As we stood outside the Tate Modern and chanted, “No more fossil fuels, give us renewables,” I couldn’t help but smile.
It is so inspiring to come together with people of all ages to unite for a common cause. A lot of the time, climate change feels like an uphill battle. But we are not alone. We all have individual power to make change and when we put all the effort together, great things can happen.
On September 8, over 300 people stood together in London to #RiseForClimate and tell governments around the world that we want divestment from fossil fuels. No more vague promises. We want commitment to addressing climate change. We want real solutions.
The day was filled with speakers from diverse backgrounds who discussed the issues we face around climate action, political action, climate justice and more.
A pleasant surprise was Shane Rattenbury, Minister for Climate Change in the Government of the Australian Capital Territory, who joined us from Australia. He was the only member of a government who showed up to the event.
“The ACT in Australia is proof positive that strong climate action is possible and that it works for the environment and for the economy,” said Shane. “The ACT will have 100% renewable electricity by 2020. The contracts for the wind farms and solar farms are locked in. Not only has this been achieved cost-effectively, it is strongly supported by the population, and has attracted new renewable energy industry businesses and investment to the region. Governments everywhere can and should be getting on with this viable transition to renewable energy now to respond to the urgent imperatives of climate change.”
So if you attended the rally, or wanted to attend the rally but wasn’t able to make it, the work has just begun. The rally was a way to come together, but now we must all go and continue the work.
Not sure where to get started? Here are a few actions you can take:
- Look at where your pension is being invested and divest it from fossil fuels
- Switch your energy provider to a renewable energy provider (some examples: Bulb, OVO, Good Energy, Ecotricity)
- Work within your community (schools, businesses, neighbours and friends) to help them switch to renewable energy (more info at www.there100.org)
- Set up a meeting with your local government official and demand that they do more to support the switch to renewable energy
- Get involved in a climate organisation near you (examples below)!
Climate Reality is a diverse group of passionate activities, community leaders, organisers, scientists, storytellers and everyday people who’ve come together to encourage climate action and facilitate climate conversations.
Campaign against Climate Change is a national campaign for urgent climate action.
Fossil Free UK can help you call for your local authority to divest from fracking and other fossil fuels.
Written by Eleni Polychroniadou