Collective Leadership for Climate Change Action

By November 30, 2015General News


I recently spoke at the Bendigo Climate March as part of the climate marches happening around Australia and the world in the lead up to the upcoming United Nations Conference on Climate change.

When reflecting on what I was going to say I had mixed emotions present themselves.

First I was excited, I thought yeh, I can rev people up in the crowd and get people excited to take action on climate change.

But then I started to feel sad. I was thinking
about how we are seeing evidence of weather patterns changing already
and what that means for our children, and their children and all the
children around us, and countries around the world that will experience
far greater impacts than us.

This sadness quickly turned into anger. The more I thought about it, the more angry I
got.  Why are we meeting yet again to call for more action on climate
change? Climate change has been known as an issue for many many years
now and we are still having to turn up to rallies like today to call for
stronger action.

Over that time of turning up to rallies, it seems Australia has gone backwards in good policy to address the issue.

After vetting my
anger, I read Tim Flannery’s email from the Climate Council about the
upcoming Paris Talks and he said he is feeling hopeful.

He said:

“In 2009, 190 countries met in Copenhagen to discuss a global agreement on climate change. And while the conference was widely dismissed as a failure, it actually triggered a significant shift in global energy use and production away from fossil fuels – giving rise to the renewables revolution.

And now six years later, as I head off to Paris for the climate talks, I’m hopeful. Because conferences like these don’t make change – they mark it.
These talks will give yet another boost to the momentum we’re already
seeing behind this renewable energy revolution. The commitments made by
countries as part of the Paris talks will alone almost quadruple
renewables capacity by 2030!”

Then it dawned on
me. There is a revolution happening and it is happening now – we are
seeing it on the ground, in Bendigo, in communities all over Australia,
in communities all over the world.

This revolution will continue to grow and be
successful when we take on an approach of “collective leadership” – that is regardless of the role we play no matter how big or
small we are ALL leaders. It’s individuals, neighbourhoods, schools, towns,
businesses, politicians, global leaders everyone.

This isn’t
about us vs them, one side of politics over another, one powerful
organization vs a small community. There is only one side and it’s
called US – HUMAN BEINGS. This is about humanity and we are all in this
together, and all of us can be a part of it.

can do this at a personal level and we must also do this at a community
and a global level. We need to collaborate with people and organisations we don’t
normally work with. We need to have a louder voice when it comes to
advocating to our politicians. We need to go out of our comfort zones and encourage others to do the same. We need to know that collectively we can
make a difference and it is going to take something and it will be worth
it if we do.

All of a sudden I was feeling empowered and inspired again!

Hundreds of thousands of people marched around the world over the weekend of 27-29 November 2015. Time will tell, but it seems that positive change is happening!