's statement on COVID-19: Community care and climate action's statement on COVID-19: Community care and climate action
Friday March 13, 2020

Over the coming weeks and months, we will continue to push for climate action and climate justice, because the climate crisis can’t wait. We’ll also support efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus and take care of each other in unprecedented times.

As the world comes to a standstill to curb COVID-19, there’s a lot of confusion and changing information – and understandably so. We’re in untreaded waters, getting used to unfamiliar routines as we quickly learn new terms like “social distancing” and “self-isolation” and build up a repertoire of 20-second handwashing songs. 

At, we want to do our part to ensure that our community members stay safe, healthy, and thriving. 

Flattening the curveAs epidemiologists and public health experts have learned, the best thing we can do right now is to keep our physical distance to slow down the spread of this disease. This means taking care of ourselves and the most vulnerable people in our communities by practicing social distancing in an effort to flatten the curve of infection.

There’s an influx of information on coronavirus circulating in our communities and online, and so we wanted to share some resources and articles that we’ve found quite helpful.

  • If you’re a data person who likes numbers and graphs, we highly recommend you read this detailed explainer showing how early ‘social distancing’ intervention is the very best way to slow the spread of COVID-19 and avoid overloading our health care systems. 

  • And if you need something with a little more cute factor to convince those around you, what about this “cattening the curve” graph? 

  • Reading harrowing first-hand accounts of what’s happening in Italy right now makes the choice even more clear: it’s time for us to make big changes to our daily routines now to save lives.  

There’s also a real strength and resiliency to the human spirit that these unprecedented times have brought forward. This video of Wuhan residents cheering to each other from their balconies to “Stay strong” is a testament to it, as is this video of quarantined Italians singing to each other through their windows.

Which brings us to the connections between the COVID-19 pandemic and tackling climate change. In this time of huge societal disruption, space is opening up for us to envision other ways of being with each other. Neighborhood mutual-help groups have sprung up in every corner of the world, we’re interrupting our daily patterns of work, consumption and travel and, yes, we’re washing our hands a heck of a lot more often.

All of these lessons (except that last one maybe, though it’s always good to wash your hands :p) are exactly the skills that we’ll need to tackle the climate crisis and build a world free from fossil fuels.

Over the coming weeks and months, will continue to push for climate action and climate justice, because the climate crisis can’t wait. We’ll also be supporting efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus and take care of each other in these unprecedented times.

When it comes to our campaigns, we’ll be re-envisioning a lot of our tactics, shifting to entirely online spaces.

We’re still working through what the details will look like, but here are some things you can look out for in the next few weeks:

  • A shift from gathering in person at marches, rallies and actions to gathering in online spaces. Look for more opportunities to join virtual gatherings.

  • Online “ask me anything sessions” where you can get your questions about oil & gas, forests, fashion and shipping campaigns answered by staff and other guests.

  • Exploring whether it's possible to hold virtual lobbying meetings where you can meet with your representatives (when they're not dealing with important public health considerations, of course).

  • Ways to take meaningful action online to ensure that while the world is (rightly) focused on slowing the spread of coronavirus, corporations aren’t using this moment to drag their feet on climate action, push for massive government bailouts, or back away from their environmental commitments.

This crisis has laid bare just how interconnected we all are, and how truly our fate is bound up with each other. Service sector workers who can’t get paid time off will be forced to come to work sick, and people who can’t access proper testing and health care will unknowingly spread disease to those around them. We’re only as healthy as our healthcare systems and social safety nets.

On that note, here are a few important calls to action that you might want to support:

In Canada:

In the US:

As we gear up to spend more time at home, let’s make sure that social distancing doesn’t result in social isolation.

We look forward to spending time together virtually, advocating for a climate-safe future, and activating our online power while keeping our communities healthy and safe.

Sending you all virtual hugs, or maybe virtual winks, as this Italian nonna implores in her adorable and informative coronavirus PSA.