Climate Change & Servas
With continued release of greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere, environmental consequences of climate change are becoming more apparent every year. These effects include increased global temperatures, excess precipitation, rising sea levels, and extreme weather events. There is great inequity in how these impacts are felt. Many low-income countries produce few GHG emissions, but are often more adversely affected than high-income countries that release substantially greater GHG amounts. For many, the impacts can result in displacement of people often hurting the impoverished more than the wealthy. As such, climate change is very much a peace and social justice issue.
The burning of fossil fuels is one of the key contributors to climate change. Many activities, including transportation, involve a major use of fossil fuels with air travel causing particular damage to the atmosphere. This issue presents a significant challenge to Servas that is both a peace and a travel hospitality organization. In recognition of this challenge, a climate change motion was submitted by Canada and passed by the Servas International Conference and General Assembly (SICOGA) in 2018, to raise the climate consciousness of our global community by:
- Acknowledging the issue in Servas International communications, including its website
- Encouraging Servas countries to recognize and discuss this topic through member-based dialogue
- Offering Servas hosts and travellers suggestions of how to live and travel in carbon-light ways
- Sharing among members, ways that Servas International can become a more climate-conscious organization (e.g., non-travel distance conversations, lessening Servas business travel)