7 people who stood up for our planet in 2018

(Eco Business, 10 Dec 2018) In a year in which the likes of Donald Trump, Jair Bolsonaro and Scott Morrison cut the environment adrift, others tried to protect it. Here are seven people from government, business and civic society who stood up for our planet this year.

The world became a hotter, more dangerous, more divisive place in 2018.

Some powerful people played a big role in slowing climate action this year. United States president Donald Trump did everything in his power to roll back the environmental protection measures of his predecessor Barack Obama, while Southeast Asian leaders, from Indonesia’s Joko Widodo to Vietnam’s Nguyen Xuan Phuc, pursued their passion for climate-changing coal while doing relatively little to boost clean energy.

Australia’s premier Scott Morrison told students protesting against climate change to go back to school, and Brazil’s president-elect Jair Bolsonaro threatens to turn the world’s largest tropical rainforest into a cattle ranch. 

But some people fought to make the world better. Eco-Business has picked out seven of the many who championed climate action and sustainable development this year. 

1. Climate kids, protesting for their future

Climate change may not affect the lives of the political leaders running the world now much—but it will affect their children and grandchildren. Young people took to the streets this year to remind the powers that be of this. In November, 15,000 students across Australia went on strike to protest their government’s inaction on climate change. The strikes were inspired by Greta Thunberg, a 15 year-old Swedish student who misses school every Friday to demonstrate outside parliament. She says she will continue to do so until the country reaches its emissions targets. Kids too young to vote in ColombiaCanada and the United States are suing their governments, and similar lawsuits were filed in India and Pakistan over the last two years. In the UK, children were part of the Extinction Rebellion civil disobedience movement that saw roads blockaded as they demanded a reversal of climate-toxic policies.

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Eco Business, 10 Dec 2018: 7 people who stood up for our planet in 2018