Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Making our voices heard on climate change

On Sunday morning, WI members from as far north as Yorkshire and Manchester, and as far west as Cornwall and Somerset gathered in London. They were joined by their families and friends to march alongside 40,000 other climate conscious campaigners from across the UK, adding their voices to calls for positive action on climate change ahead of today’s UN Climate Summit in New York. The rally had a festival feel, all generations from babies to great grandmothers joined in to celebrate the things we love that will be affected by climate change, and to demonstrate to government that scale of public support for ambitious action to safeguard the planet for future generations.  

 Here, some of the WI members that attended share with us why they believe action on climate change is so very important.

Protecting future generations was a common theme – Evelyn, who had travelled from Middlesex, explained:  “Like many WI members, I have children and grandchildren and I'm looking to their futures. We encourage them to work hard at school and in employment to have 'a better life' but that 'better life' will not happen if we continue to squander the earth's resources and pollute our atmosphere, seas and the land too.”

Susan from Wiltshire added: “Climate change is the most important issue of our time! Marching is one way of taking action and bringing the issue of climate change to the attention of everyone – keeping the planet green for the love of bees and my children and grandchildren.”

Pippa from Cornwall joined the march because of her concern that “We seem to be dangerously close to a number of tipping points. I feel that without action on climate change my children and grandchildren have no future, and I can see no other way of making a difference.”

And it was not only future generations that WI members were concerned about: “One of my fellow-marchers mentioned that her house had been flooded earlier in the week following a torrential downpour. This is the sort of incident that brings the reality closer to home. We need to think of other women across the world who have to cope with floods and droughts, that make their lives even more difficult.”

Another common theme from WI members was the frustration at the lack of action on the part of global leaders to create the framework to challenge climate change. Jan, a member from Wiltshire explained: “I feel very passionately about the damage which is being done to our lovely planet in the quest for non-renewable resources. There is so little being done by world leaders and politicians; they do not seem to see the bigger picture of what trouble we are creating for future generations, and pay lip service but do not take action.”

Jenny, from London added: “Our leaders must create the political will and policies to fund the technology and implement the means to avert the effects of continued carbon emissions now confidently predicted by 97% of the scientific community and based on hard evidence.”

There was a feeling that the inaction on the part of global leaders was exacerbated by business interests. Anne, a member who had travelled from Somerset expanded on this: “There are enough resources at our disposal to do without fossil fuels. The problem is there is too much vested interest at stake from big business to get the required investment. We are held to ransom by the oil companies.”

Finally, Jean from Manchester, set out some of the green policies she would like to see implemented in the future: “I am worried about the inertia from world leaders. All London buses and taxis could be electric to reduce pollution and health impacts such as asthma. All new build could have solar energy to help electricity consumption during the day. All political parties need to be green.”


  1. It is now, sadly, apparent that we cannot rely on our political leaders to take the meaningful action required to peg carbon emissions at a safe(r) level and need to make our voices heard around the world if we are to have any hope of protecting the futures of ourselves and our families.

    Effective action on climate change must be all governments' number one priority, but also as a people we need to understand that the importance of living in harmony with the fragile ecosystem that we are battling to protect. We are but one link in this complicated system of interaction and interdependence that is life on earth

  2. Climate change is a matter that we should all address, especially when dealing with the rising and recurring floods, which have been happening like never before. They have even been repeatedly seeping into homes, right down to basements. We should look into the root cause of the problem, while applying the more immediate treatments, such as water damage restoration simultaneously. Thanks for sharing that!

    Gail Wallace @ Water Damage Restoration Southern California