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By Andrea Germanos
Nearly 200 Canadian organizations on Monday rolled out their demands for a "just recovery," saying that continuing business-as-usual after the pandemic would prevent the kind of far-reaching transformation needed to put "the health and well-being of ALL peoples and ecosystems first."
<iframe width="100%" height="150" scrolling="no" class="rm-shortcode twitter-embed-1264892910828486657" id="twitter-embed-1264892910828486657" lazy-loadable="true" src="/res/community/twitter_embed/?iframe_id=twitter-embed-1264892910828486657&created_ts=1590408945.0&screen_name=leadnowca&text=BREAKING%3A+Almost+200+organizations+from+across+the+country+are+demanding+the+government+put+people+first+with+a+Jus%E2%80%A6+https%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2Fski8lyiXF9&id=1264892910828486657&name=Leadnow" frameborder="0" data-rm-shortcode-id="b890babe2973f907692d9aec860dfe90"></iframe>
By Tonya Russell
A few years ago, my fiance and I got into an argument on our way to spend Christmas with my family.
As we drove through unfamiliar territory, we began to notice a lot of people who appeared to be without a home. This started to break up the tension as we turned our thoughts to this bigger issue.
Shifting Priorities<p>Many have trouble volunteering because of hectic schedules. With virtual volunteering, it's easy to find opportunities that fit your terms.</p><p><a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0164027504271349" target="_blank">Studies show</a> that those who volunteer report higher levels of happiness, likely due to an increase in empathy and a resulting sense of gratitude for what you have.</p><p>It can also boost self-confidence and give individuals a <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/how-helping-people-affects-your-brain" target="_blank">sense of belonging</a> and purpose. I've personally felt idle sitting at home, and a sense of purpose is just what I need.</p>
Ways to Give<p>Whether you want to take the lead on a project or jump in and help, here are tips to find the right volunteer opportunity for you while physical distancing:</p><p><strong>Find Virtual Opportunities</strong></p><p>Databases are a great first step in finding the perfect volunteer opportunity. You can filter by categories, hours, and locations. That way, you can pick somewhere nearby in case you want to volunteer in person later.</p><p><a href="https://www.volunteermatch.org/virtual-volunteering" target="_blank">VolunteerMatch</a> and <a href="https://www.justserve.org/" target="_blank">JustServe</a> offer virtual opportunities to volunteer for nonprofit organizations, charities, and businesses with heart.</p><p><strong>Grant a Wish</strong></p><p>If you have extra cash or a way to raise funds, you can fulfill <a href="https://gooddler.com/Landing" target="_blank">charity wish lists</a>. Many organizations accept items year-round.</p><p>You can choose from different categories like animal welfare, environmental organizations, health services, and the arts. Whatever moves you, you'll find a cause to give to.</p><p>Items range in price from low cost to high ticket, so you'll still have something to offer if you're on a budget.</p>
Adapting to Our New Day to Day<p>We aren't quite certain when things will go back to normal, or if quarantine <em>is</em> the new normal. While we may be limited in what we can do, that doesn't need to stop our ability to give.</p><p>So many — from those experiencing homelessness to the neighborhood kids — depend on our generosity right now.</p><p>My fiancé and I look forward to seeing familiar faces when we can return to volunteering in shelters.</p><p>Until then, we've partnered with an assisted living facility to offer virtual art classes and music hours to keep their residents entertained.</p><p>Our hope is to inspire others to step outside their situations and look after someone to connect with anyone who has also been affected by COVID-19.</p><p>We're grateful that technology has made altruism easier, so we can continue our ritual of giving back.</p>
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Andrea Germanos
Author and climate activist Bill McKibben welcomed Friday evening what he called "a milestone moment in the history of climate action" after JPMorgan Chase announced it was ousting former Exxon Mobil CEO Lee Raymond from his longtime leadership position on the bank's board of directors.
By Sarah Sax
At the end of February, thousands of cleaning workers in Minneapolis marched in what's believed to have been the first union-authorized climate strike in the United States. The protesters, many of them immigrants and people of color who have seen their communities harmed by everything from air pollution to drought, wanted their employers to take action on climate change.
Corporations Speaking Out<p>Advocates like Levine and Weihl argue that in the absence of U.S. leadership on the federal level, companies need to step to the front on climate change.</p><p>In 2015, nations agreed to limit temperature rise this century to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) under the Paris climate accord. Since then, the number of Fortune 500 companies pledging to reduce their carbon emissions has quadrupled, according to <a href="https://www.naturalcapitalpartners.com/news-resources/article/deeds-not-words-new-research-reveals-the-climate-action-of-fortune-500-glob" target="_blank">a 2019 report</a> from the consultancy firm Natural Capital Partners ― with employee demands identified as a key driver behind much of this corporate action.</p><p>Microsoft and Google parent company Alphabet, for instance, recently<a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/microsoft-raises-stakes-in-corporate-climate-pledge-race-11579195800?mod=article_inline" target="_blank"> made climate pledges</a> in part prompted by employees demanding more action.</p>
Engaging With Employees<p>Perhaps no company's employee activism has been more in the spotlight recently than Amazon's.</p><p>Last September, along with several other corporations, Amazon made its "<a href="https://press.aboutamazon.com/news-releases/news-release-details/amazon-co-founds-climate-pledge-setting-goal-meet-paris" target="_blank">climate pledge</a>," committing to net zero carbon by 2040 and 100% renewable energy by 2030, ahead of a massive planned <a href="https://www.wired.com/story/amazon-climate-pledge-employee-walkout/" target="_blank">employee walkout</a>. Then in February, the online giant <a href="https://www.huffpost.com/entry/jeff-bezos-climate-change-richest-man-in-the-world_n_5e4af0aac5b65f25da4daace" target="_blank">announced a $10 billion fund</a> to fight climate change.</p><p>While <a href="https://medium.com/@amazonemployeesclimatejustice/amazon-employees-share-our-views-on-company-business-f5abcdea849" target="_blank">broadly supportive </a>of CEO Jeff Bezos' pledge and the climate fund, employees continue to push Amazon to embrace climate action across its entire business, protesting its role in providing oil companies with the technology to <a href="https://t.co/D5YKfDnOR2?amp=1" target="_blank">find drillable oil faster</a> and in <a href="https://twitter.com/AMZNforClimate/status/1229504923194183680" target="_blank">funding climate change denial groups</a>. The relationship between Amazon and its employees remains contentious, as criticism rises over its response to both climate change and working conditions during the pandemic.</p><p>In April, the company <a href="https://grist.org/justice/amazon-fires-employees-who-spoke-out-about-coronavirus-and-climate-change/" target="_blank">reportedly fired</a> two employees who had been outspoken about climate change. During a virtual webcast organized by Amazon Employees for Climate Justice on April 16 ― which the company <a href="https://medium.com/@amazonemployeesclimatejustice/amazon-sick-out-3d61b5a7ebfa" target="_blank">reportedly tried to thwart </a>― the two urged their former co-workers to stage a virtual walkout to protest their firings and the treatment of warehouse workers amid the COVID-19 crisis.</p><p>Some companies have been proactive in accommodating their employees ― such as <a href="https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2019/9/20/20876098/brands-global-climate-strike-closing" target="_blank">Patagonia and Ben & Jerry's</a>, which closed their shops for the Global Climate Strike last September ― but Amazon has done the opposite. It recently <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/jan/27/amazon-workers-climate-protest" target="_blank">introduced a policy</a> barring employees from publicly criticizing the company without prior approval. </p><p>When asked about the rise in employee activism and the firing of the two workers, an Amazon spokesperson told HuffPost that "we support every employee's right to criticize their employer's working conditions, but that does not come with blanket immunity against any and all internal policies.</p><p>"The price of ignoring or dismissing employee activism could be huge. According to a survey by law firm Herbert Smith Freehills, employee activism could cost organizations up to <a href="https://www.herbertsmithfreehills.com/latest-thinking/the-new-world-of-work-report-warns-of-an-unprecedented-rise-in-workplace-activism-v2" target="_blank">25% of their global revenue</a> each year due to the disruptive nature of strikes and reputational damage leading to lost business.</p><p>"Today the purpose of a company has to align with climate change and employees are calling really strongly for that," said Farid Baddache, the CEO and co-founder of the sustainability consulting and impact investing firm <a href="https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=ksapa" target="_blank">Ksapa</a>.</p>
The Future Workforce<p>Figuring out how to navigate a world in which employees expect businesses to operate with a purpose beyond the bottom line may not be easy for companies, but it is critical because this new wave of activism is connected to the shifting demographics of the workforce.</p><p>Millennials now make up <a href="https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/04/11/millennials-largest-generation-us-labor-force/" target="_blank">over a third</a> of the U.S. workforce, constituting the largest share of any generation. They are more likely than older generations to be employee activists, according to one <a href="https://www.webershandwick.com/news/employee-activism-age-of-purpose/" target="_blank">survey by Weber Shandwick</a>. And according to <a href="https://can01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fblog.linkedin.com%2F2018%2Fjune%2F26%2Fworkplace-culture-trends-the-key-to-hiring-and-keeping-top-talent&data=02%7C01%7COQuadri%40globeandmail.com%7C9101bc35bcb54d3ecc1c08d73d36827b%7C44376110425e46ab942e26c9518bfd03%7C1%7C0%7C637045176640937982&sdata=dG6zumFzWGrTSL6eJQpeZhVyoytwKb7Rn25nBmCGMcI%3D&reserved=0" target="_blank">LinkedIn's 2018 Workplace Report</a>, 86% of millennials would consider taking a pay cut to work for companies whose values aligned with their own.</p><p>For Jake Elliott, 34, who specifically chose to work for Vermont solar power company SunCommon because the firm shared his values, climate change is "the number one most important thing."</p><p>"When you look at global carbon emissions, the majority of carbon emissions are <a href="https://www.cdp.net/en/articles/media/new-report-shows-just-100-companies-are-source-of-over-70-of-emissions" target="_blank">coming from businesses</a>, so it is an obligation and requirement of business to address the climate crisis," he told HuffPost.</p><p>Younger generations "don't want to commit to work for a company that is contributing to climate change," said Baddache, "or if they believe that the company is part of the problem rather than the solution."</p><p>Corporate America is increasingly aware of this. "The talent Adobe wishes to recruit and retain expects us to set meaningful climate goals and work to meet them," Vince Digneo, sustainability strategist at Adobe has <a href="http://media.virbcdn.com/files/5c/aa8193f038934840-Dec2019RE100ProgressandInsightsAnnualReport.pdf" target="_blank">said previously</a>. "Our employees want to see us take good action but not just among a flurry of other companies doing the same thing ― it has to have a meaningful impact."</p><p>This sentiment is true not just among current employees but also future ones. A group of <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/climatechange-lawyer-protests/yale-harvard-law-students-boycott-paul-weiss-over-exxon-ties-idUSL1N2A71XR" target="_blank">law students at Yale and Harvard</a>, for example, are boycotting internships with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison because it represents Exxon Mobil. They're <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/climatechange-lawyer-protests/yale-harvard-law-students-boycott-paul-weiss-over-exxon-ties-idUSL1N2A71XR" target="_blank">accusing the law firm</a> of enabling the destructive impact of the world's largest oil company in the climate crisis. </p><p>"Companies need to hire people and they need to retain people," Weihl said. This will all become more difficult "if they are on the wrong side of an issue that many of their employees see as an existential threat to their future."</p>
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- Jeff Bezos Pledges $10 Billion to Fight the Climate Crisis - EcoWatch ›
This April 22, Earth Day turns 50.
The world's largest secular holiday approaches its golden anniversary in the shadow of two global crises. This year's day is dedicated to climate action, and the celebration has moved online in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
But Earth Day has a history of uniting people around the world to solve the major problems facing our planet. Here's a look back on some of the most important Earth Days in the celebration's 50-year history and what they helped accomplish.
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- 3 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day All Through April (on Lockdown, of ... ›
- Earth Day Will Fight for Climate Action on Its 50th Anniversary ... ›
By Ken Kimmell
The COVID-19 crisis has upended the world, threatening the health and lives of millions, shattering the global economy, and imposing an unprecedented physical isolation upon us. It has changed so much almost overnight, including how we advocate for action on an even bigger long-term threat — climate change.
Get Ready<p><a href="https://www.earthdaylive2020.org/" target="_blank">Earth Day Live</a> is a three-day event focused on climate action and participation in our democracy. Its centerpiece is a non-stop 72-hour livestream that will include performances, training sessions, and a wide range of events designed to engage, inform, and inspire millions of people nationwide.</p><p>Thousands have already RSVP'd, hundreds of local livestreams across the country have registered, and the event will feature many high-profile celebrities and other public figures. If you haven't yet RSVP'd, <a href="https://www.earthdaylive2020.org/?source=union-of-concerned-scientists-2&referrer=group-union-of-concerned-scientists-2&emci=8906248a-8d73-ea11-a94c-00155d03b1e8&emdi=ea000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000001&ceid=" target="_blank">definitely do so today</a>!</p><p>For more information on the event, you can watch and share a short promo video on your social media channel of choice, whether it's <a href="https://www.facebook.com/thefuturecoalition/videos/397330511150137/" target="_blank">Facebook</a>, <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B_A0eFtHuaB/" target="_blank">Instagram</a>, or<a href="https://twitter.com/FutureCoalition/status/1250510801720532993" target="_blank"> Twitter</a>. Or you can <a href="https://drive.google.com/open?id=1AYWMGAmIuvQsl5YELjMVz1VDxgEu25k6" target="_blank">download the video</a> to make your own posts. Also check out the work of the <a href="https://stopthemoneypipeline.com/" target="_blank">Stop the Money Pipeline Coalition</a>; their work will be central to activities on Day 2 of Earth Day Live and they have produced <a href="https://docs.google.com/document/d/1D4zIJeRYBXVEaI95-HK1Qqn_8VqkGs9I_CH27B4Fw5c/edit" target="_blank">#PeopleNotPolluters art</a> that you can use and share.</p><p>What else can you do to support Earth Day Live? <a href="https://www.earthdaylive2020.org/?source=union-of-concerned-scientists-2&referrer=group-union-of-concerned-scientists-2&emci=8906248a-8d73-ea11-a94c-00155d03b1e8&emdi=ea000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000001&ceid=" target="_blank">Sign up</a> and tell your friends to sign up. Add a <a href="https://www.facebook.com/profilepicframes/?selected_overlay_id=2544581619124458" target="_blank">Facebook frame</a> or <a href="https://twibbon.com/Support/earth-day-live-april-22-24" target="_blank">Twibbon frame</a>. Use and follow these hashtags on social media:<strong> #EarthDayLive, #EarthDay, #StrikeWithUs, </strong>and <strong>#ClimateStrike. </strong>Or simply follow and amplify the <a href="https://twitter.com/FutureCoalition/lists/youth-climate-strike-co" target="_blank">Youth Climate Strike Coalition on Twitter</a>.</p>
United for Action<p>At UCS, we stand united with the youth-led movement that is organizing Earth Day Live and the next generation of science and climate advocates who are participating in it. We aim to support them as they help boost and elevate the need for climate action, and are active members of the youth climate strike's adult coalition.</p><p>We are also members of the Stop the Money Pipeline coalition and calling for the financial institutions that fuel climate change by funding and insuring fossil fuel companies to end their support of climate destruction. And we are working on increasing voter registration and turnout of pro-science voters in the 2020 election by building the <a href="http://www.sciencerising.org/" target="_blank">Science Rising movement</a> to help empower students, scientists, and science supporters with opportunities to participate in civic engagement and democratic activities in their communities.</p><p>The past weeks have taught us all some hard lessons: having the best available science is not just important — it is a matter of life and death. And there is no substitute for effective action by governments at the national and international level to address crises at the scale that is needed.</p><p>We are also learning — yet again — that when disaster strikes, it exerts the highest costs on the most vulnerable. These lessons from the COVID-19 crisis apply forcefully to climate change as well — and I am heartened by the powerful way that the youth-led movement will remind us of these vital truths over the next several days, and inspire all of us to act upon them.</p>
'We Need People's Bailout, Not Polluters' Bailout': Climate Groups Move to Preempt Big Oil Giveaway Amid Pandemic
By Andrea Germanos
A coalition of climate organizations strongly criticized President Donald Trump's in-person Friday meeting with the chief executives of some of the biggest fossil fuel companies in the world, saying the industry that fueled climate disaster must not be allowed to profiteer from government giveaways by getting bailout funds or preferred treatment during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Trump Bails Out Oil Industry, Not U.S. Families, as Coronavirus ... ›
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1. Join EARTHRISE<p>On Earth Day itself, the Earth Day Network is organizing 24 hours of "global digital mobilization" called <a href="https://www.earthday.org/coronavirus-drives-digital-striking-movement/" target="_blank">EARTHRISE</a> after the famous picture of our planet from space that inspired millions to agitate for the first Earth Day in 1970.</p><p>"The coronavirus pandemic does not shut us down," the organizers wrote. "Instead, it reminds us of what's at stake in our fight for the planet. If we don't demand change, our current state will become the new normal — a world where pandemics and extreme weather events span the globe, leaving already marginalized and vulnerable communities even more at risk."</p><p>You can participate using the hashtags #EarthDay2020 and #EARTHRISE.</p><p>The Earth Day Network is asking participants to speak up for the planet, vote for leaders who promote environmental policies or contact their representatives and educate others about the importance of taking care of the Earth. It is also organizing 24 actions that you can take from your home, one for each hour of the day.</p><iframe width="100%" height="150" scrolling="no" class="rm-shortcode twitter-embed-1244671199717871618" id="twitter-embed-1244671199717871618" lazy-loadable="true" src="/res/community/twitter_embed/?iframe_id=twitter-embed-1244671199717871618&created_ts=1585587713.0&screen_name=EarthDayNetwork&text=When+life+gives+you+lemons%2C+make+lemonade%21%0A%0ATo+amid+the+COVID-19+outbreak%2C+we+are+switching+to+a+digital+%23EarthDay.%E2%80%A6+https%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2FmVF7vx1j1J&id=1244671199717871618&name=Earth+Day+Network" frameborder="0" data-rm-shortcode-id="ac14aa56ede490310290063150cea127"></iframe>
2. Take the Earth Day Daily Challenge<p>You don't have to wait for April 22 to start making a difference. The Earth Day Network is also organizing <a href="https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-challenge/" target="_blank">22 daily challenges</a> you can take to fight the <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/climate-change/" target="_self">climate crisis</a> from lockdown.</p><p>The challenge began <a href="https://twitter.com/EarthDayNetwork/status/1245413619636019200" target="_blank">April 1</a> with a "plastic audit". Simply look for ways you can reduce your plastic usage and share your techniques.</p><p>Yesterday's challenge was to <a href="https://twitter.com/EarthDayNetwork/status/1245780953622069249" target="_blank">"compost creatively"</a> if you can't use all the food you brought home in your latest grocery store haul.</p><p>You can follow @earthdaynetwork's social media channels for each day's challenge.</p><iframe width="100%" height="150" scrolling="no" class="rm-shortcode twitter-embed-1245413619636019200" id="twitter-embed-1245413619636019200" lazy-loadable="true" src="/res/community/twitter_embed/?iframe_id=twitter-embed-1245413619636019200&created_ts=1585764720.0&screen_name=EarthDayNetwork&text=%23Challenge+Day+1+-+Do+a+plastic+audit+%0A%0AWe+know+avoiding+plastic+completely+is+almost+impossible%2C+but+you+can+still%E2%80%A6+https%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2FPC7MnjnldA&id=1245413619636019200&name=Earth+Day+Network" frameborder="0" data-rm-shortcode-id="fc070ae37babee43660310efcdc00d48"></iframe>
3. Be a Citizen Scientist<p>You don't need a fancy laboratory or a white coat to be a scientist. All you need is a mobile device.</p><p>As of April 1, the Earth Challenge 2020 mobile app has been made available at the <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.earthday.ec2020app" target="_blank">Android</a> or <a href="https://apps.apple.com/us/app/earth-challenge-2020/id1494183525" target="_blank">Apple</a> app stores. You can download it now and begin collecting data on plastic pollution and air quality.</p><p>That data will be part of <a href="https://earthchallenge2020.earthday.org/" target="_blank">Earth Challenge 2020</a>, a joint initiative from the Earth Day Network, the U.S Department of State's Eco-Capitals Forum and The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars to create what they say will be the "world's most accessible and transparent citizen science database portal ever created."</p><p>The database <a href="https://earthchallenge2020.earthday.org/pages/research-community" target="_blank">will include</a> more than one billion data points combining existing citizen scientist projects with the information submitted via the app. The priorities for the challenge were globally crowdsourced in 2017 in a call for the "most important questions in human and environmental health."</p><p>The call turned up six focus areas:</p><ul><li>Plastics</li><li>Air Quality</li><li>Insects</li><li>Climate</li><li>Food Security</li><li>Water Quality</li></ul><p>The challenge will begin with plastics and air quality data, and move on to all six areas over the course of 2020.</p><iframe width="100%" height="150" scrolling="no" class="rm-shortcode twitter-embed-1245456176206266368" id="twitter-embed-1245456176206266368" lazy-loadable="true" src="/res/community/twitter_embed/?iframe_id=twitter-embed-1245456176206266368&created_ts=1585774866.0&screen_name=EarthDayNetwork&text=Are+you+excited+to+be+a+part+of+our+%23EarthChallenge2020+Research+Community%3F%0A%0ATogether+we%27ll+record+over+1+billion+d%E2%80%A6+https%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2Ft5iHrkPBhj&id=1245456176206266368&name=Earth+Day+Network" frameborder="0" data-rm-shortcode-id="05e869bb3d47daeff4014787bb37a3fb"></iframe>
Update, April 20: This article has been updated to include the fact that the final Kentucky bill was amended to narrow the scope of the new penalties.
In just two weeks, three states have passed laws criminalizing protests against fossil fuel infrastructure.
Kentucky<p>The Kentucky <a href="https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/record/20rs/hb44.html" target="_blank">law</a>, signed by Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear March 16, designates "natural gas or petroleum pipelines" as "key infrastructure assets." The area designated as key infrastructure is not limited to areas that have been fenced off or marked with "no entry" signs. The law creates a new felony offense for "tamper[ing] with the operations of a key infrastructure asset... in a manner that renders the operations harmful or dangerous." The final Kentucky bill was amended to <a href="http://kyconservation.org/2020-house-bills/" target="_blank">narrow</a> the scope of the new penalties from targeting "impeding" or "interfering" with a pipeline to focus only on "tampering." It also got rid of liability for groups or people who funded pipeline tampering and restricted it to those who intentionally caused it.</p>
South Dakota<p>South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) signed two laws this month that could have a chilling effect on protests, according to HuffPost. The <a href="https://mylrc.sdlegislature.gov/api/Documents/69887.pdf" target="_blank">first</a>, signed March 18, counts all oil and gas facilities and equipment as critical infrastructure and increases the charges for "substantial interruption or impairment" of these facilities to felonies. The <a href="https://mylrc.sdlegislature.gov/api/Documents/69658.pdf" target="_blank">second</a>, signed March 23, defines a "riot" as "any intentional use of force or violence by three or more persons, acting together and without authority of law, to cause any injury to any person or any damage to property" and creates a new felony offense for "incitement to riot," according to the U.S. Protest Law Tracker.</p>
West Virginia<p>The <a href="https://legiscan.com/WV/text/HB4615/2020" target="_blank">West Virginia law</a>, signed by Gov. Jim Justice (R) Wednesday, also designates a wide range of oil, gas and utilities as "critical infrastructure" and increases fines and sentences for trespassing, trespassing with intent to "vandalize, deface, tamper with equipment, or impede or inhibit operations," and actually vandalizing equipment or impeding operations, according to the U.S. Protest Law Tracker.</p><p>These bills are not the last on the horizon, according to HuffPost. Another passed the Alabama Senate in March, and similar legislation has been introduced in Illinois, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio and Pennsylvania.</p>
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- Anti-Protest Legislation Is Threatening Our Climate - EcoWatch ›
- One of the most significant, yet ignored, impacts of climate change is its disruption of the water cycle.
- The youth-driven climate movement provides examples of how to incorporate water into the climate agenda by raising awareness, encouraging advocacy and promoting innovation.
- World Water Day 2020 is focused on the interconnectedness of water and climate change.
1. Raise Awareness<p>Not enough is understood and communicated about the devastating risk of climate change to the world's water resources. Currently, <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/3674533?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents" target="_blank">50% of our drinking water comes from glaciers</a>, which are melting at an unprecedent speed. Higher air temperatures are causing increased flooding – <a href="https://www.zurich.com/en/knowledge/topics/flood-and-water-damage" target="_blank">which is affecting more people globally than any other natural hazard</a>. If no measures are taken, water scarcity, exacerbated by climate change, is expected to cost some regions <a href="https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/water/publication/high-and-dry-climate-change-water-and-the-economy" target="_blank">up to 6% of their economic growth</a>.</p><img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg4ODQ1NS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMTIxODQ1MX0.qJ4_h03eH2s3D_6FnWaae2eoUC_2dU4EvoaADlwnha0/img.png?width=980" id="77940" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="fcd44dcbca3778d12738b067737eaf05" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
2. Be an Advocate<p>Young people are organizing and uniting around the world to raise awareness through climate strikes – bridging political differences and linking separate sectors. Rather than confronting one environmental issue at a time, they are holistic in their advocacy, recognizing the strength in combining efforts.</p><p>During the 2020 Annual Meeting in Davos, Global Shapers engaged in climate work and discussions on the future of water. Their participation, enthusiasm and conviction to further incentivize young people to scale up water innovation, resulted in the stakeholder proposal to develop an award. Rather than being a one-off entrepreneurial activity, this prize aims to be a milestone in a long-term water advocacy agenda.</p><p>While having a Corporate Social Responsibility programme is common, more companies could push the cause. An example is Heineken's "<a href="https://www.theheinekencompany.com/newsroom/heineken-announces-every-drop-water-ambition-for-2030/" target="_blank">Every Drop</a>" campaign, dedicated to lowering water usage to combat water scarcity.</p><p>Choose to be a champion, mobilize for the climate-water cause and implement what you advocate!</p>
3. Seek Innovation<p>Since 2012, the rise in smart phones has been dramatic (to date, there are more people with a mobile phone than access to a flushable toilet). Today's youth is the generation most accustomed to technology from an early age. With the increase of artificial intelligence, smart sensoring and blockchain, the possibilities for tackling water issues have multiplied.</p><p>In the run-up to COP 21, youth representatives released a white paper with recommendations in four key areas on how to address climate change – all of which included water. This led to the creation of the <a href="https://youthwaterclimate.org/project/ahiafor-yahovi-amedzape-danyi-apeyeme-togo-tonfuturtonclimat-project-to-support-the-young-people-for-the-protection-of-environment-water-and-land-in-togo/" target="_blank">Youth for Water and Climate</a> (YWC) initiative. Similar to the World Economic Forum's <a href="https://www.weforum.org/uplink" target="_blank">UpLink</a>, the YWC is a platform connecting young, innovative solution providers with solution seekers that are able to offer technical and financial resources to help scale up the projects.</p><p>By providing the means and the mentoring, the chances for these projects to develop increase, while offering tangible solutions for companies in return. Companies such as AB InBev have launched <a href="https://www.ab-inbev.com/sustainability/100-accelerator.html" target="_blank">sustainability accelerators</a>, enabling start-ups to grow, while learning from their breakthrough water innovations. In line with stakeholder capitalism, more companies aim to be inclusive – and what better way to do that – than by getting insights into innovative solutions for water challenges and climate change.</p>
By Nivedita Khandekar
After decades of concentrating on economic development and insisting that global warming was mainly a problem for the more industrially-developed countries to solve, Indian industry is at last facing up to dangers posed to its own future by climate change.