Today marks the start of a week of climate strikes around the globe, which will coincide with Climate Week in NYC, the setting for 2019’s UN General Assembly and Climate Action Summit on 23 September. As of 8.30am GMT, hundreds of thousands have gathered across Australasia and Asia, while across Africa and Europe, thousands more are starting to assemble.
Inspired by the school strikes started by Swedish climate activist, Greta Thunberg, the Global Climate Strike will see millions marching to demand justice for the climate emergency. It is very easy to place a wall between humanity and the natural world, but as WLT has always recognised, humans are a part of nature, and without it, we will not survive. We need the natural world more than it needs us. A powerful element of each Global Climate Strike event is that each march is not just about the overall narrative, but to highlight the individual issues contributing to the climate emergency in the countries they are in. This moves the conversation away from an ambiguous narrative, instead directly confronting local policymakers and businesses with the explicit problems they have the power to solve.
While WLT made the decision to work today, because it would have been counterintuitive for a conservation charity to not work, we are fully behind those who have chosen to participate in the Global Climate Strike. The Global Climate Strikes are not a controversial act of rebellion; as a species, we have never faced a threat greater than the climate emergency, and we are the only species that can act against it.
Of course, choosing to participate in any strike is not an easy decision, and many today simply could not afford to risk their jobs. However, there are still ways you can mark and support the day. Here are three suggestions from WLT to bring the environment to the forefront today:
Evaluate your company’s environmental policies
Today would be the perfect time to gather your entire team together to overhaul the environmental policies in your work place. Could you switch to a green energy supplier, introduce extra recycling facilities, start a new car pool, or switch to recycled paper? Maybe you could even look at how your office could reduce, and then offset, the carbon footprint.
Join a Global Climate Strike on your lunch break
You may not be able to make the whole day, but if you are in a location where an event is happening, gather as many colleagues as possible and head out to join the march when you can.
Use your digital voice
Social media will be a buzz today, and there is infinite space for you to join in too as a digital activist. It will be easy to follow relevant hashtags: #climatestrike #actonclimate #climateemergency and share your support, reshare interesting stories and be part of the conversation. You could also take some time to write a letter to your local MP, voicing your concerns about climate change, and what you would like to see changed. Encourage others to do the same; the louder the chorus, the more you’ll be heard.
You can help us act to provide urgent protection for habitats and threatened biodiversity through our Action Fund: