On September 8 people around the world will take part in hundreds of actions under the banner of Rise for Climate to highlight increasing climate impacts and the need for real climate leadership. People will be showcasing community-led solutions to the climate crisis and demanding that political leaders and decision makers step up their climate action ahead of the Global Climate Action Summit taking place on September 12 in San Francisco, California where tens of thousands will take to the streets of the city in the largest climate march the West Coast has ever seen while hundreds of more actions will target states facing pivotal mid-term elections this November to demand that fossil fuels stay in the ground.
The communities most impacted by the fossil fuel industry and climate change will be participating: Pacific Island nations will petition their local institutions to commit to 100% renewable energy; affected communities in Thailand will be marching outside the UN climate change conference in Bangkok to ensure negotiators hear the message of the people joining Rise for Climate around the world; there will be climate summits for local leaders to accelerate the just transition to fair and equitable energy systems for all across Africa; in Latin America groups will rise up to challenge dangerous fossil fuel extraction methods like fracking; and in Europe communities, including areas already experiencing climate impacts, will challenge their local municipalities to ditch dangerous fossil fuels and accelerate a just and swift transition to 100% renewable energy.
There is no time to lose. So far in 2018 we have witnessed a range of severe impacts related to climate change including: extreme heat waves across North Africa, Europe and Japan where a national emergency was declared; devastating wildfires in Greece that cost 85 lives, as well as in Sweden and the USA; and massive Antarctic ice-melt that contributes to global sea level rise threatening our coastal cities and the very existence of many island nations.
Rise for Climate will set the tone for a series of upcoming political moments and challenge decision-makers heading into a series of major summits to embrace the reality of the climate crisis and step up their actions to tackle it. The launch of the IPCC’s special report on the consequences of global warming surpassing 1.5°C degrees should galvanise governments in their efforts to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, while the Climate Vulnerable Forum Summit being held by the governments in-line to suffer the worst consequences of unchecked global warming is a chance to learn from the leadership of those on the frontlines. The Global Climate Action Summit convening non-state actors, and the UN Climate Negotiations bringing governments to the table, are opportunities for decision-makers at all levels to provide deeper commitments and accelerate their actions.
The actions of the Rise for Climate mobilisation will be highly visual, creative and unique with renowned artists located in Brazil, Canada, Samoa, New Zealand, Ukraine, Portugal, Netherlands, Uganda, and Indonesia as well as community groups across the planet taking part to help bridge language, culture and geographic gaps and find the common core to build a groundswell of support for real climate leadership, increase the pressure on national leaders that are falling short of their commitments, and create the right momentum to secure a fast and just transition to an equitable world.
The Pacific is calling their mobilisations Rise for #PacificPawa and their aim is to show the unstoppable wave of local action unfolding that is already putting the world on the trajectory to ending the era of fossil fuels.