Aug 1, 2018
by Tish Levee
On September 8th, join others in city streets, town squares, and capital buildings across the nation and around the world, as people rise up to demand politicians stand with their communities to deliver more than just words at theGlobal Climate Action Summit in San Francisco Sept. 14th-18th.
This will be the largest climate action ever. Four years ago I was one of the 400K people— joined by 375K people around the rest of the world—who marched in New York before the UN Meeting on Climate—the run up to the Paris Accords of 2015. At that time we hoped to impress upon national and international leaders the seriousness of the climate crisis and the need for action, not just words.
This time the focus of the summit, called by Governor Brown, will be on local leadership. So there will be actions locally everywhere, but the focus will be on San Francisco, because that is where local and regional government and business leaders will gather to showcase local climate action happening worldwide and to inspire deeper commitments from each other and from their national governments.
This largest such gathering ever is an opportunity to pressure local leadership to step up to do much more to stop the fossil fuel industry and build 100% renewable energy for us all. And that is why it is so important for us to turn out in massive numbers. (Unfortunately, I won’t be able to be in San Francisco on September 8th, as I will be recovering from surgery, but I am hoping all my readers will be there, as I will be in spirit.) Go tohttps://ca.riseforclimate.org now and register for the Sept. 8th event. While there you can sign up for updates, view a map of actions worldwide to date, and RSVP for another location if you need to.
This summit has to be about more than just words; communities, regions, governments, businesses, communities of faith, all have to increase their ambitions and commitments to go far beyond the Paris agreement, closing the gap left by slow national action.
We are at a tipping point. Because 2020 is the threshold for meeting global targets for tackling the climate crisis, we are running out of time. National governments have not provided meaningful action on this crisis quickly enough; we need to transition from fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy for all and we need to do it soon!
Here in California we have made great progress, as have many other regions and countries, some of which I have written about in earlier columns, but it is still too slow—too little and very late.
Because the impacts of climate change—heat waves (there’s one in Scandinavia near the Arctic Circle), floods (in Houston in July), droughts (currently in Northern Europe), wildfires (too close to home for comfort this summer), and insect borne diseases (which have tripled since 2004), just some of them—are escalating, we don’t have the luxury of waiting for bureaucratic negotiations. We need local leadership—right now—to curtail the fossil fuel industry and enable 100% renewable energy worldwide.
This Global Climate Summit is a unique opportunity to pressure local governments and institutions to do so much more for climate action. Every city and local leader has been invited to make a commitment to the summit’s goals, and we need to impress upon them the seriousness of this venture.
We can’t continue to pass responsibility for dealing with the climate crisis to national governments or international organizations. We must set a new bar for climate leadership, closing the gap between what justice and science clearly tell us.
This mobilization will NOT be the end of our actions—we must keep the pressure on local, state, and national leaders to “walk their talk” to a fossil free world.
Simply speaking, we must have public, actionable commitments to a fast and fair transition to that world, with 100% renewable clean energy for everyone.
The time for powering our lives with dirty fuels is long past; it’s now time to re-power our world and our lives with clean, renewable energy from the sun, wind, water, and geothermal.
Every local government and every institution must commit to building 100% renewable energy and to blocking all dirty energy projects in their community. All local leadership has the power—and the moral obligation—to do everything in their power to achieve this.
On September 8th, let us rise together in our neighborhoods to take action, showing our local governments how to follow our lead. Connecting all of our local efforts globally will help create an unstoppable wave of people’s climate leadership—from our city halls to our schools, to our places of worship.
Such a just, equitable, and resilient 100% renewable energy economy will create rapidly expanding economic opportunity and family-sustaining jobs while protecting vulnerable communities, workers, and future generations.
Every branch library has a “Regional Parks Discovery Pack” available to check out for one week. It includes a backpack, a parking pass good at all 56 regional parks, a parks map, trail maps, hiking tips, wildlife guides, and many other items, some of which you can keep.
© Tish Levee, 2018
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