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About Environmental Activism

Updated: Apr 16, 2021

Women for climate: have you heard of Nicole Becker?

She works as a columnist at Futurock and as a writer for ElDiarioAr, and she's also a Law student. What’s the most recurrent topic in her work? The current environmental crisis. At age 20, Nicole Becker has become one of the founders of Jóvenes por el Clima Argentina (“Argentine Youth for Climate Action”).

During an interview in 2019, she mentioned Greta Thunberg's activism as an inspiration for her own work: “By the end of February 2019, a video where Greta asked people from all over the world to join her demonstrations went viral and caught my attention. It motivated me to stay up hours and hours every night reading more on these issues.”

In that same year, after she helped organize the first call for climate outside the Argentine Congress, she was given a grant which allowed her to attend the 2019 UN Climate Change Conference, representing Argentine young people.

There's no plan B for Earth: environmental activism in Argentina

Jóvenes por el Clima was presented with the Ambassador of Conscience Award given by Amnesty International. They have successfully drawn the attention of many congresspeople through their demonstrations. As Becker herself has stated, to solve this climate crisis before the year 2030, it's imperative we take action through public policy and systemic changes, not simply by worrying about individuals behaviours.

While common sense tells us that only industrialized countries should implement measures to fight global warming, Argentina must also be held accountable for it: financial speculation has devastated the land in Patagonia and the agroexport and extractivist model employs methods of production which pollute the water, the air and the land itself. For example, the Monsanto Company sells pest control products which are banned by law in the European Union.

For these reasons, Jóvenes por el clima has adopted a regional approach. As co-founder Eyal Weintraub explains, they “want to build a popular, Latin American environmentalism. A movement which will always put people first, which understands that change starts from the bottom up and it happens when millions of people take to the streets. During this pandemic, we're working online to avoid large crowds because, the way we see it, we share a collective responsibility.”

Among their activities, they have promoted initiatives to shine a light on the situation in Argentina. On March 17th 2019, they led a protest before the National Congress which brought together over 15,000 people. They are also in constant dialogue with legislators to work on bills such as the Environmental Education Law which has recently received preliminary approval by the lower house of Congress.

What's the Green New Deal?

Ever since 1980, scientists have been warning us about the consequences of global warming. However, after the massive fires in Australia and the Argentine Patagonia, actual concern has been growing in our country regarding the climate crisis.

“A Green New Deal” is a report published by the New Economics Foundation in 2008. It proposes a possible way to face the economic crises produced by the limitations of the fossil fuel industry: transitioning to productive systems based on renewable energy.

The title itself is a play on words: first, it refers back to the New Deal (a series of Keynesian economic policies implemented by president Roosevelt in the 1930s to lift the United States out of the Great Depression). Additionally, the word “green” is a nod to environmental activism.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has introduced a Green New Deal bill in Washington. Her proposal includes the creation of 20 million jobs through the decarbonisation of the American economy. The United States is one of the countries that emit the most carbon dioxide, only second to China. Despite the lack of support from the legislative majority to see it passed, she still managed to bring concerns about the climate crisis back into the conversation.

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