How to Send World Leaders a Powerful Message About Climate Action
The climate negotiations happening in Paris this December must succeed – the health of our planet depends on it. But what can we, as individuals, do to help ensure world leaders take meaningful action?
We can march.
On November 29, just before leaders gather in Paris, a global People’s Climate March is being held. Organizers hope to break the record from last year’s massive mobilization, which attracted almost 700,000 citizens. As this Guardian article points out, that event showed that “climate change is no longer a ‘green’ issue, it’s an everyone issue now.” Political leaders took notice, and many even participated in the march itself. Momentum has been building since then, with faith, higher education, and health leaders urging divestment from fossil fuels on moral grounds. The U.S. and China showed their commitment to emissions reduction by signing a groundbreaking climate deal. The Pope and the Lancet Commission on Health and Climate both put out very authoritative writings stressing the urgent need for climate action. And just a few weeks ago, 13 major U.S. corporations pledged $140 million to support low-carbon investments.
To keep this momentum going, we can all join together on November 29 and march to protect our climate and our future.
By Ricken Patel, contributor to the Guardian
Creating a world powered on clean energy to save ourselves from climate catastrophe is a central challenge of our time, and requires a revolutionary transition in our economies. We can’t wait for our leaders to solve this problem; unless they feel serious public pressure, they’ll never go far enough or fast enough. Revolutions start with people, not politicians.
To survive the 21st century, we must discover the sense of common purpose that has driven revolutionary change through history, building a mass movement to stretch what our politicians believe is possible. We must lead, not follow, and bring leaders with us.
In the years leading up to 2014, as the gap between what the science demanded and our politicians delivered widened, fatalism began to creep into parts of the climate movement. Then a handful of organisers took a major bet on the power of people – calling for the largest climate change mobilisation in history to kick-start political momentum.