What a blessing!
The International Grandparents for the Climate Coalition had its inaugural meeting this past weekend in Paris! A gathering of elders who came together to raise their voices and speak for future generations.
"Grandparents for the Climate France, Belgium, Switzerland, Norway, Canada, United Kingdom … are determined to call on the 152 heads of State meeting in Paris for the COP 21 to speed up decisions concerning keeping fossil fuels underground and financing a just transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050.”
This new coalition is just the tip of a growing movement.
The Norwegian Grandparents’ Climate Campaign was formed in 2006 by a group of concerned elders, many of whom formerly held influential positions in Norwegian society. Hosted by the environmental organization “The Future in Our Hands”, GCC has proved a significant voice in the public debate on the state of Norway’s climate policy at home and abroad.
The aim of the Norwegian Grandparent’s Campaign is to secure the planet for coming generations – for people as yet unborn, for people we will never meet – by reducing our use of fossil fuels and converting to renewables as fast as possible.
‘It’s a conservative campaign, not revolutionary at all. It’s about conserving and protecting and preserving our planet from further desecration,’ says Mette Newth, one of the founders of the Norwegian Campaign.
Nancy Lindisfarne visited the Norwegian Grandparents and was inspired to set up Grandparents Climate Action in the UK. Based in Oxford, one of the group’s initial actions was a joint rally calling on Oxford University and Oxfordshire City Council to divest from fossil fuels. The impressive Oxford divestment campaign organized a March for a Fossil Free Future, in Oxford, 31st May, 2014. Several hundred people marched through the city, including supporters of Grandparents Climate Action
Another group concerned with intergenerational solidarity are Grandparents for a Safe Earth, based in Bristol. Their vision:
- We hold to the principle that ‘the organism which destroys its environment destroys itself’ (Gregory Bateson).
- We want the Earth’s eco-systems to be kept as intact as possible, thus giving security and well-being to those who follow us.
- We want to leave behind us social structures and cultures which acknowledge our primary dependence upon the Earth.
Why do we need a climate organization just for elders and grandparents? As Elders we share a collective concern – for the legacy that we are leaving to future generations. Working together can strengthen our resolve to do the difficult and challenging work that is needed. We look around and see familiar faces; and we create a positive role model, speaking as global citizens for the sake of all life.
One important reason, as reported by the Irish Times, "Unafraid of the impact a criminal record might have on a career, pensioners are protesting against climate change and calling on banks to move their money out of fossil fuels."
Together we have a moral voice – using our wisdom and our resources, to speak for future generations so that they can enjoy what we have been privileged to receive from our ancestors – a beautiful blue green earth, thriving and just for all inhabitants.
That can be our gift to the future.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
- Learn more about these other organizations and be inspired by your cohorts!
- Consider: Is there an organization you want to join and bring your resources to?
- Read Jim Hansen's book; Storms of My Grandchildren; one book that has inspired many grandparents.
- Finally -- TALK WITH YOUR FRIENDS! Share this blog, and begin a conversation about what you can do together, and how you can support each other.