A coalition of street papers from around the world have called on world leaders to put vulnerable communities first in their negotiations at the upcoming climate conference COP26.
The International Network of Street Papers (INSP) is urging politicians to “protect vulnerable communities, prevent further poverty and highlight street papers as a source of under-represented voices and justice-driven journalism”.
Maree Aldam, chief executive of INSP, said: “At this critical moment, we urge global leaders to work together, to share solutions and think innovatively to combat the climate crisis, not least to prevent further deepening of inequalities and further harm to vulnerable communities around the world.”
The temperature extremes brought by climate change — including longer, hotter heat waves each summer, fiercely cold winters, and an increased risk of flooding — pose an even greater risk to people experiencing homelessness.
And in regions where both heat and humidity are high, heat waves can turn deadly. Scientists have warned that, when there is too much water the air, sweat will not evaporate, making it impossible for people to cool down. This deadly combination is believed to be reached at temperatures over 35 degrees Celsius and nearly 100 per cent humidity, although this so-called “wet bulb temperature” rarely goes above 31 degrees at present.
“We’ve learned through the pandemic, that when you treat rough sleeping as a public health issue, you can do a hell of a lot of good,” said Matt Downie, director of policy and external affairs at Crisis.