The world will be focused on climate change at the end of September. The United Nations will be holding a climate summit on Monday, September 23. Activities will be taking place all week to focus attention on the challenges caused by climate change and the need for urgent actions to combat it. The American Bar Association has just passed a resolution urging lawyers to get involved with climate advocacy. At Lawyers for Climate Action-A Call to the Bar, we are responding with Lawyers Climate Week, offering educational events and opportunities for activism to the legal profession.
Before all that happens, however, young people will lead the way. You can help. On September 20, youth activists will lead a Global Climate Strike. This strike marks the next step in the series of school strikes for climate and other activism led by young climate change advocates like the Juliana litigation plaintiffs, Alexandra Villasenior, and Greta Thunberg, who traveled across the ocean in a zero greenhouse-gas emissions sailboat to take part in this month’s events.
Young people, who have more at stake than any of us, will again lead a series of protests and other actions. This time, they are asking adults to join them. “If a kid says help, you help.” We encourage lawyers who are able to do so, to answer their call. Nobody should neglect their solemn responsibilities to their clients. But most of the time, lawyers have more flexibility than health care professionals, teachers, or workers assigned to shifts about how and when we do our work, and when to pursue other interests and commitments. On September 20, consider spending part of your day taking part in climate activism, and permitting your colleagues at your law firm, school, business or other organization to do the same. And let us know—we’ll be sure to give you some shine!