Earlier this month, Melinda Booth (Executive Director) and Ashley Overhouse (River Policy Manager) represented the SYRCL and Yuba River Waterkeeper at the inspiring and informative Global Climate Action Summit along with California Coastkeeper Alliance and Waterkeeper Alliance in San Francisco, CA.
The Global Climate Action Summit brought together representatives from states, regions, cities, and companies to celebrate current successes regarding climate action and incite deeper commitments to push down global emissions by 2020.
“There was no shortage of announcements at the meeting. Cities like Tokyo, Rotterdam and West Hollywood signed joint pledges to only buy zero-emissions buses after 2025. Companies like Walmart and Unilever rolled out new programs to limit deforestation in their huge supply chains. Dozens of philanthropic groups committed $4 billion over the next five years to fight climate change.” (NYTimes; 9/15/18)
We are hopeful that these actions can grow and multiply quickly enough to significantly decrease global emissions, and lessen the impacts of climate change on the most vulnerable populations and areas of our planet.
The road forward is long though, and it will take significant change, sacrifice, and commitment from everyone if there is to be any hope for a climate-stable future. In fact, most of the proposals made at the summit did not even meet the necessary rapid large scaled transformations needed to keep the planet’s warming below the internationally agreed upon 2 degrees Celcius change – a change that still means bigger storms, longer droughts, and rising seas. But those are the challenges we must rise to, and collaborating with politicians, businesses, NGOs, and individuals alike is an inspiring place to start.
Reporting back from the conference, Melinda Booth shares her personal thoughts: “In the plenary this morning, we heard from loads of inspiring folks. Two stood out to me. Harrison Ford channeled my need for nature to be represented stating ‘nature doesn’t need people. People need nature.’ And Winnie Byanyima with Oxfam logically reminded us that the solution to ‘climate change is a political challenge, not a technical one.’ And always good to hear from one of my sheroes Dr. Jane Goodall!”
We are so proud to have had the opportunity to represent our work at this Summit and to be part of a global collaboration working to tackle the climate crisis.