Canada | The Leap Manifesto: Call for a leap to prevent catastrophic global warming

In Canada, a ‘Leap Manifesto’ of more than 32,000 signatories was launched in January 2016 in support of a rapid, “justice-based” energy transition to a renewable economy.

The manifesto advocates a “great transition” in energy conversion — a leap — to “prevent catastrophic global warming,” and denounces Canada’s record on climate change as “a crime against humanity’s future.” It was launched to popularise the ideas of Canadian author Naomi Klein’s influential book on climate change, ‘This Changes Everything’.

The Leap Manifesto calls for varied measures toward the goal of a society “caring for one another and caring for the planet.” The list is headed by respect for Indigenous people’s “inherent rights and title” to the land; immediate action for a 100% clean economy by 2050; and a halt to “infrastructure projects that lock us into increased extraction decades into the future.”

“The manifesto has proved its capacity to unite a broad range of social forces and to pose the challenge of climate justice within the mainstream organizations of Canadian working people. It is an eloquent contribution to the debate the Trudeau government is initiating on a national climate action plan,” wrote John Riddell.

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“We call on all those seeking political office to seize this opportunity and embrace the urgent need for transformation.”
The Leap Manifesto

United Kingdom | Winston Churchill: There is one bond which unites us all

“I stand at the head of a government representing all parties in the state. All creeds, all classes, every recognisable section of opinion … we are supported by a free parliament and a free press, but there is one bond which unites us all, and sustains us in the public regard, namely – as is increasingly becoming known – that we are prepared to proceed to all extremity, to endure them and to enforce them. That is our bond of union.”
Winston Churchill, 14 July 1940

“I have full confidence that if all do their duty the worst of this crisis can be averted. Let our opponents do their worst. We will do our best. We will prevail.”

Investors take inspiration from Churchill

Winston Churchill “rose to the challenges presented by international emergencies. That is to say, we consider his forthright approach to extreme adversity apropos. Given the lack of societal and investor response to climate change relative to the scale of the threat it presents, we hope to motivate more of the ESG community to act in accordance with their values by invoking his leadership.”
Channelling the spirit of Winston Churchill, by Paul Dickinson (Executive Chair, CDP), Robert Schwarz (Senior Associate, Preventable Surprises) and Raj Thamotheram (CEO, Preventable Surprises)

“Investors, like governments and companies, have been alerted to the dangers of uncontrolled climate change for two or more decades. As a consequence of our collective neglect, society now faces the procrastinator’s penalty: there are only radical solutions from which to choose.”
Climate ‘Churchill’

» Responsible Investor – 6 March 2015:
Op-Ed: Winston Churchill: the ESG community must fight climate change with massive stewardship push
“The British war time leader speaks up in spirit on the investment sustainability battle ahead. By Winston Churchill”

“No war is risk free. No warrior victorious without courage. Collective efforts and shared goals can achieve much. It is no use saying, we are doing our best. Sometimes you have to do what is necessary.
Further considerations include your existing position of privilege and unparalleled access to information regarding the consequences of climate change. Being among the most highly paid in society, the former affords you freedom from having to bear the blood, toil, tears, and sweat that many are already facing, and that many more are certain to face as a result of unchecked climate change. With great privilege comes great responsibility. The latter benefit of knowledge obliges you to act ethically. Complacence is not illegal, though it may be equally disastrous.”
Climate ‘Churchill’

» Responsible Investor – 10 March 2015:
Op-Ed 2: Winston Churchill: the steps responsible investors must take to prevail on climate change

“We shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight … in the air … we shall fight on the beaches … we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”
Winston Churchill


“The quote is adapted only slightly from Winton Churchill’s famous 1940 speech. That call helped change the course of WW2 and history. This call is in sympathy and support for the May 2016 #BreakFree campaign by (and other organisations round the world) – to expand action in getting global emissions cut.

This is a call for serious engagement of minds and hearts, a push for effective actions, in all countries.
It is a call for members to expand their actions, especially in all theatres of society that they reach – communicating the basics of the challenge and the urgently needed paths forward.”

Winston Churchill, 1940
Winston Churchill, 1940

USA | Barack Obama: We’re not acting fast enough

“The point is that climate change is no longer some far-off problem. It is happening here. It is happening now. Climate change is already disrupting our agriculture and ecosystems, our water and food supplies, our energy, our infrastructure, human health, human safety – now. Today. And climate change is a trend that affects all trends – economic trends, security trends. Everything will be impacted. And it becomes more dramatic with each passing year.”

“If we do nothing, temperatures in Alaska are projected to rise between six and 12 degrees by the end of the century, triggering more melting, more fires, more thawing of the permafrost, a negative feedback loop, a cycle – warming leading to more warming – that we do not want to be a part of. And the fact is that climate is changing faster than our efforts to address it. That, ladies and gentlemen, must change. We’re not acting fast enough.”

“People will suffer. Economies will suffer. Entire nations will find themselves under severe, severe problems. More drought; more floods; rising sea levels; greater migration; more refugees; more scarcity; more conflict. That’s one path we can take. The other path is to embrace the human ingenuity that can do something about it. This is within our power. This is a solvable problem if we start now. And we’re starting to see that enough consensus is being built internationally and within each of our own body politics that we may have the political will – finally – to get moving.”

Obama speaks out on climate change

President Obama spoke on climate change on 31 August 2015

Published on on 31 August 2015. A shorter version of the speech was posted by The White House

» Transcript of Obama’s speech at GLACIER in Alaska

In 2015, President Obama travelled to Alaska to shine a spotlight on what Alaskans in particular have come to know: Climate change is one of the biggest threats we face, it is being driven by human activity, and it is disrupting Americans’ lives right now.

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