No business as usual as thousands of businesses support climate protests

No business as usual as thousands of businesses support climate protests

With protests planned around the country and world today, more than 2500 businesses in Australia have pledged their support for workers to participate in strikes.

Tech giant Atlassian is on the list of businesses signing up to the, ‘This is Not Business As Usual’ pledge, as is Canva, Maurice Blackburn Lawyer, Aesop, Slater & Gordon and many others (including Women’s Agenda).

These businesses are aiming to support workers in backing the millions of school students expected to march around the world.

And they come as Greta Thunberg delivered her highly anticipated speech in Congress, declaring that she has a dream she will one day be able to return to school and those in power start acting on climate change.

“Every business can do something, whether it’s closing the doors, having a meeting free day, allowing a long lunch, or sending an email to make it clear teams will not be penalised for taking a few hours off,” the pledge, organised by Future Super, reads.

“The reality is that while it’s not up to the private sector to lead climate action, we can do our part in this first of a kind moment.”

The list has come together in just a week, after one business said they would close down their doors on the day of the global climate strike. “This is the power of taking a stand, and standing together,” the pledge organisers say.

It’s not business as usual for the world’s children to skip school to get adults to pay attention to the climate crisis.

It’s not business as usual for those children to have to ask the adults to skip work.

It’s not business as usual for citizens to strike to get governments to make meaningful commitments to climate action.

So, on Friday 20 September, we’re not doing business as usual.”

Meanwhile, 250 academics have signed an open letter today stating they can “no longer tolerate” the failure of governments to take robust and urgent action on climate change.

“We can no longer tolerate the failure of the Australian government, or any other government, to take robust and urgent action to address the worsening ecological crisis.”

The open letter notes the Earth has already undergone a 1C rise, with 200 species becoming extinct each day, including species of insects that are vital for our food system. It notes the many who have already died or been displaced as a result of a rapidly warming climate, and that July 2019 was the Earth’s hottest on record.

Arctic peat is burning and ice is melting at rates far beyond even the most radical scientific predictions. The Amazon is burning at an alarming rate. All are creating devastating feedback loops, releasing more CO2 and reducing the Earth’s heat reflecting capacities.”

“Humans cannot continue to violate the fundamental laws of nature or ignore the basic science with impunity. As oceans rise and temperatures soar, ecosystems will continue to collapse. As resources diminish, social unrest and civilisation collapse are likely. The most marginalised and vulnerable in society will be hit first and hit hardest. And If we continue on our current path, the future of our own species is bleak.

A transcript from Greta Thunberg’s speech to Congress reveals the school student wants to return to school, along with millions of school striking youth.

“My name is Greta Thunberg, I am 16 years old and I’m from Sweden. I am grateful for being with you here in the USA. A nation that, to many people, is the country of dreams,” she began in her speech.

“I also have a dream: that governments, political parties and corporations grasp the urgency of the climate and ecological crisis and come together despite their differences – as you would in an emergency – and take the measures required to safeguard the conditions for a dignified life for everybody on earth.

“Because then – we millions of school striking youth – could go back to school.

I have a dream that the people in power, as well as the media, start treating this crisis like the existential emergency it is. So that I could go home to my sister and my dogs. Because I miss them.”

A second global strike is planned for September 27.

Capital city protest locations below, see the full list here. 

Sydney, 12pm The Domain

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