Imagine you’re on a bus traveling through a warzone. The bus collides with an oncoming vehicle and somersaults off a cliff. When you come to, everything is chaos around you. The friend you were traveling with is trapped, calling your name, and begging for help. A few feet further away, an injured baby is crying out in pain. At the same time, you can hear the unmistakable ticking of a bomb, but you don’t know where it is, or when it’ll go off. In the not-too-distant distance you can hear gunfire.

You're overwhelmed, everything is happening at once, and it all needs your attention. Do you act, or do you freeze? 

This is the moral situation you might feel yourself in in relation to the world today — and particularly the climate emergency. It’s like playing whack-a-mole with dire environmental realities. If it’s not the worrying levels of carbon emissions we’re pumping into the atmosphere keeping you up at night, it’s the loss of biodiversity, or the deforestation crisis

The understandable response might be to break down in panic. That would be totally fair and there’s definitely room for anger in the climate movement. In fact, according to a recent study by Norwegian scientists, anger is the most powerful emotion by far for spurring climate action. It’s helpful to know, for that’s exactly what we need those powerful emotions to turn into: action.

If you’re angry, or desperate, both, or just want to do something to help, here are eight of the most urgent actions you can take right now to land a couple blows right in the climate emergency’s nuts. 

1. Urge the world’s decision-makers to end deforestation now.

From the Amazon to the Congo Basin, our rainforests are one of nature’s strongest weapons against climate change and a cornerstone of our planet's health. But years of deforestation are driving these vital areas to the point of no return.

Last year, countries pledged to protect 30% of nature by 2030. Now they need to act to keep that pledge.

We can't let promises remain empty — sign this petition to urge leaders to protect our rainforests now.

2. Tell the world about the march to end fossil fuels this September.  

The fossil fuel industry sits at the heart of the climate crisis and we need action now for a liveable planet. 

On Sept. 15 and 17, tens of thousands of people will take to the streets to ask for one simple thing: end fossil fuels.

Spread the word about how everyone around the world can get involved in the global fossil fuel fightback. Tweet now!

3. Sign the petition calling on leaders not to gas Africa.

African land is not a gas station. Millions are losing their homes, don’t have access to food, have their health threatened, and are slipping into higher levels of extreme poverty because of the fossil fuel industry.

Instead of selling fossil fuel extraction rights to big multinational companies, African leaders should invest in clean, renewable energies that will directly benefit people across the continent without damaging their health.

But right now, an African Union committee has proposed an expansion in fossil fuels. We can’t let that happen.

Sign the petition asking African leaders to reject this proposal and prioritize evidence-based policies around a just transition to renewable energy.

4. Tell the White House to end climate justice delays. 

It's been two years since President Biden pledged over $11 billion in aid for climate-vulnerable communities. Have these funds been delivered? No. 

Urge the White House to step up now for global climate justice.

5. Get world leaders to support a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty.

Fossil fuels are driving the climate crisis, yet words like "coal" and "oil" are not mentioned in the Paris agreement. Not even once.

We need governments to support a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty to tackle the crisis at its root — no more fossil fuels.

Join us in making that demand by signing the petition now

6. Tell banks to stop pouring billions into the fossil fuel industry.

In 2021, the International Energy Agency (IEA) announced that there should be no investment in new oil, gas, or coal if we want to avoid climate catastrophe.

Yet, the UK’s banks are pouring billions into the companies at the forefront of oil and gas expansion. This action is jeopardizing our futures.

Tell the banks you won’t bank on them financing our extinction.

7. Tell the UK to stop failing on climate action.

A new report has revealed the UK is failing on almost every climate target on nearly every front in the middle of a climate emergency. This political failure by the government is a betrayal of current and future generations around the world.

Tell us why it's important the UK sticks to its climate promise and we'll hand your messages over to the Prime Minister.

8. Call for shipping emissions to fund climate action.

Tackling the climate crisis is a huge and expensive challenge. 

One potential source of cash could come from taxing the shipping industry — a sector which has so far largely escaped taxation because what happens on the high seas is not in the jurisdiction of any single government.

If we taxed carbon emissions, it would not only encourage shippers to go green faster, but the money raised from those taxes, possibly $100 billion a year, could be channeled to poorer countries to help them fight the climate crisis.

Tweet the USA and Germany to support a shipping emissions tax now.


Defend the Planet

8 Actions You Can Take Right Now to Fight the Climate Emergency

By Tess Lowery