In my February blog, I wrote about the responses to letters I sent to my political representatives regarding climate change. I was pleasantly surprised by the responses… Well, a lot has happened in politics and beyond on this topic since then!
The global campaign group Extinction Rebellion and Greta Thunburg have had a huge impact on politicians and the public :
Over the past few months a number of high profile protests and demonstrations have occurred across the globe. There has been an increase in global awareness regarding climate change and calls for politicians to do much much more. This has been personally very motivating for me to see and feel. In some ways I am pinching myself as more work colleagues, friends and family ask me detailed questions on this issue. I have found the uptick in momentum incredible and somewhat overwhelming…to be clear that is not a complaint. I welcome the energy and interest in this issue, but recognise there are only so many hours in the day – it is also important to take care of myself to ensure I am full of energy and available to play my part.
The UK Government declared a climate emergency in May, with an aim to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-48126677.
London also held its first climate action week in July. https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/environment/climate-change/london-climate-action-week.
These initiatives are incredibly encouraging to see and I personally very much welcome them.
However, despite the momentum I think it is important to remember taking climate action will not affect everyone equally. Since the Brexit vote I have learnt how some issues can divide people and reduce collaboration. With this in mind, I have been particularly interested in a ‘Just Transition’ and thoughts on the unintended consequences of taking climate action to ensure they are managed effectively, http://www.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/investing-in-a-just-transition-global-project/.
I welcome inclusive approaches to try a avoid climate change becoming an issue which polarises the general public further and therefore impacts politics negatively. The trade unions have been very involved in some of this work. We have yet to see what the new UK Government under Boris Johnson will do. I am keeping an open mind and will wait to see what happens (fingers crossed).
Climate change is such an important area which requires lots of different interventions. I am hopeful the momentum will continue and I welcome ideas, creativity and collective actions – globally and locally – to tackle this complex challenge.