2021: Now is the time to tackle the climate, nature and health emergencies

Despite the turbulence of the last year, 2020 has shown the power of humanity to come together when faced with a crisis. It’s precisely that spirit we urgently need to solve the climate, nature and health emergencies that threaten us all.


Around the world, millions of people are suffering due to droughts, flooding and crop failures. Many precious species such as jaguars have seen their populations decline, and orangutans are critically endangered. And we are living through a pandemic that has devastated lives and livelihoods across the world.

The climate, nature and health emergencies confront Greenpeace with its biggest challenge in its 50-year history. But by standing together in 2021, we can pressure our leaders to make the big decisions needed to rebuild our future. 

With next year’s global climate summit (COP26) in Glasgow, the UK has a unique opportunity to get serious about protecting the planet, and show the world how it’s done. This is the moment to create green jobs – which will also help the recovery from the global pandemic.

Now is the time to STOP dirty fossil fuels

To have any chance of a breakthrough in saving the climate, governments and companies must seize this chance to break their addiction to fossil fuels. They must stop fuelling the destruction of our climate and burning away our future.

Thanks to supporters like you and decades of Greenpeace campaigning, BP has announced it will cut fossil fuels by 40% by 2030 and invest much more in renewable energy. Now we must keep up the pressure. BP is just one oil company – all of them need to follow suit.

The UK government must urgently stop all new oil and gas development in the North Sea, like Denmark agreed to do last month – and help offshore workers into the wind industry. This would open up a whole new set of jobs and help regenerate communities reeling from the economic impact of lockdown.

Now is the time to SWITCH the UK to renewable energy and clean transport

In 2019, for a full 12 months, renewable energy provided 36% of the electricity to UK homes and businesses. This is the first time it has ever reached that high. But 43% of our power was still generated by fossil fuels, with 21% from nuclear. 

Ditching fossil fuels is happening – just not fast enough. However, in a huge breakthrough this year, Boris Johnson pledged that the UK will become ‘the world leader in clean wind energy’. We need to keep the pressure on and turn these aspirational words into action and make sure the prime minister sticks to his stated ambition to create thousands of new green jobs.

Boris Johnson also has the power to improve lives across the UK by providing sustainable public transport, as well as improved cycling, walking and safer streets

Safer, more affordable and cleaner transport options are an absolute must for a fair pandemic recovery – and they too are within reach.

Now is the time to SAVE our forests and oceans

With global temperatures rising, Amazon fires are raging out of control to clear space for the meat industry. These fires reduce lush, ancient rainforests to ash. 

Oceans too are hotting up at an alarming rate, as well as becoming a dumping ground for waste  like single-use plastic. Seas are becoming more acidic, causing coral reefs to die. Delicate ecosystems necessary for millions of species are being over-exploited by industrial supertrawlers

This ongoing destruction of our forests and oceans places our food, our health – and our lives – under threat

But there’s still time to defend these precious habitats. There’s still time to save the millions of plant and animal species that are vital for life on this planet. And if we protect nature, nature will protect us. 

So far, businesses have broken their promise to reach zero deforestation by the end of 2020. We must keep up the pressure on supermarkets and fast food companies to drop suppliers who burn forests – destroying the homes of Indigenous People and placing wildlife such as jaguars in danger.

Our oceans, like our forests, are a vital carbon sink – they store carbon and help keep our climate stable. Yet, unbelievably, less than 1% is protected. Scientists and international conservationists are clear: to give our oceans a chance to recover, we need to create sanctuaries that protect at least 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030. 

In 2021, we must keep up the pressure on our leaders, so they make the big decisions to deal with the climate, nature and health emergencies. 

If we do this, we can rebuild a future where we enjoy life on a safe, healthy planet full of plants and wildlife. For too long, the powerful have thought our planet’s natural resources were just theirs for the taking. But those days are over – so let’s rebuild a better, fairer future. We have the solutions, we just need the government and companies to act now. 

Can you help?

To help rebuild our world, please consider making a donation. Your support helps:

  • Persuade UK politicians to strike green trade deals across the world, and show real leadership by investing in renewable energy and clean transport.
  • Pressure companies to protect Indigenous People and save precious wildlife. 
  • Protect our oceans with 30% declared off-limits to industrial fishing and other harmful activities like deep sea mining.

Donate now

Can’t donate right now? Add your voice instead, and demand real solutions from our leaders to the triple crises we face in the coming year.

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