Indian activist joins global climate 'state of emergency' campaign

Aditi Khanna

London, Jan 30 (PTI) In an act of global unity, 2,000 campaigners and public figures from over 140 countries are backing an open letter issued on Thursday which declares 'state of emergency' for people and planet.

The letter issued by 20 world-leading activists, including Indian gender activist Trisha Shetty and well known Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, comes one week on from United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calling on the international community to make the 2020s the 'decade of action' and 2020 the 'year of urgency'.

'We need you to act faster. To find the finance. To track implementation. To unlock radical solutions. We are watching you. And we will fight every day, for people, for planet,' reads the letter addressed to 'World Leaders' that declares a 'state of emergency' for people and planet.

The campaigners, including Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, reference the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) and demand political leadership at key moments this year, including COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, the Gavi replenishment, Generation Equality Forums in Mexico and France, the UN General Assembly, and a landmark biodiversity conference in China.

'When the SDGs were adopted, our leaders made a bold commitment to leave no one behind. But if you have your ear to the ground, if you have proximity to your community, if you listen to those belonging to the most vulnerable and marginalised communities – you’ll know the truth. The truth that we are leaving too many people behind,' said Shetty, Founder of 'She Says India'.

'We commit to doing everything in our capacity to leave no one behind. We commit to hold our leaders accountable to do better and mobilise all resources for the decade of delivery. I am proud to stand with these formidable forces for the first time through this letter,' she said.

The 2,000 backers of the campaign come from different fields, including high-profile celebrities such Hollywood stars Julia Roberts and Emma Thompson as well as filmmakers J J Abrams and Richard Curtis.

'These 20 activists and 2,000 supporters represent the universal and indivisible nature of the Goals – and the passion from all sides that 2020 must be a transformative, radical year for change and progress and new finance – for people and planet,' said Curtis, who has directed a campaign film to coincide with the open letter.

Tarana Burke, founder of the MeToo Movement, said: “The Global Goals are a solutions-focused plan that the world needs. They are as much about what is happening in the USA as in Uganda.

'We are ready – and we are watching – for action.' The open letter is accompanied by a public campaign asking citizens to show their support by sharing the letter and to join this effort for people and planet by using the hashtag #GlobalGoals. PTI AK AMS AKJ AMS