Young people are calling on millions of us across the planet to disrupt business as usual by joining the global climate strikes on September 20, just ahead of a UN Climate Action Summit, and again on September 27 as part of the Global Climate Strike.
If you are inspired to support climate activists, we encourage you to give carefully to make sure you get the most from your donation. There are a number of different charities involved in this rally. They all work towards slightly different agendas, use money in different ways and support different policies.
This analysis provides an overview of the movement, the different organisations that are supporting it and the charities that we believe will use your donation to further advance the cause.
First things first, the Global Climate Strike is a movement, not a charity
The Global Climate Strike is a movement, not a charity. The original concept originated from Greta Thynberg’s #FridaysForFuture, where, in August 2018, 15 year old Greta Thunberg sat in front of the Swedish parliament every school day for three weeks, to protest against the lack of action on the climate crisis.
The 2019 Global Climate Strike evolved from this.
There is no central organisation that is responsible for facilitating the strikes. Rather, individuals, organisations, businesses, charities are now working simultaneously to support the basic idea, that is, to call attention to the climate crisis by disrupting business as usual on September 20.
We have identified a number of websites that help facilitate climate strikes in Australia. These websites are hosted by a range of different organisations with different demands. Some, but not all, are collecting donations.
#FridaysForFuture. #FridaysForFuture is a movement that began in August 2018, after 15 year old Greta Thunberg sat in front of the Swedish parliament every school day for three weeks, to protest against the lack of action on the climate crisis.
Demands: For Swedish policies to provide a safe pathway to well under 2-degree C, i.e. in line with the Paris agreement.
Collecting donations: No.
#SchoolsStrike4Climate. Schools Strike 4 Climate are school students from cities and towns across Australia striking from school to tell our politicians “to take our futures seriously and treat climate change for what it is - a crisis.”
Demands: No new coal, oil and gas projects, including the Adani mine; 100% renewable energy generation & exports by 2030; Fund a just transition & job creation for all fossil-fuel workers & communities.
Collecting donations: Yes, for The Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) (described below).
#GlobalClimateStrike. A coalition of groups, NGOs, unions and social movements around the world got involved to create the Global Climate Strike, calling on millions of us across the planet to disrupt business as usual by joining the global climate strikes on September 20, just ahead of a UN climate summit, and again on September 27. Hosted by 350.org.
Demands: Stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart.
Collecting donations: No.
Climate Strike Supporters. Various activist organisations across Australia join forces to support the climate strike on Friday Sept 20. This coalition provide activist resources like flyers, posters and information on community outreach.
Demands: not indicated.
Collecting donations: No
#notbusinessasusual. The ethical super fund, Future Super, founded Not Business As Usual to facilitate Australian & global businesses pledging to support worker participation in the climate strike.
Demands: not indicated.
Collecting donations: No
Extinction rebellion. Extinction Rebellion is a global movement with a strategy of mass disruption of city centres through nonviolent civil disobedience.
Demands: declare a climate and ecological emergency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025 and create a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.
Collecting donations: Yes.
Which Australian charities will use donations to support action on climate change?
None of the websites listed above are charities in and of themselves. However, there are a range of Australian charities that are backing the movement. The involvement of each charity is varied and the climate policies that these charities advocate for are different. Below are a list of the key charities that undertake climate change advocacy and that are supporting the Global Climate Strike in Australia:
Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC). AYCC is Australia’s largest youth-run organisation; their mission is to build a movement of young people leading solutions to the climate crisis. #SchoolsStrike4Climate, the Australian school student climate movement, collect donations on behalf of AYCC.
Climate policies: AYCC works to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees; advocates for just and sustainable solutions to the climate crisis; takes leadership from, and works together to build the power of, those most affected by the climate crisis. Read our review of AYCC here.
Climate policies: Currently the focus of Tipping Point is stopping Adani’s coal mine. Friends of the Earth Australia advocate a broader range of climate policies including: limiting emissions (without using nuclear); de-colonising the economy, especially around mining issues; ensuring an inclusive renewable energy future; reshaping economic systems to acknowledge ecological limits; ensure no-one is left behind when dealing with climate change. Read our review of Friends of the Earth here.
Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF). ACF are a national environmental advocacy organisation that “speak out for a world where forests, rivers, people and wildlife thrive.”
Climate policies: For a fast and fair transition from polluting fuels to 100% clean energy from the wind and sun (specifically stopping Adani, ramping up clean energy and phasing out coal). Read our review of ACF here.
350 Australia- 350 is a global grassroots movement that aims to “hold our leaders accountable to the realities of science and the principles of justice.”
Climate policies: End fossil fuels.
ActionAid Australia– are a global movement of women standing together to claim their human rights and campaign against injustice.
Climate policies: for the Australian government to mitigate climate change by reducing carbon emissions and replacing economic and energy systems that cause environmental destruction and inequality, with just alternatives.
But wait, there’s more! The following organisations are active in supporting climate change action and collect donations. However, note that these organisations are not registered charities:
GetUp!– an independent movement that sets agendas on issues that members care about, such as Environmental Justice, Human Rights, Economic Fairness and Democratic Integrity.
Climate policies: various, including Stop Adani, Renewable Energy for All.
Extinction Rebellion Australia– Extinction Rebellion is an international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience in an attempt to halt mass extinction and minimise the risk of social collapse. Extinction Rebellion are UK company known as Compassionate Revolution Ltd, a company limited by shares that does not seek profits.
Climate policies: declare a climate and ecological emergency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025 and create a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.
Which climate change charity should I give to?
Of the charities we have evaluated, none stand out as particularly strong or weak performers. They all demonstrate that they are taking action and making noise, but none indicate that they evaluate the effectiveness of their work.
Therefore, to determine which charity to support requires a deep consideration of your own values. Some charities advocate strongly for overhauling our current economic system, whereas others believe we should simply speed up the transition to a clean economy.
Our guide to which charity advocates what is presented below.
What climate action is already occurring?
185 countries have agreed to cut emissions to target a 1.5 degree warming through The Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement aims to keep a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
However, climate modelling has inspired the need for further action. According to Climate Action Tracker, even if all countries achieve their current targets/pledges set within the Paris climate agreement, it’s estimated average warming by 2100 will still be 2.7-3.0°C.
What is Australia doing?
The Australian Government has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions:
5% below 2000 levels by 2020, targeting a 2-degree warming (Copenhagen Accord 2009)
26-28% below 2005 levels by 2030, targeting a 1.5-degree warming (Paris Agreement 2015)
The latest emissions projections report produced by The Australian Government states that “Australia will surpass its 2020 target”. The total emissions in 2000 were 547 Mt CO2e; in 2018 Australia’s emissions were only 539 Mt CO2e. However, Australia’s ability to meet the 2030 target is more ominous. The Australian Government present pathways to achieve the target, but also clearly state that “the task to meet the 2030 target has declined”.
The Global Climate Strikes are a demonstration of how to inspire people to get up and make noise. However, there are so many players in this strike it is difficult to know who to support. To determine which charity to support requires a deep consideration of your own values. Do you believe that necessary reductions can happen within our current political and economic systems? Or, do you believe that the only way to prevent climate change is by fundamentally changing the way our society currently functions?
This review has been published by The Good Cause Co. We review large Australian charities based on their trustworthiness and effectiveness. This review focuses on the Australian Global Climate Strike movement only. Author affiliations: None.