Fighting for Climate Justice in San Diego
The dedication and passion displayed by the UNA-USA members is what will enable the United Nations to reach its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the year 2030. We recognize the pivotal work each of our chapter members do in order to advance the UN’s goals for a better world. This month, we want to spotlight the leadership of the UNA San Diego Chapter and its members in advocating for climate justice.
Over the past several years, UNA San Diego Chapter has consistently fought for climate action by holding information sessions on the causes and effects leading to climate change, collaborating with local environmental groups to host advocacy events, and launching several programs to engage its members across the state. Here are just a few highlights of their initiatives:
- In 2017 they launched a Oceans Ambassador program which aims to educate students on the urgency of sustainable development by building on and strengthening the understanding of the importance of our oceans. They piloted this campaign in Laguna Beach Unified School District, where Ms. Odile Dewar and the students in her AP French class created inspiring, well-informed advocacy videos – in French – to illustrate the importance of protecting our oceans.
- At the end of 2018 the chapter created a #GlobalGoals campaign, urging members to commit to renewing the resolve of the SDG’s by picking one that resonates with them and then working to catalyze progress.
- In May of 2019, they collaborated with Oceana California, Surfrider Foundation, Sierra Club San Diego and many other community organizations to protect the coasts by blocking any potential for new offshore oil and prevent the industrialization of the California coast. Their actions send a firm message to the Department of Interior that UNA-USA members demand sustainable development of our coasts.
The chapter also knows that engaging the local government and organizations is integral in promoting, and achieving, sustainable progress in their community. They have been a partner in a campaign that succeeded in getting a legislative ban on extended polystyrene (such as Styrofoam) and reduce other plastics that make their way into the ocean. They are also working with the City of San Diego to encourage it to become an SDG champion. This includes working closely with city employees to find ways to bring integrate those Global Goals into the work that they do.
As we prepare for UN Day, this year’s theme “Our Planet. Our Future.” is an important reminder of our commitment to prioritizing the SDGs and climate action. Throughout his tenure, UN Secretary-General Guterres has been an outspoken advocate for climate justice, and we are so inspired to see chapters like UNA San Diego taking action in this area and being an example in local leadership.
UNA San Diego inspires us all by paving the way to a more sustainable world, but there is still much work to be done. Now, it’s your turn! What steps will you take to save our planet and help the UN reach its SDG’s by the year 2030?
You can learn more about UNA San Diego Chapter by visiting their website.