If 2019 has taught us anything it is that a month can be a very long time in climate politics. In the month since the UK Parliament declared a climate and environment emergency, we have a seen a green wave in the European Parliament elections and over a million school students strike for the climate.
This upwelling of political energy needs a response which shows that “mainstream” organisations are using their weight and power to tackle the climate crisis. Failure to respond will confirm the often-heard accusation that “elite” politics are broken; risking disillusion and political detachment.
For historical and contemporary reasons, it is particularly vital that London responds to this challenge. While the technology of the industrial revolution was invented in the North of England; it was London that drove its global spread through trade, finance and imperial power.
London remains a major financier of the fossil fuel industry, but the economic and cultural direction of the city is changing. London already contains the largest global concentration of organisations working on climate change and has committed to become a net zero greenhouse gas city.
E3G is proud to co-organise with the Mayor of London the first London Climate Action Week (LCAW) from July 1-8th 2019. LCAW 2019 will see over 100 climate-themed events take place across the Capital creating an ambitious agenda of international debate and action. The diverse organisations taking part go well beyond the usual suspects. LCAW is reaching out from the green and cleantech bubble into London’s world-leading professions of law, finance, health and insurance. LCAW is addressing the policy, politics and diplomacy of climate change; while also mobilising creative industries, iconic cultural venues like Tate Modern and the cricket World Cup.
LCAW is designed to bring international climate networks to London but will be firmly rooted in the Capital. Londoners will have a chance to have their say and commit to local action: through community events; a special school curriculum for the week; and, a host of public debates.
Our hope is that London Climate Action Week will begin to build a high impact “climate cluster” in London. A network where organisations work together to develop better, faster and more effective solutions to the climate crisis. A community of practitioners engaging honestly with the existential threats of climate change and the societal opportunities of strong climate action.
London has the power and the responsibility to respond to the demand for radical action – whether from young people, international campaigners or the UK government’s own experts.
In this month's newsletter we explore the potential of London Climate Action Week. Claire Healy kicks us off by outlining how LCAW sits strategically among this year’s climate events; culminating in the UN Climate Summit and COP25 in Chile. Then we move on to guest blogger Malini Mehra from Globe International, placing London's climate action community in a global context. Next George Triggs writes on E3G's inaugural Climate Frontiers Forum, while Anna Glasser highlights what to expect from E3G and partners during the week and how you can get involved.
Thanks for reading,