Musicians and young people across the world launched Climate Live, the simultaneous youth-led global climate concerts set to take place in more than 40 countries on Saturday, 16 October 2021, with a 24-hour live music stream on Sunday.
Climate Live is bringing artists, activists and young people together through music to unite in the fight for climate justice and the race to safeguard the future of the planet. It is led by members of Friday for Future youth climate groups, which organised the school strikes started by Greta Thunberg, and supported by Music Declares Emergency, Greenpeace and others.
The critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Declan McKenna joined Climate Live in the rallying cry to world leaders – “Can You Hear Us Yet?” – by taking the stage on a boat outside the Houses of Parliament in London.
McKenna said: “The question I’d ask world leaders is, what disaster are we waiting for? There’s so much reason and so much cause to change the way we’re doing things right now and why wait? Why wait to act on this?
“We really are already seeing the impacts of climate change, of temperatures rising all around the world. We are already seeing the impact of pollution, the impact of all of this stuff for many years now – why wait? Why wait to do something massive?”
Other highlights from across the world included performances and talks by award-winning alternative pop-folk duo Milky Chance, Brazilian singer and actress Any Gabrielly, Canadian singer song-songwriter Lia Pappas-Kemps and Swedish musical star Helen Sjöholm. Gabrielly said: “The time on the planet as we know it is running out and the future is in our hands.”
The special live performances and actions took place across the world on Sunday, in countries including Uruguay, Brazil, Germany, Canada, Mexico, The Netherlands, Colombia, Sweden, Portugal, Ireland, DRC and Afghanistan, launching the global climate concerts taking place on October 16.
Frances Fox, the 20-year-old founder said: “I started Climate Live in Spring 2019, after realising a lot of young people still did not fully grasp the urgency of the climate crisis. Climate Live is harnessing the unifying power of music to engage, educate and empower the vast network of music fans around the world.”
Vanessa Nakate, 24, a Ugandan climate justice activist named as one of ‘Time100 Next’, said: “We all know that we are facing the same storm but in different boats. This only means that climate change is already ravaging different people and communities.
“It also means that no one can escape the wrath of this crisis. Everyone is needed in this fight. Every voice needs to be listened to. Every solution needs to be listened to. Climate justice is only justice if it includes all of us.”
Mitzi Jonelle Tan, the 23-year-old Climate Live Philippines Coordinator said: “We are the 2nd most climate vulnerable and 2nd most dangerous country for environmental defenders in the world. It’s a scary thing and we desperately need more people out on the streets if we want to see change. Climate Live is the perfect way to do that.”
Dominique Palmer, the 20-year-old Climate Live Launch Coordinator, organiser for Fridays for Future International and one of Forbes’ leading UK environmentalists, added: “The race to safeguard the future of this planet has begun, and so we must act now. We are not only fighting for our futures, but against the present crisis and those already suffering. We need ambitious systemic change that places people and the planet at the heart of it.”
Marina Guião, the 17-year-old, Climate Live Brazil Coordinator said: “Climate Live for me is a reunion of anger for so many years of inaction but is mostly a reunion of hope and youth strength. Only united we will be able to face the imminent social and environmental collapses generated by an unsustainable system and model of society.”
Aishwarya Puttur, the 17-year-old, Climate Live Canada Comms Coordinator, said: “Music unites us all no matter who we are. Empowering one another and exchanging messages of importance such as the climate crisis through music can bring the world together to fight for climate action. It’s about time world leaders listen and act upon this crisis with tangible systemic change for a just, green and livable future.”
The race to safeguard the future of this planet has begun, so now it’s time to come together. As Climate Live supporter Greta Thunberg, 18, from Sweden has said: “To change everything, we need everyone”.
Brendan Montague is the editor of The Ecologist. This article is based on a press release from Climate Live. Climate Live is encouraging everyone to take action in the fight for climate justice, more details can be found here. Climate Live have also launched a global Crowdfunder to support countries who are not able to raise funds easily for their initiatives, more details can be found here.