From a rural town in Australia to the bustling metropolis of Mexico City — the climate crisis has had an impact everywhere, as insights shared by Global Citizens all over the world reveal.
Global Citizen set out to show leaders gathering at the COP26 summit taking place in Glasgow, UK next week, just how seriously climate change is affecting many different communities.
Dozens of people have taken part in the campaign by sharing a short video clip, stating where they live, how they have been affected by climate events such as extreme weather, and what they want to see leaders do in response.
The result is an astonishing range of poignant observations, bringing home the extent to which all human beings are affected in one way or another by the planet’s warming — and why action must be taken to mitigate these effects without delay.
See the Interactive Map: It’s Now or Never: World Voices for Climate Action
The resulting map will be available for Global Citizens to share on social media tagging G20 leaders, urging them to take action. It will also be shown at Global Citizen’s stand at the COP26 summit for world leaders to see.
🚨 @POTUS@BorisJohnson@RegSprecher@JustinTrudeau@kishida230@Palazzo_Chigi@EUCouncil: Global Citizens everywhere are speaking up with one clear message: It’s #NowOrNever to defend the planet. We need you to listen. We need you to act. @GlblCtzn#COP26https://t.co/CHRadLaPkp— Global Citizen Impact (@GlblCtznImpact) November 1, 2021
After a summer of extreme weather which saw deadly forest fires and flooding around the world, including in Turkey, China, India, Greece, Germany, and the US, the effects of a warming planet are already being felt. At COP26 it is vital that countries step up and make the commitments needed to reach net zero emissions, and that wealthy nations provide the $100 billion a year needed to help lower-income nations adapt to climate change and transition to a green economy.
Here are some of the messages from Global Citizens who took part in the campaign — you can see the full range of videos displayed on this digital interactive world map, and share the video direct to world leaders on Twitter by taking action here.
1. Nathalie in New York City Remembers When Summers Weren't So Hot
Nathalie starts her video message to leaders by saying viewers might think she is “too young” to fully know the changes that have already occurred in her community due to the climate crisis. However, she says, “I remember when summers were never this hot, winters were never this severe, and floods were a rare occurrence.” Extreme floods in New York killed 14 people this summer.
Nathalie concluded by saying: “I implore you to take this seriously, because when you took that seat in office, when you chose to be a leader in our community, and you chose to represent our needs, then you need to acknowledge that this is our most pressing need.”
2. Stavros in Greece Said His City Was Destroyed By a Flood
Hailing from Karditsa, a city in mainland Greece, Stavros explains that climate change has impacted where he lives in the “worst possible way.”
“Last year we had a flood and almost all the city was destroyed,” says Stavros. He adds the message he has for world leaders is for them to “take much more care for the planet we live on.”
According to news reports the flash flooding in Karditsa in 2020 destroyed bridges, part of the road network, and cut off farms from the surrounding area.
3. Gideon in Nigeria Says Climate Change Has Led to Food Insecurity
Gideon is a Global Citizen based in Kwara State, in northern Nigeria. In his video message he explains how weather irregularities and droughts have led to crop failures that are impacting farmers, their families, and the food supply.
“Climate change has adversely affected farmers… they can’t cultivate crops well, and it’s affecting what they can take to the market to sell.” Gideon adds that even the fruits and vegetables that do reach the market are “not top quality” because they’ve not been watered well. He calls on world leaders to “continue to make amendments to laws and policy that will help tackle the climate effect and force actions locally and internationally.”
4. Eleanor’s Family Farm in Australia Was Destroyed by a Wildfire
Eleanor is based in Wagga Wagga, a small city in a rural part of New South Wales in Australia. In her video she explains how a bush fire swept through her dad’s farm, “affecting her family’s financial and mental state.”
She explains that out of control bushfires are a phenomenon that is more likely to occur as a result of climate change, adding that predicted weather changes in the area include longer heatwaves and more extreme cold and hot temperatures throughout the year.
Eleanor adds that the Australian government is ignoring the issue and wants to see a “depoliticization” of the issue of climate change in the country. She says: “I’m absolutely horrified by the negligence and the lack of accountability by the Australian government. I want to see a 2040 federal net zero emissions target, at least.”
5. Mary in the Philippines Is Concerned About Frequent Weather Disasters
Mary lives in Cavite, in the Philippines. She says it is concerning that “disasters, diseases, and a constantly changing environment are appearing in my country.”
She says she is also worried that children can’t live normal lives, for example by playing outside because of weather-related risks. Her message for leaders is that they should “face the future of the country and work on improving it for the betterment of the youth or the next generation.”
6. Marco in Mexico City Says Pollution Is Impacting Health
Marco is from one the world’s biggest cities, Mexico City. And in his message he says he is concerned about deforestation, polluting companies, and the increasing number of cars on the roads.
“There are so many cars in this city, this means that in the morning there is a big cloud of smoke… as a result the health of the population has been deteriorating rapidly,” he adds.
He calls on world leaders to help stop climate change, plant more trees, and make companies sustainable and non-polluting.
7. Brian in the UK Is Worried About Coastal Erosion
Brian lives in Devon, a coastal region in the UK. He says climate change has affected his community by causing extreme weather events that puts pressure on local infrastructure and is causing the erosion of the coastline and sea defences, affecting the local community. “Agriculture is also struggling to adjust to these extraordinary changes,” he adds.
Brian uses his video to highlight just how long the issue of climate change has been under discussion by politicians around the world, without much action. “I’m 65, and I’ve been aware of many of these issues since my teenage years and politicians have been debating them all that time,” he says.
He adds: “We do need to act, please be decisive and save our world.”
8. Madelena in Kenya Says Rising Water Levels Have Caused Displacement
Madelena sends her message from where she lives in the Nakuru region in Kenya, where she says her local community has been badly affected by rising water levels.
“This has been a big problem for us,” she explains. “Some of the people who live near water, around the lakes, have been displaced due to rising water levels.”
She also explains that most people in the region are farmers and they have been affected too by long-lasting dry seasons, meaning they are making less money.
“I call on leaders to come together and see how we can help in healing this climate change… make sure to attend the world’s biggest climate change summit,” she adds.