Finance Ministers from the G20 (the 20 countries with the largest economies) meet on 18th and 19th July 2020; they meet several times a year to help set the agenda for the annual meeting of the G20 heads of state (presidents and prime ministers). Parents from around the world have targeted these finance ministers, many of them parents themselves, and are calling on them to chart a green recovery from the coronavirus crisis, with their children and ours in mind. We need to remind our leaders, at every level and every step of the way that our climate emergency is here, now and happening, we are all impacted, but some of us first and worst. Our children’s future and now, rests on the shoulders of us all, but certainly those that can “go big” like our finance ministers, must.
Parents are urging finance ministers not to fuel the climate crisis when developing and deciding on national and global economic recovery packages. We must be smart, we must be wise and we must be thoughtful on how to build stronger and better. We need our leaders to see, demand, and create this thoughtful recovery too.
In the quotes below, parents from the US, Brazil, South Africa, UK, India and Australia, as part of Our Kids’ Climate and Parents For Future, urge recommendations that are real and lasting to address our climate emergency. These two organizations bring parents together worldwide to act on climate for the sake of our children.
Our ClimateMama, Harriet is honored to be including as a voice for these critical calls to action. Please share our demands to action widely. #justrecovery #G20
Harriet Shugarman, college professor, climate activist with Climatemama and former IMF economist, New York City, NY – and mother of two young adult children (20 & 22) – said:
“Our leaders are meeting at an historic, unique and critical time in our shared and collective history. Charting a sustainable and clearly directed path forward for our planet and our children is within their grasp. We would urge them to keep the children they know in their minds eyes as they discuss policies and make decisions. Our children’s future will be forever shaped by the recovery they choose at this defining moment.”
Xoli Fuyani from Earthchild in South Africa and a foster mother to two children aged 12, said:
“We must move away from fossil-fuelled business as usual and set the world on a better path. In South Africa, a country with high unemployment, renewables have so much potential, and could generate jobs as well as cleaner energy. We risk handing our children a broken world on the verge of climate chaos. Every tonne of carbon emitted takes us closer to dangerous climate tipping points. Our economic recovery from this dangerous pandemic must be the moment we create the world our children deserve.”
Rowan Rylie, a lawyer and mother to two girls aged two and six, and an activist from Parents for Future UK said:
“Our leaders are about to spend significant public money on charting our recovery from this brutal pandemic. This money should be an investment rather than another cost to our children’s future. It must not add to the tremendous environmental debt we are already leaving them. Investing in a green recovery will create more and better jobs for our children, both now and in the future. We urge our leaders to be bold and invest in the climate safe recovery our children need.”
Bhavreen Kandhari, an environmentalist from Parents for Future India, and parent to twin 16-year-old girls said:
“As parents we need to keep an unwavering focus on our children’s future. We demand that governments around the world invest in sectors that are climate friendly and keep our children safe. Grow clean energy, get rivers de-silted, build rain harvesting structures, and protect trees and forests. Countries like India must not build back collapsed economies with outdated fossil fuels like coal.”
Clara Ramos from Familias pelo Clima (Parents for Future Brazil) and a mother of two children aged 11 and nine said:
“It is essential that the Brazilian government makes concrete commitments to the environment, reverse the dismantling of the country’s environmental governance structure that took place over the past year and present a plan for a sustainable and socially just economic recovery. In the midst of this crisis, we have a unique opportunity to correct this outdated and self-destructive route that the Brazilian government has chosen. After all, we already know that no economic recovery will be sustainable unless it is green and inclusive.”
“It is also important that a movement towards green recovery does not leave any country behind. The richest countries and their multinational companies must assume their responsibility for the creation of a zero-carbon economy throughout the planet, allowing life and self-support for all, today and in the future.”
Leanne Brummel from Australian Parents for Climate Action and a mother of a teenager aged 16, said:
“We cannot build our way out of one disaster by fuelling the next. Here in Australia, we have seen the impact of the climate crisis and coronavirus this year. The bushfires forced people from their homes, coronavirus saw them confined within them. Our wildlife was burnt in the bushfires and it is feared koalas could become extinct. In such a heart-breaking year, we need leaders with compassion and vision. Bailing out fossil fuel industries and continuing to export coal and gas will condemn children to more disasters and losses. We must keep them safe. The climate crisis has not gone away, it remains a threat to our children and their futures.”
For interviews with parents on green recovery please get in touch with Rebecca Wynn @ firstname.lastname@example.org
- Our Kids’ Climate is a network of climate-parent groups from around the world, who are uniting for climate action to protect their children. It was established at the Paris Climate Talks in 2015. It represents 56 parent-led organizations from 18 countries.
- Parents For Future was formed in 2019 by a network of parents inspired by Greta Thunberg and the Fridays For Future movement. There are over 130 groups in more than 27 countries worldwide working to engage adults and normalise climate activism at local, national and global levels.