The world is running out of time if we rely solely on political institution to solve the climate crisis.
2015 looms large as a critical year when we must act swiftly and strong if we are to have any chance of limiting global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius, let alone get back to the 350 parts per million of atmospheric CO2 that scientists say is necessary.
The Rio+20 Earth Summit in June of 2012 was meant to be the starting point for a three year push to 2015, but the summit ended in a whimper rather than a bang and 2015 will eventually follow, unless an international climate movement can generate an unprecedented level of political pressure for climate action.
We need a massive and sustained show of force that disrupts the status quo and captures the public’s imagination. This ambitious goal is within reach. With a loose collection of organizations, activists, and networks in nearly every country on earth, the climate movement has the necessary potential to facilitate this sort of global groundswell. Now it’s time for us to realize this potential.
Global Power Shift (GPS) began with an international climate leaders summit of mostly young people in Istanbul, Turkey, June 24-30, 2013. The week-long summit was the chance for us to refine skills, create personal bonds and community, share a global vision for change, and strategize how to organize different actions and similar summits back home. Now, in country after country we are organizing national or regional summits.
Depending on the size of the host country, the summits bring together anywhere between hundreds or thousands of activists and partners. The national summits are opportunities to build on or launch national climate campaigns and to empower participants from around the country to return home equipped to lead local action groups. Local groups in turn educate the public about the realities and solutions to climate change, implement solutions projects and campaigns, and recruit for mass global action leading into 2014 and 2015.
Together, we are creating the global power shift our world needs to effectively confront the climate crisis.