At its core, sustainability is social justice. Global warming has the power to impact all aspects of our daily lives, thus making it essential to protect the environment. This section will discuss various social movements across Europe and how they've been using their voices to protect and preserve the environment, especially for those who are disproportionately affected by climate change.
Extinction Rebellion (XR) is a UK based organization that advocates for more environmental consciousness from government officials through direct action and civil disobedience,
There are three demands the organization is based on:
1. Tell the Truth - Governments must declare climate change for what it is - a global emergency, in order to effectively community the urgency of increasing sustainable measures
2. Act Now - Governments must act now to ensure the longevity of the environment
3. Go Beyond Politics - Governments must create Citizens' Assemblies to accurately meet the needs and demands of the public
Friends of the Earth Europe is an environmental network in Europe consisting of over 30 national organizations and thousands of local organizations across the EU. The network works to campaign for more environmentally sustainable and social justice focused societies by challenging the system of economic and corporate globalization. The network also advocates for more public participation to fight climate change and for "environmental, social, economic and political justice and equal access to resources and opportunities on the local, national, regional and international levels".
Fridays For Future (FFF) is a youth-led social movement that was inspired by the climate protests of Greta Thunberg in 2018. Greta and fellow protesters started the #FridaysForFuture to encourage other youths to protest against climate change after school hours. Their actions inspired activists and school children to protest around the globe at their local government official's offices.
The goal of FFF is to put moral pressure on government officials to act now against climate change. The following are demands the movement has stands by:
The Last Generation is a Germany based organization that advocates for climate change through civil protest. The organization was created in 2021 by the participants of the Hungerstreik der letzten Generation (Hunger Strike of the Last Generation), after their demand to establish a Citizens' Assembly was rejected . Their notable tactics include blocking roads and desecrating artworks in museums. In 2022, the Last Generation created 276 road blockades in Germany . The name of the organization comes from the idea that today's youth is the last generation that can reverse the effects of climate change before they become permanent.
The Barcelona Lab for Urban Environmental Justice and Sustainability examines the causes for social inequalities, exclusion, oppression, and neo-colonization in cities. The lab focuses on how urban plans and policy decisions contribute to more sustainable cities, and also lead to community groups in distressed neighborhoods to challenge environmental inequities due to urban (re)development processes and policies.
"We believe in putting the needs of socially vulnerable groups at the center of sustainable urban land use practices and planning decisions, and prioritizing justice-driven responses to environmental and climate-related challenges. Our emphasis is on understanding the role that community, public, and private institutions can play in creating prosperous, welcoming and supportive cities for all."
The Green 10 is a coalition of the ten largest environmental organizations and networks across Europe. They advocate for better EU policies that address climate change and environmental sustainability and ensure that the EU protects the climate, local goverment, biodiversity, and human health.
The 10 organizations that make up the Green 10 include:
Women Engaged for a Common Future is a nonprofit that believes in the intersection between sustainability and gender equality. WECIF international reach includes working with 250 women’s and civil society organizations in over 70 countries. WECIF believes in using feminist solutions to address gender equality and women’s human rights in connection with climate justice, sustainable energy & chemicals, less toxic waste, safe water & sanitation for all.
WECIF dedicates their nonprofit to train and provide expertise to women and gender equality organizations around the world. They also advocate to policy makers to include a gender equality and women's rights perspective when creating policies and legislation. Finally, the also support outreach and advocacy relating to gender equality sustainability efforts.
Climate Outreach is an organization that helps people understand the impact of climate change and the importance of creating a social mandate for climate action. Climate outreach works with other organizations, academics, and the media to increase public engagement and effectively talk about climate change in a manner that shows its importance and urgency. Climate Outreach also provides free resources for the public to learn how to discuss climate change in a productive manner.
Some examples include:
To find more resources and guides: Reports and & Guides
Environmental Justice Atlas - Interactive map that shows various ecological conflicts around the world
FFF Map - Interactive map that shows FFF's past and future protests across the world
Europe, The Environment and Social Movements: What Response Do Europeans Have For The Climate Emergency? - Interview with an Extinction Rebellion Member
A22Network - A network of organizations and projects around Europe that aim to combat climate change through advocacy and protests.
Equinox Initiative for Racial Justice - Equinox Initiative for Racial Justice is an initiative led by people of color who advocate for advance rights and justice for all people in the EU.
Towards Climate Justice: Rethinking the European Green Deal from a racial justice perspective - a report by Equinox Initiative for Racial Justice that highlights the racial disparities of the EU's Green Deal and climate change.