On 20 September 2019, ISES Board Members as well as members of the ISES HQ Team joined Global Climate Strike events all around the globe. Together with more then 7,6 Million people around the world, ISES representatives and members stood up for a urgent transformation towards 100% renewable energy for all, used efficiently and wisely.
Below find some impressions of ISES members joining the strikes in Australia, the US and Germany.
Impressions from the US
ASES @ Climate Strikes
ASES, like ISES, is dedicated to accelerating the transformation to 100% renewable energy worldwide. Members work each day in a wide variety of ways toward this goal. On Friday September 20, many joined the youth climate strikes to express solidarity with the movement which is amplifying attention on the climate crisis and the needed actions for addressing it.
The US Youth Climate Strike Coalition issued the following 5 demands.
1. A Green New Deal
Transform our economy to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2030 and phase out all fossil fuel extraction through a just and equitable transition, creating millions of good jobs; and call a halt to all leasing and permitting for fossil fuel extraction, processing and infrastructure immediately.
2. Respect of Indigenous Land and Sovereignty
Honor the treaties protecting Indigenous lands, waters, and sovereignty by immediately halting all construction, leasing, and permitting for resource extraction, processing and infrastructure projects affecting or on Indigenous lands; and recognize the Rights of Nature into law to protect our sacred ecosystems and align human law with natural law to ban resource extraction in defense of our environment and people.
3. Environmental Justice
A transition that invests in prosperity for communities on the frontlines of poverty and pollution; and welcomes those displaced by the cumulative effects of the climate crisis, economic inequality, violence, and lack of opportunity.
4. Protection and Restoration of Biodiversity
Protection and restoration of 50% of the world’s lands and oceans including a halt to all deforestation by 2030.
5. Implementation of Sustainable Agriculture
Investment in farmers and regenerative agriculture and an end to subsidies for industrial agriculture.
These demands can be met. For example, we know that dramatic transformation of the fossil fuel energy system to renewable energy technologies, coupled with more efficient and wise use of energy, are feasible, economically viable, and will ensure a healthier, more prosperous, and sustainable world for all. We also know that much work lies ahead in implementing the solutions. It is uplifting to see the growing support for the energy transformation. However, we also know that we will need everyone to help however they can.
Text by Paulette Middleton, ISES Secretary and ASES Immediate Past Chair
Image: At the Boulder Colorado US Strike, left to right: ASES Staff – Carly Rixham, Izzy Sofio, Carly Cipolla, ASES/ISES Board Member Paulette Middleton, and ISES President Dave Renné
Impressions from Australia
Strike for Climate or Fridays for Future – Australia 20th September
On September 20th about 300,000 Australians including 2500 Businesses from over 100 locations round the country joined millions from over the world in “Strike for Climate” rallies.
In Adelaide, South Australia I was just one of between 10,000 – 20,000 mostly young people, though supported by people of all ages, who marched the 2.6 km from the rallying point to Parliament House to the rousing chant of “What do we want – Climate Action…. When do we want it – Now!” with many holding banners urging our leaders to take stronger action to do more in this time of climate emergency. I spoke to a student standing next to me and asked about her school’s reaction to her participating in the event and she said that her school had provided a bus for students to attend. Great to hear of an enlightened school. I was also very proud to hear that my 16 year old grand daughter, Laura, in another part of Australia, Ballarat, spoke to a crowd about the need for increased local use of RE and reduction of waste.
The next day there was the usual mix of positive and negative comments in the media with the right wing media berating the marchers and claiming teacher activists were pressuring students to strike and that climate change fearmongering is causing anxiety in children as young as 10. It will be interesting to see how this movement grows in coming times and whether the sceptics’ voices will be drowned out. Many of the students will soon become voters and politicians who ignore them do so at their peril.
Text by Monica Oliphant, ISES Immediate Past President
Image: Monica Oliphant at the Adelaide Climate Strike
Impressions from Germany
In Freiburg, Germany members of the ISES HQ - which has been located in Freiburg since 1995 - joined the more than 30,000 protesters. This year's Global Climate Strike was a record breaker for Freiburg as it became Freiburg's biggest protest ever.
ISES team members Jennifer McIntosh, Liane Aziz, Kira Telukunta and Arabella Liehr joined the crowd sharing ISES message of 100% renewable energy for all, used efficiently and wisely.
Image: from left to right: Arabella Liehr, Jennifer McIntosh, Kiran Telukunta