Let's make 2020 our biggest year of climate action yet

A letter from Katerina Gaita, Climate for Change's Founder and CEO, on how to harness the movement's momentum and make this year our biggest climate year yet.

15 January, 2020

Dear friends,

Climate for Change staff members are now all back to work, ready to do all we can to stop and reverse the climate breakdown we are all seeing unfold before our very eyes.

Like you, I imagine, we are grappling with mixed and overwhelming emotions - grief, anxiety, frustration, anger, disbelief - but also hope. 

I keep holding on to the fact that we are now seeing people speaking out who have not done so before - people who are influential and people from all sides of politics. 

We must not lose this moment and when the dust (smoke) does settle, we must keep working to build upon it.

One of my favourite signs I’ve seen at a rally said “I kept waiting for someone to do something - and then I realised I was someone.”

We are all someone. We all have a role to play in fixing this problem before it is too late. No matter who you are and whatever climate action you have taken so far, I ask you to seize this moment, reflect on how you can make the biggest impact on climate and commit to making this your biggest year of climate action yet.

What is the most powerful thing we can do?

Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet; nor a one size fits all action. I’ve spoken previously of climate action as a practice - something we make regular time for in our lives, the way we do exercise or a religious practice - with six pillars: be informed, make personal change, make system change, reach out, donate and volunteer.

I encourage you to make 2020 the year you start a climate practice, putting aside time to do something from each of those pillars on a regular basis.

In the meantime, here are five immediate actions you can take to get started for the year. Why not challenge yourself to do them by the end of the week?

  1. Write to Siemens CEO, Joe Kaeser asking him to overturn Monday’s decision to honour their contract to work on the Adani coal mine. You can also write a message on Siemens’ Facebook page here. And sign a petition here.
  2. Demand UniSuper stops investing in fossil fuels
  3. Write to your Federal MP asking them to speak out on the need for stronger climate action and to support Zali Steggal’s proposed Climate Change Bill. You can find out who your MP is and how to contact them here and our website has tips on writing to them. Writing letters - like pretty much anything - is easier and more fun with others, so why not join or start a local MP Engagement Group?
  4. Join School Strikers for Climate Action at a bushfire solidarity vigil this Friday 17th January - details of events around the country are here
  5. And of course, have conversations linking the fires to climate change and talking about the action you are taking. The following resources can help you:

Our fortnightly climate update returns this Friday. At the end of each update, we always give you at least three climate actions you can take. Why not make your new year’s resolution to block time in your diary every weekend after our update comes out each fortnight to action those items? You could even invite some friends over to do it with you with tea and cake!

Finally, please take care of yourself both physically and emotionally. You are no good to the climate movement sick or burnt out. Please stay in doors as much as possible on very hot or smoky days. Check the EPA website for air quality warnings and wear a P2 facemask if you go outside on bad days. Find people to talk to about your climate grief. Seek professional help if you need to and remember one of the things that helps the most with feelings of anxiety and grief associated with climate change is taking action with others. If you can’t get your friends together, then consider volunteering with us or another climate organisation.

In solidarity and hope,

Katerina

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