Words by Smiley Team
United and hopeful: young people are increasingly taking action against climate change. In the face of mounting emissions, activism offers them a vital source of optimism. One of the key groups providing this outlet is Green New Deal Rising.
With its sunshine banner signifying hope on the horizon, Green New Deal Rising is led by people under the age of 35. It is inspired by Sunrise Movement, a collective of thousands of young Americans who started mobilising for a Green New Deal in the US five years ago.
Emma de Saram, an activist from Green New Deal Rising tells Smiley News: “We need to work together to ignite the flames of hope and put an end to corruption and climate inaction.
“To do this, Green New Deal Rising confronts the narrative of doomism with optimism, making community-led, grassroots actions a happier, more collective process.”
Its more joyful, supportive approach to activism helps reassure young activists who have joined the movement.
“Green New Deal Rising is a great group to join to manage eco-anxiety,” Emma says, describing how excited she has been to join their actions throughout COP26 and at Westminster. It also provides her with a strong sense of community.
“I genuinely feel part of a family,” she says. “It may sound cringe but it’s true. I’ve met friends through it who I’m so grateful for and finally, I feel like the responsibility for tackling the climate crisis is shared.”
The movement’s roadmap for change - the Green New Deal - offers a set of policy ideas to protect life on Earth while promoting human wellbeing. Drawing on President Franklin Roosevelt’s response to the Great Depression, the plan combines updated Keynesianism with decarbonisation.
It includes measures to transition from fossil fuels, cut emissions, create new green jobs, reshape the economy, rewild land and support those disproportionately hit by climate change.
“We are actively constructing a new vision of what is possible through the Green New Deal,” Emma explains, adding: “We want those in power to introduce achievable changes like free public transport, well-insulated homes, and other very practical things that would translate ideas of climate justice into action.”
JOIN: To work alongside other young people towards the linked goals of climate and social justice, get involved with Green New Deal Rising.
DONATE: Support young people campaigning for a safer future. Donate to Green New Deal Rising.