Change.org Petition and All In For Climate Action
Change.org Petition To Declare National Climate Emergency
On the 1st of May 2019, I started a Petition to the Government Of India, asking for the Declaration of a National Climate Emergency in India. My petition urges policymakers to recognise the climate crisis for what it is: an existential emergency that needs immediate action. So far, the petition has collected over 370,000 signatures on it, and has been endorsed by several Bollywood and Hollywood actors such as Sonakshi Sinha, Dia Mirza, Bhumi Pednekar, Nathalie Kelley, Maddison Brown, and Rafael De La Fuente through their social media. My story was covered by Thomson Reuters and the World Economic Forum and went viral online with more than 150 media articles written worldwide about the petition and immense support from youth and adults alike, helping me turn the petition from a piece of paper into a full-fledged national movement and lobby campaign calling for a climate emergency declaration in India. I personally presented the petition to the Indian Union Minister For Housing and Urban Affairs Mr. Hardeep Singh Puri (who signed it and pledged his Ministry's support) and the Prime Minister’s Office.
In my petition, I ask the government to:
Declare a National Climate Emergency and recognize its shortcomings in providing us a safe environment.
Commit to the Paris Agreement which seeks to limit the Earth’s warming to below 2 degrees Celsius
Work towards meeting the goal of a green cover of 33% in the country as proposed in its National Forest Policy.
Implement stricter rules to reduce sporadic clearances of forests for activities such as mining and building and towards curbing illegal mining in green and wetland areas.
Prioritize completion of all plans enlisted under INDC.
After I started my petition, Change.org reached out to me to co-found the ‘All in for Climate Action’ Initiative, a network consisting of about 110 climate activists and UN delegates from across the globe and consisting of petitions from 70+ countries with a total of 1.7 million signatures, all asking for a worldwide Climate Emergency Declaration by the United Nations and global leaders.
Of the combined count of 1.7 million signatures, my petition has the highest individual count. Greta Thunberg, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J Mohammed, and Amnesty International Founder Kumi Naidoo have all supported this initiative.
Outcomes and Global Response
The 'All In For Climate Action' campaign was presented at the United Nation's first-ever Youth Climate Action Summit at the UN Headquarters in New York City in September 2019.
Due to the All In movement’s global efforts and pressure, the movement was highly successful with several governments giving in to our demands, enacting proposed climate laws and policy reforms and declaring a climate emergency like Canada, the United Kingdom, New York, France, Spain, Argentina, Austria, as well as the European Union.
As a result of my efforts, in August 2019, I was nominated by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kailash Satyarthi to be a speaker at the Nobel Peace Prize Center's first-ever convention on climate change called ‘Oslo Pax’ in Norway. I was 1 of only 2 Indian representatives while the summit was attended by several global leaders and chaired by the architect of the Paris Agreement Christina Figueres.
Gaining local success in Delhi & support of Leonardo DiCaprio
Finally, in October 2019, my petition was
presented to the Chief Minister of Delhi Mr. Arvind Kejriwal by change.org, who, after a lot of campaigning, decided to act on it.
Our initiative hence achieved local success after Delhi declared an 'Emergency due to Pollution' on November 1st 2019 after I co-organized a series of protests against the state and its inaction on the deadly pollution levels.
The largest strike saw about 1500 people gather wearing masks in the midst of the pollution crisis and was even posted about and supported by Environmentalist-Actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who shared a photograph of me protesting and some shots of the strike on his social media.