Kristine, Credit 18.11.2023 Andrea Domeniconi

Climate Justice. A generation thing?


With Epsom Hospital Doctor and mother of four Kristine Damberg in the lead, Mothers’ Rebellion for Climate Justice, a global grassroots organization, orchestrated coordinated actions across the UK and 30 countries on six continents on Saturday, November 18, to mark World Children’s Day. In response to the escalating threat posed by the climate crisis to children worldwide, the movement held fifteen impactful “Circles” across the UK, drawing attention to the urgent need for action. Dr Damberg was joined by Epsom mother Lisa Davies and several other Epsom residents, including children.

They joined the action that started at the UN Green for a symbolic march to Parliament Square where they formed a Mothers’ Rebellion Circle with speeches, songs and children’s activities.

As part of World Children’s Day, which falls on November 20 and commemorates the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Mothers Rebellion staged non-violent public protests. The focus was on the severe risks children face due to the impacts of global heating, including floods, heatwaves, droughts, storms, ecocide, and violent conflicts. Particularly emphasized was the disproportionate burden borne by children in the Global South due to resource-intensive practices by the Global North.

Operating under the banner of Climate Justice, Mothers’ Rebellion called for respect for the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, demanding that those in power take decisive actions to address the escalating climate emergency. The movement condemned structural violence against children and highlighted the exacerbating factors such as poverty, economic and social inequalities, food insecurity, and forced displacement.

A recent Unicef analysis revealed that at least 43 million children were displaced over the past six years due to extreme weather events. Healthcare professionals, including Dr. Camilla Kingdon, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, warned that climate change poses an existential threat to children’s health and well-being, with tangible impacts already witnessed, including air pollution and extreme weather effects.

Mothers’ Rebellion members, including Dr. Kristine Damberg, stressed the urgency of meaningful climate action. Damberg highlighted the need for cleaner air, more green spaces, healthier food, and reduced strain on healthcare systems, emphasizing the tangible benefits for both current and future generations.

Expressing deep concern for the future, mothers and allies globally urged countries to incorporate children’s right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment into national legislation. They called for just measures to implement these rights and emphasized the historical role of mothers and caregivers in protecting and nurturing the vulnerable.

Elizabeth Cripps, Senior Lecturer in Political Theory, and Lisa Davies, a mother of three, shared their perspectives on the collective need for change, stressing the importance of a united effort in the face of a climate crisis threatening the overall future of children.

UNICEF acknowledged the voices of children and young people, stating, “From climate change, education, and mental health, to ending racism and discrimination, children are raising their voices on the issues that matter to their generation.”

Mothers’ Rebellion for Climate Justice concluded its global actions with a resolute stance: “In the face of the climate crisis and its impact on children, we refuse to look away.”

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Image: Dr Kristine Damberg, Credit Andrea Domeniconi

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