UKYCC & SYSTEMS CHANGE
Recognising that the climate catastrophe is deep rooted, the UKYCC System Change group aims to address the heart of issues facing today's society. Identifying that climate justice is linked to many other injustices around the planet we hope to begin to build a new, more just society for the future. You can read our statement on the climate crisis from a systemic view below.
Systems Change Statement
Please read our brief statement below:
Climate Crisis and Capitalism:
Our lives are dependent on a healthy planet. Sadly, the current system of capitalism is destroying our planet in many ways, one being climate change. Capitalism calls for unlimited growth on a finite planet, causing the destruction of our environment and only benefits the richest in society.
Western countries have been exploiting environments and people in the Global South for centuries. It is no coincidence that the places most at risk to the damages of climate change are home to the economically poorest communities. Therefore, it is important to remember that, to achieve a just transition, we must overcome the global economic, political and gender inequalities in our current system.
We recognise that the climate emergency is part of a wider problem of socio-ecological injustice and violence. Therefore, the fight against climate change is a fight against other oppressions, such as racism, misogyny and ableism.
Failings of the Current System:
Capitalism is preventing us from making progress towards a greener and fairer society.
Whether it is extreme weather, flooding or drought, we are feeling the impacts of environmental destruction today. Despite this, the current system can do little more than set targets, such as the UK government’s net-zero emissions by 2050, which has no concrete action to support it. Progress is prevented due to the profit over planet mindset of the current system.
Progress is also slowed by the powerful classes placing the blame and burden of responsibility on ordinary people when the focus should be on the 100 companies who are responsible for 71% of global emissions. While these companies become richer, we see public spaces under attack with the closing libraries and the gating of green areas.
The system cannot change itself, the crisis cannot be solved within the current system, so the system must be changed.
What a different system could look like:
There is no one size fits all. A new system will be unique, but there is much to be learnt from existing alternatives and indigenous teachings from the Global South. The values of a new system need to be based around sustainability, justice and participation by all.
We are continually inspired by campaigning groups around the world who have been calling for a change to the current social, economic and environmental systems.
- We draw huge inspiration from the ‘Fridays for Future’ youth movement. The protests of young people across the world to highlight the climate emergency and pressure governments to act has influenced many youth-led organisations such as ourselves.
- Historically, in 1999, the people of Cochabamba Bolivia protested together and successfully pressured the government to reverse the privatisation of their water system.
- The Green New Deal is an idea and movement being discussed in the US and UK. A Green New Deal strives to address the problems of the current system, with the goal of an economic transformation to tackle inequalities in society and reduce greenhouse emissions for a sustainable future.
- Finally, the Occupy movement has successfully exposed the inequality and growing influence of the financial sector in politics. We draw inspiration from their savvy use of social media and their supportive actions taken when providing food and shelter to those affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Gaps still exist, we believe that movements who call for systems change must strive to be inclusive and not support the structures which they are trying to dismantle.
Being Conscientious Systems Changers
To address the racism, sexism, ableism and classism as well as other forms of oppression which exist in our current system, we aim to ensure that our actions are inclusive, recognising oppression and privilege. While inclusive, we do not wish to represent or give space to oppressive groups and instead work with anti-racism and feminist groups when working towards systemic change.
We acknowledge this is a learning process and therefore we commit time for reflecting, learning, working, educating and caring for ourselves and for everyone.
Our Role in the Movement
UKYCC places systems change at the heart of our campaigns and values. To support the systems change movement we commit to:
(i) Promoting the voices of all youth and other marginalised groups in the world of climate change decision-making.
(ii) Build the capacity of young people and other marginalised groups to challenge the barriers to climate justice.
(iii) Identity and challenge those who stand in the way of a rapid and just transition
(iv) Contribute to the building of alternative ideas that can deliver a more equal, free and regenerative society.
Full statement here:
We've developed a workshop which explores the deep systemic nature of the climate crisis. Our 'Systems Change Game' is designed to encourage participants to think about the systems all around our daily lives. By the end, players feel more confident thinking about the climate crisis from a ‘systems’ perspective.
If you'd like to request a member of UKYCC run a Systems Change Game at an event, please do not hesitate to get in touch.