The system change we need to avert climate catastrophe will take a mass climate movement — not just activists, but pretty much everyone. The Climate Majority Project is aiming to bring serious climate action into the mainstream.
Most people sense that we’re in a climate emergency, even if they don’t see governments around the world acting like it. Whether it’s climate disasters in the news, flooded high streets, or heatwaves, people beyond the “climate bubble” are sensing that we’re in deeper trouble than our leaders admit. Polls show that a majority of people are now concerned about climate change and authorities’ failure to act. But so far mass concern hasn’t yet become mass action. This has to change.
Governments have shown they won’t make the deep, difficult, disruptive changes we need to address climate change until millions of people stand up and insist on it. Not just activists, but the majority. That’s why, in the UK, a striking group of household names have created the Climate Majority Project calling for mass citizen action that goes beyond political divides.
The world needs a mass climate movement. It’s time to stop “protecting” the public from the hard truth about climate breakdown, and let go of stories that put off urgent mass action until tomorrow. For over 20 years we’ve heard that time’s running out to solve our ecological crisis. Decisive action never seems to come and now we have to accept that it’s already too late to keep a “safe” climate. Ever fewer experts really believe that a 1.5 °C limit is going to happen.
That doesn’t mean it’s time to give up. The opposite: it means that in order to limit catastrophic damage and loss of life, most of the people in the world need to be on board with climate action. Climate has to be everyone’s issue now and for that, three things need to happen. People need to access the truth about the crisis so they can turn their nagging anxiety into serious action. They need to see accessible, meaningful ways that they can get involved. And they need to understand that their actions are part of something much, much larger — a climate movement that eventually has to be as big as any war effort. That’s where the Climate Majority Project comes in. Climate has to be everyone’s issue now.
In fact, serious citizen action is already emerging. In workplaces, communities and wherever people have power they are taking climate action into their own hands — from towns and communities working towards net zero, to figures in law, business and finance lobbying for ambitious climate policy. At scale, these are the kinds of action that can make authorities take notice — but most importantly, they show that we’re done waiting around for governments to lead the change we need. The Climate Majority Project is working to support and amplify those initiatives and help them grow in every way we can.
In other words, when it comes to the climate movement, the next big thing will be lots of things. It will be created by millions of people from diverse backgrounds and with unique talents and needs, finding their own part to play in something much, much larger. We could never actually construct such a movement. We can only do everything we can to make sure it happens.
When people understand that they’re not alone in their fears and that actually most people share their concerns, that’s when the majority starts to realize its own power. And when people are able to see each other facing the truth and taking action, giving them the confidence to play their own part, that’s when a majority can become an irresistible political force.