Climate Emergencies

Stop. Drop. And Take Climate Action!

Kayla Kelly

Picture this: You’re climbing at your favorite crag with your best buds, when suddenly someone slips clipping into the last bolt. They take a whipper. Hard. Something might be broken. Your crew instantly shifts into emergency mode to get your friend off the wall and onto solid ground.

Well, almost everyone.

As you’re heading over to help, another friend nudges your shoulder, “You good to belay?” they ask while tying in. In awe that they even asked, you point over to your friend with the now broken arm who is being lowered down the wall.

“Oh that?” they respond, “He’ll be fine. It’s not like it’s an emergency or anything.”

Could you imagine being that guy? Ignoring a crisis happening right in front of your eyes?!

Welcome to Climate Emergencies. Some of us are the good friends trying to get our buddy to the hospital, and some of us, well, we just want to carry on like nothing’s out of the ordinary.

But, as we know, good things happen when you treat a crisis as an emergency: like injured friends getting the help they need from experienced doctors, rather than being left to fend for themselves on a wall with a broken arm.

Same goes for our planet. Declaring a climate emergency makes the effects of climate change unavoidable. It means getting our earth the help it needs by taking climate action.

Okay… but what is a Climate Emergency?

When a government declares a climate emergency it puts the government on record in support of taking emergency action to reverse global warming. Which basically means, in the same way a city or state might launch emergency responses during a massive flooding event or intense wildfire season, they plan to take emergency action on climate change with the same force and gusto. Declaring a climate emergency is kind of a big deal. It means we are coming together to take on this crisis and preventing future generations from having to declare these kinds of emergencies.

Already, 27 countries and 1,385 local governments have declared climate emergencies since the first one was declared back in 2016 (yeah, we’ve known it’s an emergency for quite some time). And they are making plans to not only adapt to a changing climate, but mitigate their impact.

For example, after being the first country to declare a climate emergency, Scotland is already on track to have net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Why are we in a state of emergency?

Greenhouse gasses are the biggest contributor to climate change, and just 100 companies are responsible for 71 percent of global emissions alone! We’re in a state of emergency due to a lack of accountability for short term profitability. And that’s a high price to pay.

We are running out of time to turn around the effects global greenhouse gas emissions are having on our environment. Our climate is at its tipping point, meaning we no longer have time to wait. Not only do we need to continue to use our voices but we need to take action on what we’re saying.

So, what can we do?

It’s easy to panic when we hear the word “emergency,” especially in relation to our planet. But fear not! Declaring climate emergencies shows that we’re moving away from climate denial and moving into climate action. Government action on climate is a huge step in the climate movement. We need to continue to use our voices to elect policymakers that hear us.

Let not give them a chance to ignore it. If you haven’t already, make your pledge to vote and join the POW family at the polls this November. You can also sign up for our email list so you never miss that much-coveted POW news.