History will most likely – and hopefully – remember this 20 September 2019 as the day when the fight for climate justice finally took centre stage, when thanks to courageous and visionary young people it was no longer possible to ignore the fact that climate change is an existential threat that must be taken very seriously.
On this occasion, and while hundreds of thousands of people – mainly students, but joined by their parents, by trade unionists, media workers, people from all walks of life – marched through the streets of places as far apart as Sydney, Nairobi, Delhi or London, Saint Lucian poet, dramatist and activist Kendel Hippolyte once again issued his call for artists throughout the world to add their voice to the cry for climate justice.
"We cannot - CANNOT - look at our children and grandchildren and say we did nothing or we did not know what to do. Whatever artistic gift we have - and whatever rewards it brings or we hope it will bring - will not mean a thing if all we hand over to our descendants as we leave is a planet which is their funeral pyre even while they are alive,” says Hippolyte in his call.
This call is part of a campaign launched in 2015 at the initiative of Panos Caribbean to raise awareness about the threats posed by climate change and to support the position of Caribbean countries calling for urgent action so as to ensure that average global temperatures do not rise more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above what they were two centuries ago.
The campaign works closely with musicians and other artists, and Kendel Hippolyte explains why it is important for artists to become involved in the fight for climate justice: “it is important,” he says, “because artists can make you feel, and when you feel something, that’s when you want to act”.
In this second video, Kendel Hippolyte expresses his hopes and his belief in the role artists and young people can play to save our planet.