Meet Black Girl Environmentalist, Wawa Gatheru. Prepping for Environmental Health Day, and did we mention WeLoveTheEarth.Org?
Black Girl Environmentalist, Wawa Gatheru, Prepping for Environmental Health Day, WeLoveTheEarth.Org
BIDEN HOLDS PRE-COP 26 CLIMATE MEETING
Last Friday, September 17, 2021, President Biden convened the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF), as a follow-up to the convening of that group during his Leaders Summit on Climate in April. Participants underscored the urgency of strengthening climate ambition ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP 26) in Glasgow and beyond, and many announced their support for a Global Methane Pledge to be launched at COP 26.
The meeting followed a much bigger virtual White House climate summit in April that saw scores of heads of governments – representing allies and rivals, and big economies and small – making sweeping speeches about the need for action against climate change.
President Biden was joined in the September 17 virtual, closed-door gathering by leaders from Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, the European Commission, the European Council, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, and the United Kingdom as well as the UN Secretary-General. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry chaired a ministerial session with China, Germany, India, and Russia.
Why does this matter? Because in the session, Biden discussed a new US push with the European Union and others aiming to launch a “global methane pledge” to cut emissions of methane by 30 percent by the end of this decade.
“This will not only rapidly reduce the rate of global warming, but it will also produce a very valuable side benefit, like improving public health and agricultural output,” Biden said. The U.S. president added, “We have to bring to Glasgow our highest possible ambitions. Those that have not yet done so, time is running out,” referring to the upcoming COP 26 in Glasgow this November.
Deeper Dive: WhiteHouse.gov, Al Jazeera, USNews
BLACK GIRL ENVIRONMENTALIST
Black Girl Environmentalist was founded in 2020 by Wanjiku “Wawa” Gatheru, who felt that Black voices are often ignored in this space. This organization creates a supportive community for Black girls, womxn, and non-binary environmentalists.
BGE’s first campaign was the ROT at the beginning of 2021. BGE partnered small black advocates with more prominent platforms, amplifying their work. BGE has partnered with people from Anne Hathaway to Greenpeace. They sure know what they’re doing. BGE currently has almost 17K followers in just over a year of existence.
Wawa Gatheru grew up in a long line of farmers. But she says she’d set her eyes on medicine. According to Gatheru, she encountered a high school environmental science teacher who helped her connect that lineage with environmentalism. “I became interested in trying to make the environmental movement more inclusive and make the space feel more at home for me,” Gatheru told RARE.org.
Gatheru is the University of Connecticut’s first ever Rhodes Scholar, studying at Oxford. Gatheru’s work done in collaboration with other activists and thought leaders, Gatheru has been recognized as a 2020 Young Futurist by The Root, a 2020 Grist 50 FIXER, a 2020 Glamour College Woman of the Year, and a 2021 Victoria’s Secret PINK Purpose Project Winner.
Check out Black Girl Environmentalist’s Insta for more. It’s incredibly robust featuring sections for mutual aid, events, opportunities and highlights.
DEEPER DIVE: Black Girl Environmentalist, RARE, GreenPeace
WORLD ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH DAY
Ensuring the public’s health is a multifaceted challenge requiring expertise in more than just the health threats that come from within. As the United States continues to experience increasing numbers of severe weather events and national foodborne illness outbreaks, the nation’s environmental health is pushed front and center. Addressing environmental health issues such as climate change, food safety and security, water and air quality, and the spread of vector-borne diseases is one of the most important duties public health professionals are tasked with. Local health departments need to be strong advocates for continued environmental health education, funding, and support.
World Environmental Health Day, an initiative of the International Federation of Environmental Health, and is celebrated on September 26th every year to raise awareness of the profession and the health threats that need to be addressed, and as an opportunity for organizations around the globe to band together and host events that encourage environmental health literacy.
Environmental health is the branch of public health that focuses on the health interrelationships between people and their environments. It promotes human health and well-being by fostering a safe and healthful environment, both built and natural. The world environment health day celebration started in 2011 at IFEH meeting and inaugural event of Environmental Health Youth Summit in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia.
The international Federation of Environmental Health works to disseminate knowledge concerning environmental health and promote co-operation between countries where environmental health issues are transboundary. It promotes the interchange of people working in this sector and the exchange of Member’s publications of a scientific and technical nature.
DEEPER DIVE: IFEH, NAACHO, NEHA
WE LOVE THE EARTH.ORG
A couple of weeks ago, Jeffrey got his groove on talking about Lil Dicky’s charity song, But so caught up was he in the tune that he forgot to mention the whole point of the song—to raise money for climate change-combating causes. The song spawned a website—welovetheearth.org. And here’s the premise/
According to the website: The Earth needs our help. If we don’t make massive changes to our behavior over the next twelve years, the damage we’ve done to this planet will be irreversible. But the power to prevent this is in our hands! We can save the Earth!!!
So we invite you to visit Welovetheearth.org. There are links to a carbon footprint quiz (knowing how much carbon you output is the first step in reducing it), links to petitions like “Global Deal for the Planet” as well as information on important non-profits doing great works across the western hemisphere and how to support them.
DEEPER DIVE: WeLovetheEarth, YouTube, Global Deal for the Planet