Global Climate Change Week is a new initiative designed to encourage academics in all disciplines and countries to engage with their students and communities on climate change action and solutions. Global Climate Week will run from October 19-25, 2015
Global Climate Change Week (http://globalclimatechangeweek.com/) is a new initiative designed to encourage academics in all disciplines and countries to engage with their students and communities on climate change. It will run from October 19-25 this year in the lead-up to the UN Conference of the Parties meeting in Paris in December. This will be the first time that academics from across academia and around the world have united to create such an event.
Given the scale and potentially catastrophic nature of the risks posed by climate change, there is surprisingly little organised opposition to current climate policies, despite their obvious inadequacy. The longer we take to reform present policies, the worse the effects are likely to be, especially for the world’s poor, future generations, and non-human species. Consequently, it is urgent to heighten the pressure on policy makers and other powerful actors for more resolute action. GCCW will provide one appropriate stimulus for academics in particular to do so
Suggested activities for communities
Join or establish a divestment campaign – A divestment campaign is a great way to get a community group involved in an active effort to take action on climate change. You could form a group to petition your local council, or a local business or institution, or you could join an existing divestment campaign. 350.org provides information and support for divestment campaigns and can help you start your own group or find an existing one.
Ask your state or local government to become carbon neutral – While there are major challenges in getting some national governments to sign up to ambitious carbon reduction targets, some sub-national authorities are setting the pace and signing up to become carbon neutral (or net zero emissions). For example, Copenhagen, Melbourne and Adelaide will all be carbon neutral by 2025. You could organise a campaign encouraging your state or local authority to take similar steps, based on the growing number of precedents. Such campaigns could also be targeted at businesses or public institutions.
Organise your own public event – Organising a public event, such as a march, a round table or a talk by a prominent person, can really help to raise awareness of climate change issues in your area. You can search the GCCW map (link) to see if there is an academic in your area already involved in GCCW who may be willing to speak. You could also contact local experts, politicians, community leaders, and celebrities to see if they are willing to speak at your event.
Support community renewable energy projects – Supporting renewable energy providers and local green energy projects allows individuals to make a positive impact on climate change. You may also consider forming your own group focused on this issue. There are many organisations and government programs offering support to local renewable energy groups, so you may want to contact your local government to see if they can assist you.
Plant trees – A tree planting (or similar ecosystem renewal program) is a good way to get the community involved, have some fun outdoors, and make a positive impact on the local environment. There may be existing bush regeneration or nature conservation programs in your area, or you could form your own group and contact local businesses and organisations for support. Community nurseries often provide local plant species at or near cost for revegetation activities, and activities can be used to create media and public interest in addressing climate change.
Start or sign petitions – Signing a petition is an excellent way for you to get your voice heard on topics that matter. The Global Call for Climate Action lists a variety of petition covering various issues relating to climate change, making it easy for you to get involved. Starting your own petition is also a way to amplify your own voice and bring community concerns to bear on decision-makers such as governments, businesses and other organisations.