Photo: @gndrising on Instagram
Are you worried about the effect of climate change on our planet’s future and searching for ways to help? Read on to hear about 5 Campaigns that are working toward and saving our beloved planet.
Fires in Russia, Turkey, Greece and North America releasing record amounts of CO2. Flooding in Germany, the UK, Uganda and China with evidence that they were worsened by climate change. The Amazon rainforest now emits more carbon dioxide than it absorbs, with most emissions caused by fires, often intentionally set to clear land for beef and soy production. Famine in Madagascar becoming “the first in history to be caused solely by climate change”. If there is a year so far that has begun to show us the gravity of the global effects of climate change, it’s 2021. A deep sense of anxiety and impending doom looms over the heads of many concerned about their future on this planet, as governments continue to fund oil and gas companies while making empty promises of a better, safer world.
Recently, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published their sixth assessment report with stark warnings of the irreversible and devastating effects of climate change on the planet and on us. The key messages from this report tell us that the climate crisis is ‘unequivocally’ being caused by human activity, and already affecting every region across the globe. Currently, we are not on track to meet the Paris Agreement targets of 1.5-2C unless we rapidly phase out CO2 emissions and have deep reductions in other greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).
The message ultimately from this report and other climate science data is clear – we have already passed certain points of no return and without a rapid decrease in global emissions, the effects of climate change will be more devastating than they already have been. However, the report does give hope, detailing possible future scenarios and how we can make the necessary changes to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change. However, to do this we ALL must take actions, in particular against governmental policies that promote further resource extraction and consequential increased GHG emissions. Here are just 5 currently ongoing campaigns that you can join and support today, to help secure the future of our world.
Since signing the Paris Agreement in 2015, the UK government has paid £3.2 billion of public money to North Sea oil and gas companies including BP, Shell and Exxon(7,8), with these companies receiving net subsidies and paying next to nothing in taxes. Additionally, the oil and gas industry continues to lobby the UK government for further tax cuts and subsidies. Despite this, the security of jobs in the oil and gas industry is increasingly volatile. On the other hand, investing in the green industry would not only minimise environmental damage, but create more stable jobs in the UK and set a standard for the rest of the world, particularly those who pollute and extract the most resources, to follow. Paid to Pollute is a case brought forward by Mikaela Loach, Kairin van Sweeden and Jeremy Cox represented by law firm Leigh Day, Merrow Golden and David Wolfe QC, to hold the UK government accountable to their climate promises.
2. Stop Cambo
Shell and Siccar Point Energy, two giant oil companies, are seeking permission from the UK government to open the Cambo Field in the North Sea. Cambo would operate until 2050 – by which point, the UK has pledged to be net carbon neutral. Under current proposals, it is expected to extract 150million barrels of oil and to emit more than three million tonnes of carbon over the project’s lifetime. This is completely incompatible with the science which says that we must stop global temperatures from rising above 1.5C on average to minimise the already devastating effects of climate change at 1.1C. #StopCambo is a very urgent campaign to stop the UK governments from approving the new oil field from opening, to keep us on track for an environmentally safe future.
Green New Deal Rising (GNDR) is a movement of young people who are backing the bill to introduce a Green New Deal9 Bill in the UK. Backed by science, the GND aims to pass policies such as rapid decarbonisation of the UK economy, a just transition for communities with livelihoods which rely on high emission sectors, protection and restoration of vital wild areas and forests, and the promotion of global justice. Beginning in September 2021, the GND will be presented in Parliament. GNDR will be forcing MPs to acknowledge and choose whether to back the GND bill by publicly challenging them on record, creating viral moments and gaining media attention through their responses. GNDR aims to cause widespread political disruption by obliging politicians to publicly respond to their climate demands, while simultaneously building community support systems, honouring and uniting with other movements and fighting for systemic change to stop climate change.
4. Choose Earth
Choose Love, a humanitarian aid organisation, and Earthrise Studio, a digital platform who use stories to communicate the climate crisis, work in collaboration to bring together ‘Choose Earth’. They currently support 64 indigenous leaders across Brazil who need grassroots support to fight against the political and corporate injustices they face on a daily basis. They use storytelling to reframe Western narratives around indiginous peoples, knowledge and conservation. As indigenous peoples make up 5% of the world’s population but protect 80% of the world’s biodiversity , supporting indigenous communities not only protects their livelihoods and rights, but directly protects our lands and our planet.
Unite for Climate Action (U4CA) are a group of young people from Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe. They work towards making international decision making spheres more accessible and diverse, particularly for Black, Indiginous and People of Colour (BIPOC) and those who are most affected and vulnerable to the effects of climate change. U4CA is currently working to ensure that Latin American and Caribbean climate activists can make it to the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26). COP26 is scheduled to take place in Glasgow, UK from the 31st October until the 12th of November 2021. Historically, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) has suffered from a severe lack of representation of people from the Global South, despite their frontline experiences of the climate crisis. While representation at UNFCC has steadily improved, it is still not enough and U4CA aims to change that.
They’re also working on an educational series which aims to initiate discussions on climate related subjects, to amplify underrepresented people’s stories and close existing knowledge gaps. With intersectionality at the core of their values, they aim to shift the current balance of power from it’s Eurocentric position to one where most affected people and areas (MAPA) are centered.
There are many many different climate and social justice centred movements, campaigns and initiatives going on around the world with different core principles and focuses but with the same ultimate goal – environmental liberation. Finding one that you can join in and take action is increasingly easy, and doesn’t require hours of commitment each day. Taking action is absolutely crucial at this point in time, for ourselves, the planet and all beings that we share it with.