Climate justice is this year’s theme Guardian and Observer charity appeal and one week to go we have so far raised over £ 725,000 for four environmental charities: Practical action, Global Greengrants Fund United Kingdom, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and Foundation for Environmental Justice. Almost 7,000 readers have already made a donation. Here they tell us why.
Pam MacLeod, 79, Truro
Pam MacLeod was motivated to donate to this year’s appeal because she and her family have been directly affected by the climate crisis. She grew up in southern Africa and while studying in Zimbabwe in the 1950s, she witnessed the consequences of drought. The memory of that time has remained with him.
She says: “My older brother still lives in southern Africa and he sees the effects of the lack of rain which is more and more a problem. My other brother lives in California. Last year he and his wife were ordered to leave home because the forest fires were so close. “
Her son lives in British Columbia, Canada where he works as a nurse practitioner. The clinic where he is based is in an area that has been badly affected by the flooding. “He is very aware of the effects of flooding on the lives of his patients,” adds MacLeod. “The need to do something about climate change is absolutely preeminent in our thinking. It was an obvious choice [to donate to this year’s appeal] for me.”
Jennifer Labwo, 29, is from London
“Climate change is at the root of everything,” says Labwo. “This is the most important problem we face. She says that without tackling the climate crisis, you can’t get justice for other social issues. “Everything is interconnected,” she adds.
Without seeking redress from climate justice, we cannot encourage the self-determination of women in southern countries because they are concerned about access to resources such as clean water.
“You can’t start talking about a post-racialized society when you [in the west] actively support our lifestyles on the backs of the inhabitants of the countries of the South. “We cannot talk about creating a fair society for people with disabilities because we do not take their needs into consideration. “
Margaret Turner, 82, Exeter
In November Margaret Turner, who is part of Exeter’s Extinction Rebellion, traveled to Glasgow to attend the second week of Cop26. There, she heard speakers from Nigeria and Brazil, among others.
She said, “I was impressed by their awareness, their commitment and their knowledge of their own part of the Earth.
“I believe that we in rich countries should support those who know better than us how to take care of their own land and their environment – this charitable appeal works by empowering these people to take care of the Earth. . “
Clive Quick, Huntingdon
For Clive Quick, the appeal was a chance to donate to Practical Action – a charity whose work he has supported and followed for decades. Quick, a retired surgeon, has taught in Africa and Sri Lanka and has witnessed how some people desperately try to make a living.
“[Practical Action] start from the bottom rather than the top, ”he says. “It helps people help themselves.”
“Having seen the effects of climate change, I can see that what they are trying to achieve is beneficial in this regard. They help people cope with what they have, rather than what they might have, ”he says.
Quick has seen some of the work Practical Action does in Nepal and Peru, among other countries, and gives it credit for enabling people to achieve amazing results.
Dede Liss, 67, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
“I am convinced that the countries of the West and the North owe a debt to the peoples of the South because we are responsible for the climate change that is happening,” Liss said.
She believes that while the UK government needs to take more responsibility and action, individuals can play a role as well. “I think people have an individual responsibility. We are not able to radically change things, but we are a key part of it. That’s why I felt I could donate money.
“I feel really, really privileged and I have everything I could possibly need… I try to contribute. Social justice and the eradication of poverty are only possible if we do something together against the climate emergency and biodiversity loss.
Alayne Perrott, 71, Carmarthenshire, Wales
Alayne Perrott is a climatologist who retired from Swansea University. Her career took her to places such as Ethiopia, Mexico and Nigeria, where she discovered “that there was a pernicious cycle of human and climatic interaction” spanning hundreds of years and that it continued in the modern world.
She chose to donate because she liked the way the organizations she chose supported positive work.
“Charities like Practical Action, in particular, have discovered a deep well of local innovation,” she says. “Once people are aware and sensitive to their issues, they innovate nationally and it’s amazing how these innovations can spread. There is a lot that people can do for themselves.