ActionAid Australia’s head Michelle Higelin opened the conversation which was moderated by Women’s Agenda founding Editor Angela Priestley, and featured 1 Million Women’s Natalie Isaacs, Head of ActionAid USA, Niranjali Amerasinghe and Katerina Kimmorley, climate entrepreneur and co-founder of Pollinate Energy, a social business that improves the lives of India’s urban poor by making sustainable energy products accessible.
Amerasinghe joined from Washington DC, where she is based, and the rest of the speakers were speaking from their homes in Australia.
Jessie Tu shares some key takeaways heard during the live session. Stay tuned for the next session, happening in May, and check out our previous session held with Zali Steggal, Carol Angir and Kim McKay here.
NOW IS THE TIME TO TALK ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE
Niranjali Amerasinghe: “Right now in the US, we are at the epicentre of this crisis. The focus of the conversation has been around healthcare and economy and there is not much space to talk about climate change. However, climate change is a global problem that requires global solidarity – just like this coronavirus. The pandemic is exacerbating existing inequalities. There are higher percentages of minorities that are being impacted. Workers and labourers are being hit much harder.”
“We need to put more pressure on corporations now and have them shoulder more responsibilities. Both Climate Change and this pandemic affects less advantaged people. We tend to see massive corporate interest in the centre of these issues in addressing the problem. Now is the time where we can work on fixing these systemic issues.”
Natalie Isaacs: “This pandemic is giving us time to pause, and to emerge with a new way forward. We need to ask ourselves, “How do you change the way you live?” Everything you do, every choice, we need to ask if we are making it for the good of the planet. This pandemic is showing us how humanity can transform overnight in the face of adversity. I feel a real sense of optimism. We will need to be really determined about this. We’ve got this window to carve out a new path, and we should act right now.”
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