around the world.
The Fast continues
Today, dozens of organisations and thousands of people from all walks of life #fastfortheclimate on the first day of each month. People fast in more than 20 countries. #fastfortheclimate will continue until the beginning of COP21, held in Paris, France, where the next treaty on climate change is set to be agreed.
This December, COP20 in Lima, Peru, will mark the first anniversary of the #fastfortheclimate. Lima will be the last COP before the decisive Paris conference. We need progress in the negotiations in Lima.
So now we’re stepping it up a notch. One person will fast every day from COP20 to COP21. This year-long fasting chain between COP20 and COP21 will act as a further sign of our solidarity with the victims of climate change, calling not only for progress but for a meaningful outcome from the climate talks. At the same time, its worldwide journey will engage new communities in the struggle for climate action and climate justice.
The chain will spend two months on each continent, starting in Latin America and finishing in Europe. The 365 fasters will show the diversity of the partners of the #fastfortheclimate. We will include secular as well as religious people of all traditions, concerned individuals as well as representatives of organisations, common believers as well as religious leaders, men and women, young and old. We will try to involve people from as many faith or spiritual traditions as possible on the one hand, and from as many activist movements as possible on the other.
We encourage the 365 fasters to create a #fastfortheclimate event on the 1st of each month in their own communities and to join the monthly fast until the 1st of December 2015, at the beginning of COP21 in Paris.
We will be launching the 365 days of fasting at our press conference on the first day of COP20, the 1st of December 2014 – which we also expect to be the biggest climate fast day yet.
Photo credit to the Climate Walk for Climate Justice.