Climate justice: so hot right now!

Campaigning for change, Food & climate change article written on the 15 Jan 2016

Oxfam staffers at the Climate March rally

By the Climate Justice Campaign team.

2015 was a year of extremes. It was the hottest year on record for our earth.

Devastating droughts, floods and cyclones ripped through some of the world’s most vulnerable communities, destroying people’s homes and livelihoods. We saw the terrible and brutal impacts of climate change in action.

But 2015 also swept in a wave of extreme hope. You and I, along with millions of our sisters and brothers around the world, stood up and took real action on climate change.

We’ve been looking back, and we’re almost speechless at what you and I have achieved in the space of a single year. There’s no way that we could hope to fit everything we’ve done together into a single blog. But we thought we’d share a few highlights.

  • We cranked up the pressure on our political leaders, big time. Thousands upon thousands of powerful messages were sent straight to senior MPs, calling for real action on climate. Hundreds of you met with your local MP in person, or called former PM Abbott’s office to demand urgent change. We made it clear to the Australian Government what the right path of action was and just in case it wasn’t crystal, we travelled to Parliament House in Canberra with a mass delegation of climate justice heroes (including some amazing individuals from the SEED Indigenous Youth Climate Network, Kiribati and across Australia) to tell our MPs face to face.
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  • We confronted big coal and publicly debunked the Australian Government’s dangerous argument that coal is good for humanity. We exposed the devastating impacts of coal on communities living in poverty and revealed how, contrary to industry claims, coal can do little to bring electricity to those still living without it.
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  • We stood proudly with our sisters and brothers in the Pacific, whose very survival is being threatened by the terrible impacts of climate change. Together, we opened our hearts and gave generously when the most severe cyclone in living memory ripped through Vanuatu, so the people hit hardest could rebuild their lives. And we made sure that powerful and inspiring Pacific voices were heard loud and clear by key decision makers and the Australian public.
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  • Then we made history. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in cities around the world to march for a cleaner and fairer climate. Here in Australia, over 150,000 people took action and showed the world that Australia cares as we stood with our First Nations people and our Pacific neighbours, and marched for climate justice. And then, there was Paris. At the UN Climate Summit, our international team worked day and night to capitalise on this wave of people-powered momentum and help deliver the best possible global agreement. The Paris agreement is a true landmark. It’s far from perfect, but it goes beyond what many thought possible, and that’s because people like you and I stood up and demanded more. In many ways, our real work starts now.

With a federal election looming, this year is going to be massive! We’ve got a big job to do, and that’s making sure that real action on climate is at the top of everybody’s agenda. But we have the wind behind us, and we’re ready.

We’re riding a massive global wave of momentum. We’ve got some cracking plans. And most importantly, we’re part of an amazingly powerful and diverse movement of people, who are ready to take the lead and show our decision makers what needs to be done, right now.

2016? Bring it!