Molly takes action on Climate Change

25th February 2016

Molly and Community Volunteer Mutthapa“In India I witnessed the positive effect of empowering communities to take action. However, officials generally ignored these people. We worked with the community and the village leader to share knowledge and build confidence, who in turn passionately spoke up and fought for their community rights. This is what I have taken most from my experience in India. I must use my knowledge to inspire and take action to create change.

In December I travelled to Paris and joined thousands of people to march for ‘system change not climate change’ at the end of the COP21 climate talks. I gathered with thousands from across the globe to put pressure on governments to take sufficient action against climate change, and to ensure global temperatures remain below a 1.5C increase above pre-industrial levels. We lobbied to show the scale of the movement of people power.

Molly on left with members of the community and volunteers

Before I set off for Paris, news reports stated that governments had removed targets around indigenous/human rights from the text. This struck a nerve with me, as I am concerned with the lack of rights given to indigenous communities as economies ‘develop’. Human rights are central to the opposition against many of the false ‘clean energy’ solutions to our energy demand, whether to achieve renewable targets by building controversial dam complexes, such as the Belo Monte in Brazil, or ‘fracking’ for shale gas directly under the homes of civilians in the US.

Climate march Paris 2015 (own photo)

Natural disasters, which are often exacerbated by climate change, have displaced three times as many people than all conflicts and war in the world combined – 22 million people were displaced by extreme events in 2013. Often, it is those who are suffering the most from climate change who have contributed next to nothing to it.

Charlie 5 in Meenu Kolli Hadi with Village Leader (Molly in Green Raleigh International top with red scarf)

“I fear that the people most vulnerable will be left defenseless to 21st century issues such as climate change.”

I am now planning to write my dissertation on the effectiveness of policies and governance in building community resilience and adaptation to increasing natural disasters and climate change. I am also taking part in planning a research expedition to Mongolia in June 2017 to explore the impacts of climate change and development on nomadic livelihoods, traditions and culture. We hope to use our research to raise awareness of the people on the frontline of climate change. In the future I’d like to volunteer as an ICS Team Leader.”

Climate March Paris 2015

“I think Paris was just the beginning of a movement for climate justice, and I look forward to standing up as ‘nature defending itself’ in the future.”

Frack Free zone- in the Zone d'Action pour le Climat (molly in middle in orange) photo credit- Will Lewis

You can hear more from Molly via her blog:

Have you taken positive action on climate change? We’d love to hear from you

Alumni Climate and Conservation Youth In Civil Society Raleigh ICS Global