“We are all experts of our own experience”

Hello hello! My name’s Yota and I’m a student at the University of California, Berkeley studying Society and Environment with a minor in Global Studies. I’ve been studying abroad in London for almost two months and working as a Campaign Assistant at Zero Hour.

The UK has played a significant role as a driving force behind the global growth in renewables and its positive economic impact. However, this precedence appears to have bred complacency, evident in the UK’s response to Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act and its $300+ billion of green subsidies. This American approach offers a plan which looks beyond the global race to net zero and instead implements strategic economic thinking. The UK government doesn’t see the need to emulate this Act as it identifies itself as a leader significantly ahead, and already achieving the same goals described in the IRA. However, research shows the UK is falling short of meeting its goals outlined in the government’s Net Zero strategy. Zero Hours Ambition Gap Report explains how ambitious future milestones are not enough—urgent action is needed now to meet these goals.

There is a growing need for active government support for green industries. The Climate & Ecology Bill provides an opportunity for addressing both climate and economic justice as its strategy would solidify the government’s commitment to sustainability. This offers an incentive for employers and individual stakeholders to achieve economic and environmental goals simultaneously.

Why did you want to join Zero Hour as a Campaign Assistant?

Throughout my studies, my understanding of climate justice activism has been guided primarily by the concept of environmental intersectionality. A framework that recognizes the overlapping nature of injustices happening to marginalized communities and highlights the disproportional effect of climate change. We are all experts of our own experience and every marginalized community deserves a seat at the table, especially around issues of sustainability.

Working with Zero Hour has given me the opportunity to see this theory implemented tangibly in policy. The Climate & Ecology Bill was written collaboratively by scientists and experts to also include the thoughts of community members. This inclusive approach has ensured multiple perspectives are included, legitimizing the need for advocacy and fostering a more collective understanding of environmental intersectionality and its place in policy writing.

Being part of this community has profoundly impacted my experience studying abroad and I look forward to seeing the lasting impact of the hard work and dedication of this team.

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