Indian environmentalist Vandana Shiva: Fight for climate justice

The environmentalist says climate change is the result of irresponsible actors, particularly the fossil fuel industry.

The protest movement calling for action on climate change gained momentum this year with millions taking to the streets across the world demanding that governments do more to fix the crisis.

Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg gained widespread attention for her “you have stolen my childhood” speech at the 2019 United Nations Climate Action Summit in September.

The environmental protest movement Extinction Rebellion launched dramatic protests in the United Kingdom and across the world. India‘s capital New Delhi made headlines after its pollution levels became so bad that the city announced a public health emergency and closed schools.

The European Union meanwhile declared a global “climate and environmental emergency”. The UN released multiple reports warning of the dangers of climate change. While in the United States, the climate crisis emerged as one of the issues among Democratic presidential hopefuls.

Indian environmentalist Vandana Shiva has spent her career taking on multinationals as part of her fight to preserve the planet. Originally trained as a physicist, she has written more than 20 books and served as an adviser to both NGOs and the Indian government.

She says climate change is the result of irresponsible actors, particularly the fossil fuel industry.

“So, I would say the problem is chemical industrial fossil fuel-based farming, and the solution is ecological biodiverse farming, in the hands of small farmers,” Shiva said.

“I think we have to reduce the infrastructure that was built for the fossil fuel empire. We’ve got to learn how to have better lives with a lower ecological footprint,” she added.

Shiva also says there needs to be a global conservation goal.

“We [do] need a Green New Deal with the earth, remembering that the earth is alive, and we have to work with her laws and processes to protect her species diversity, avoid the sixth mass extinction, and avoid climate catastrophe,” Shiva said.

On UpFront, we discuss the fight for climate justice with Vandana Shiva.

Follow UpFront on Twitter @AJUpFront and Facebook.