Our children are rising…are we? Around the world, led by an unlikely but heroic 16 year old from Sweden, each week on Friday – around the world – 10’s of thousands of students, many not old enough to vote, are taking to the streets. Our children are demanding Climate Action NOW. Inspired by the Florida Parkland students demanding action on sensible gun laws, our children are asking us to open our eyes and be sensible too – we need to treat our climate crisis with the urgency that an emergency call for; our house is on fire, we must act.
This video was created by Australian youth leaders, sharing their concerns, demands and calls for climate action. They sent their video to us, so we could share it with you. Please take a few minutes and watch it; share it with the children in your life!
The good news is that we ARE listening, or at least many of us are, and we ARE finding many, many ways to take action now, and to help engage and empower other parents so they can respond to their children’s calls for help too. As Climate Mamas and Papas, we live by our motto: “Tell the truth, actions are louder than words, don’t be afraid.”
As part of our commitment to action, we are thrilled to share with you, the re-launch of an international coalition of parents, working to shine a light on our climate emergency and help others do so too. ClimateMama is a proud founding member of Our Kids Climate, which formally launched on April 11, 2019, at United Nations headquarters in NYC, through an event sponsored by The Permanent Mission of Austria to the United Nations and the Women’s International Forum. Organized by Dear Tomorrow and Foraldravralet, in partnership with 18 parent organizations from around the world – large and small – the event highlighting the unique role of women and parents in developing innovative climate solutions.
The event featured a distinguished panel of speakers including: Gina McCarthy, former head of the EPA under Obama; H.E. Juliane Bogner Strauß – Minister of Women, Families and Youth of the Republic of Austria; Latica Tomašić-Kickert, President of the Women´s International Forum of the United Nations; Vanessa Hauc of Telemundo/NBC; Ngedikes Olai Uludong, Representative from Palau to the UN; Representative Donna Bullock of Pennsylvania, and Jill Kubit, co-founder and director of DearTomorrow.
In a packed room filled with a diverse crowd of climate advocates, parent leaders, international ambassadors, and teen activists, panelists made a bold call for climate action and emphasized the need to approach the issue from a deeply personal place of love for their children. You can watch a video of the event on UN TV here, and find out more about Our Kids Climate and our partner organizations here . Our position statement is below.
Our Kids Climate: Position Statement (April, 2019)
WHO WE ARE
We are parents, grandparents, and families from around the world, and we are acting to protect the children we love – and children everywhere – from the threats posed by the current climate crisis and air pollution.
We are the uncompromising defenders of the most vulnerable children living where droughts, storms, sea level rise, flooding and heat waves are now getting even deadlier. And of children suffering from increasing health problems due to air and climate pollution, like asthma, allergies, and other respiratory illnesses.
We are supporting the children and youth all over the world who are demanding bold action to address the climate crisis through school strikes, lawsuits and other ways of making their voices heard.
We are using our parent power to ensure that all children have a right to a safe, healthy and fair future, today and tomorrow – a future full of hope and possibilities. And we will ensure that governments and companies are held to account.
WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
Even though we know how to solve the climate crisis and we have the technological solutions, the transition of our societies is stalled. This is due to a lack of will from political leaders, companies clinging to old business models, and too little public pressure to change the status quo. This is what is destroying our climate system, on which life itself depends.
Today’s climate policies and commitments are set to take us to a world beyond 3℃ degrees of warming. This is undoubtedly putting all of humanity at risk. We simply cannot accept handing over such a world to our children.
The climate crisis is already harming our children today through deadlier droughts, storms, sea level rise, flooding and heat waves, and children are the most vulnerable to these disasters. They are also disproportionately impacted by the poverty, food insecurity, displacement, and psychological trauma that is caused by climate disasters. The effect of inaction is stark– more children will suffer harm and even death if we don’t act swiftly and decisively.
WHAT’S THE SOLUTION?
We need to create a safe, healthy, and fair world for all children today and tomorrow. A world where our own children can grow up and dream of their future. A future filled with hope and possibilities.
To achieve this, we need transformative, science-based political, societal and business solutions that are strong enough to protect the children we love from an uncertain future of escalating climate change – a situation they neither have caused nor are responsible for.
We also need to systematically name and confront the powerful interests blocking climate action. And we need more parents to rise up to protect the children we love – and children everywhere – from the climate crisis, and support the transition to a better tomorrow.
As parents, we will take actions in our own lives. We commit to shifting toward more sustainable ways of living, to actively engaging our communities, and to act politically.
We demand that leaders everywhere step up and make a #ClimatePromise for our kids.
Commit to treating climate change as the global crisis that it is, to work to quickly stabilise global temperatures, and completely decarbonise our economies.
Commit to working towards a rapid and just transition of our societies to clean, renewable energy and increase resilience to climate impacts, ensuring we support those countries, people and groups most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
Commit to challenging the governments and companies that are clinging to unsustainable business models, making sure they work to secure a thriving future for all humanity.
The transition of our societies will in the long-term mean a better future for all of us. It will mean cleaner air, thriving ecosystems and healthier people.
Handing over a liveable world where the next generation can thrive is our moral responsibility as caretakers of our children, and this is a matter of justice for children everywhere. We will use the power of the love for our children, our collective voices and our votes to drive transformational change.
The time to act is right now.
Your Climate Mama, Harriet