In June of this year, Britain became the first country to declare a climate emergency. Since then, nature seems yet again to have taken a back-bench against other issues such as Brexit. It is very easy to lose hope in the face of a government which isn’t prioritising such an enormous crisis.
I’ve put together a series of events to keep your eye on this Autumn which you can get involved with — whether in person or remotely — to maintain pressure on the government to act now.
Global Climate Strike — 20th September, Worldwide
On Friday 20th September this year, school children will strike yet again. Only this time, they are inviting people of all ages to leave work and “demand an end to the age of fossil fuels”.
These incredible strikes began with Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish activist, who began striking school every Friday in August 2018.
Greta will herself be joining the school strikes in New York City, where she is preparing for the UN Climate Change Summit on the 21st.
You can sign up to join the marches here.
UN Climate Change Summit — 21st September, New York City
This event, taking place at the UN Headquarters in less than three weeks, time is crucial. The UN Secretary-General António Guterres asks leaders from around the world to come prepared with “concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050”.
This year, for the first time, there will be a Youth Climate Summit. 100 young people have been awarded “Green tickets” in order to travel and participate in the climate summit.
Climate activist Greta Thunberg arrived in New York for the summit a few days ago after completing a zero-carbon journey from England by boat.
With Brexit looming we must ensure that this summit receives the attention from our government it requires. Talk to your friends and colleagues about the event; the best way to put pressure on the government is to spread awareness of the issue.
International Rebellion — starting 7th October
The climate group Extinction Rebellion has released a report about the role they plan to play in the rebellion as well as their reasons for protesting. They said: “Despite paying lip service to the emergency, the Government has ploughed on with business as usual.
“It’s sought to shirk responsibility onto young people and future generations by offering a net zero target so distant it’s a death sentence.”
The group are hosting a number of Rebel Rising festivals this month to launch the rebellion. They will feature a “full range of trainings from the essential Non Violent Direction Action (NVDA) training to more advanced trainings for experienced activists wanting to take things to the next level”.
If you’d like to get involved, visit the Extinction Rebellion website, or contact your local group.
COP 25 — Santiago, 2nd-13th December
The 25th Conference of the Parties will be located in Santiago Chile.
The event is officially known as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and exists as a follow on to the outcomes of the UN Climate Summit, “as well as three Regional Climate Weeks: Africa Climate Week held in March, Latin America and Caribbean Climate Week held in August, and Asia-Pacific Climate Week held in September”.
Such meetings are crucial in our leaders’ push against climate change, and it is important to keep the pressure on the government and parliament to award the attention these events and issues deserve.
Featured image: julian meehan via Flickr