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Global climate strike: Greta Thunberg and school students lead climate crisis protest – live updates Global climate strike: Greta Thunberg and school students lead climate crisis protest – live updates
(34 minutes later)
Ian Mantgani, 36, is striking in London today. He said:
We have to put pressure on our employers, MPs and friends. We need a new power grid and electric cars on the road or we’re toast. Keep pressuring those in power for concrete change and keep pressuring them when they give you mealy mouthed answers. I believe that’s the best way forward for change.”
Chris from South Africa asked:
Why are we not seeing a rise in sea levels? Could it perhaps partly be due to the fact that rainfall across the SAHEL region that is rapidly greening is 40m olympic swimming pools up on a few years ago?
We are seeing a rise in sea levels. And sea levels alone are not the biggest problem: storm and tidal surges are much worse when sea levels are even slightly higher, with the power to overtop our sea defences.
Desertification is increasing in many parts of Africa, with climate change one of the reasons but not the only one (overgrazing and land use changes also play a major role).
Artur from Crewe asked:
Are we prepared to do real things to tackle climate change? We can say do this or do that but our use of social media takes significant resources. The cheap food, cheap technology, new mobiles released every year is driven by customers not the other way around so how many are actually genuinely prepared to change their way of life?
People are increasingly understanding that lifestyle changes are necessary, from veganism and flexitarian diets to changing our travel habits. Renewable energy such as wind and solar is already cheaper or on a par with fossil fuels in many areas, and its deployment is increasing fast.
A Guardian reader from London who wanted to remain anonymous asked:
How democratic is it that a secondary school threatens their pupils with being expelled if they participate in today’s strike? How are we teaching ‘British values’ to our kids if in their school are not allowed to protest for something that fully impacts their future? What will it be next? Forbid them to participate in any human rights support act?
Schools will make their own judgment, but engaging children with a subject of huge importance in scientific, political and historical terms might strike many teachers as a great opportunity. The climate emergency relates to chemistry, physics, biology, geography, history, social studies – you could probably even fit it into a load of other lessons too. Why not see this as an opportunity to engage pupils rather than turn them off?
Derek from West Sussex asked:
The UK has a good record of deploying offshore wind generation. What I don’t understand is why we aren’t deploying wave power and tidal power generation? We have the most coastline per head of any major European country. Wave power never stops, unlike wind, it is more energy dense than wind, and it could have other benefits like reducing coastal erosion.
Tidal power solutions likewise are always available and energy dense. There is an ecological cost in habitats but a balance is needed here. Do we really think that the ecological cost of a tidal barrier is worse than a nuclear power station? There is an ecological cost to farmland too, but we need to eat, so we cut down all the forests we had in medieval times to make room for agriculture. We just need to make some room for power generation too.
The UK is a world leader on offshore wind, as the latest green power auctions show. Wave and tidal power have proved more difficult, in the latter case partly owing to the changes that would be required to landscape a tidal lagoon. But as public subsidy is less needed for wind and solar as prices have come down, it might become possible to spend more of it on wave and tidal power – they may prove cheaper than the high costs agreed to by the government for nuclear energy.
The mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, received a warm applause at the city’s climate protest when he gave a speech pledging that “fracking is the past, it is not the future” – but by far the biggest cheers went to a 10-year-old girl called Lillia who took to the stage next.The local schoolgirl, with a high-pitched Mancunian accent and fluorescent ear-defenders tied to her backpack, gave a rousing speech taking aim at politicians for their “lies” – before turning directly to Burnham.
Lies, when you don’t count the airport in the emission figures! Lies, when we have 1,200 air pollution related deaths in Manchester just last year – but they plan to build a huge car park right next door to a school in Ancoats.
Lies when the pension funds of Manchester are still investing £1.4bn in fossil fuel companies … Lies, in April the mayor Andy Burnham, when I asked if he would support us. I asked for more than publicity stunt pictures. Where’s the action?
To huge cheers, she continued:
Today I woke up to the images around the world of a million people striking and my heart lifted because I knew we weren’t alone in our fight. Thank you for coming out to support us. Thank you for having the courage to fight for our future!
To adults I say, you have the power to vote you need to keep amplifying our voices. We the youth cannot wait until we are old enough - we need action now.
Greater Manchester mayor @AndyBurnhamGM addresses climate protest: “My generation has failed you - and I include myself in that”. Loud cheer greets his declaration that “fracking is the past - it does not belong in the future.” pic.twitter.com/QeQqrUpAE4
Numbers at Berlin‘s Klimastreik have reached 100,000, it has just been announced.
Carola Rackete, the SeaWatch Captain who was arrested in Italy several weeks ago addressed Berlin’s Klimastreik, to huge applause.
She told them:
We adults are responsible for the fact that the Earth is dying ... we should not be under the illusion that our individual actions can ... turn the situation around.
She paid tribute to “the children and young people who have campaigned tirelessly for over a year ... and managed to get this issue to the top of the political agenda”.
She said temperatures could be expected to rise by 4-6C by the end of the century. Extinction Rebellion, to which she belongs, was telling the truth when it predicted the collapse of human civilisation as a result. We can no longer stop global heating, she said, “it’s too late”, but we can “reduce greenhouse gases with immediate effect”.
Sarah from Cardiff asked:
What are the advantages people will see and experience through the changes we need to make due to climate change? For example, I believe cycling rather than driving will make people healthier, shopping locally rather than online increases daily interactions. Do you envisage the activists and media managing to put this side of the crisis across?
Cleaning up greenhouse gases has a myriad of beneficial side effects, including cleaner air as diesel and petrol cars are taken off the roads in favour of electric vehicles, public transport and walking or cycling. Our knowledge of the harms of air pollution has expanded dramatically in the past few years: we now know air pollutants can be found in all human organs, and it is linked not only to respiratory problems and heart disease but also dementia, developmental problems and miscarriage.
In some ways, the cleaning up of air pollution is easier to explain than climate chaos because people can see and feel air pollution more clearly than the link between invisible carbon dioxide and extreme weather, and increasingly air pollution campaigners are making the link with climate benefits from moving away from coal and diesel in particular.
Louis from London asked:
Today is wonderful to see - the energy and passion - but how can you be sure we haven’t left it too late ? There is a climate doomosphere - I’m thinking Paul Beckwith, Peter Wadhams and others who suggest overwhelming events in the next decade or two. Can they be dismissed as fringe cranks?
Climate change is a problem for today, not the distant future, and the effects are already being seen, as we have extensively reported. But there is still time to stave off the worst effects if we take action on emissions now.
The IPCC has said emissions must be effectively zero by around mid-century to hold the world to no more than 1.5C of warning, and every effort to bring down emissions helps towards that goal. But there are scary things we know less about: tipping points, which could cause runaway heating to take hold. These include Arctic sea ice melt, which reveals dark sea instead of reflective ice, creating more warming, and the melting permafrost that releases methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, in a vicious circle.
Some have suggested we turn our efforts to adapting to climate change instead of cutting emissions. But adapting without cutting emissions is like trying to mop up an overflowing sink with the taps still running. The truth is we need to do both, and urgently.
You can share your questions now via our form here, or in the comments below but please @Fiona so that they’ll be easier for us to find.
Just to stand back from the breathless enthusiasm of the protests for a moment, our environment editor, Damian Carrington, has been pulling out a series of charts that highlight the scale of the challenge - and the beginnings of some solutions.
Perhaps the most important one is this: the planet’s average temperature started a steady climb two centuries ago, but has rocketed since the second world war as consumption and population has risen. Global heating means there is more energy in the atmosphere, making extreme weather events more frequent and more intense.
We have also tried to capture this alarming rise in temperatures in a startling piece of music. Alas, it is not a banger, so is unlikely to become a global anthem for the Friday strikes movement.
But it’s not all gloom and doom. The three charts below show the progress we have made, in renewable energy generation, electric vehicle production, and battery development.
Today’s climate strikes highlight a crucial fact: that our actions in the next few years will decide the world’s future, and whether we can avoid the worst ravages of global heating or succumb to climate chaos.
We must effectively eliminate greenhouse gas emissions, and nurture the natural world enough to absorb the remainder, by mid-century to avoid a future of catastrophic and irreversible climate chaos. Extreme weather is already driving 2 million people a week to seek humanitarian aid, and that is set to rise to 150 million in the next decade alone.
The Guardian will try to answer your questions on the climate strikes and the forces shaping them. You can share your questions now via our form here, or in the comments below but please @Fiona so that they’ll be easier for us to find.
Guardian environment journalist Fiona Harvey will be on hand to answer any questions you have about the climate crisis between 1.30pm and 2.30pm BST.Guardian environment journalist Fiona Harvey will be on hand to answer any questions you have about the climate crisis between 1.30pm and 2.30pm BST.
You can share your questions now via our form here, or in the comments below but please @Fiona so that they’ll be easier for us to find.You can share your questions now via our form here, or in the comments below but please @Fiona so that they’ll be easier for us to find.
The ⁦⁦@guardian⁩ office at 12:28pm today #ClimateStrike pic.twitter.com/HbEQNwldvPThe ⁦⁦@guardian⁩ office at 12:28pm today #ClimateStrike pic.twitter.com/HbEQNwldvP
The US is set to stage its largest ever day of protest over the climate crisis, with tens of thousands of students set to be joined by adults in abandoning schools and workplaces for a wave of strikes across the country.The US is set to stage its largest ever day of protest over the climate crisis, with tens of thousands of students set to be joined by adults in abandoning schools and workplaces for a wave of strikes across the country.
Climate strikes will take place in more than 1,000 locations, with major rallies in New York, Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Miami.Climate strikes will take place in more than 1,000 locations, with major rallies in New York, Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Miami.
The young strikers’ totemic figure, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, will take part in the New York walkout and will speak to massed protesters in Manhattan.The young strikers’ totemic figure, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, will take part in the New York walkout and will speak to massed protesters in Manhattan.
Authorities in New York City have announced that its student population of 1.1 million is allowed to skip school in order to attend the strikes.Authorities in New York City have announced that its student population of 1.1 million is allowed to skip school in order to attend the strikes.
Dozens of companies, including Patagonia and Ben and Jerry’s, will support striking staff, with major unions also backing the walkouts.Dozens of companies, including Patagonia and Ben and Jerry’s, will support striking staff, with major unions also backing the walkouts.
Dulce Belen Ceballos Arias, an 18-year-old from San Francisco, said she will be striking because “I want children of my own and I want them to have a better life than me. I don’t want that to be taken away by climate change.”Dulce Belen Ceballos Arias, an 18-year-old from San Francisco, said she will be striking because “I want children of my own and I want them to have a better life than me. I don’t want that to be taken away by climate change.”
Students in Boston will also be excused school, with a crowd of 10,000 expected to assemble. “We are excited to disrupt business as usual, to demand a Green New Deal,” said Audrey Maurine Xin Lin, an 18-year-old organizer in Boston, in reference to the resolution put forward by progressive Democrats to enact a second world war-style mobilization to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions.Students in Boston will also be excused school, with a crowd of 10,000 expected to assemble. “We are excited to disrupt business as usual, to demand a Green New Deal,” said Audrey Maurine Xin Lin, an 18-year-old organizer in Boston, in reference to the resolution put forward by progressive Democrats to enact a second world war-style mobilization to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions.
A big difference on today’s march in London is the presence of trade union activists alongside young people and their parents, writes Guardian environment correspondent Matthew Taylor,A big difference on today’s march in London is the presence of trade union activists alongside young people and their parents, writes Guardian environment correspondent Matthew Taylor,
Graham Petersen, from the UCU lecturers’ union and member of the green jobs alliance, said unions had to take a lead in the climate fight.Graham Petersen, from the UCU lecturers’ union and member of the green jobs alliance, said unions had to take a lead in the climate fight.
This is going to be the defining issue for future generations and if we are not involved now how are we going to be relevant to the young people here today when they go into work.This is going to be the defining issue for future generations and if we are not involved now how are we going to be relevant to the young people here today when they go into work.
Trade unions around the world are backing today’s protests and Petersen said it was “about time” they engaged in the climate crisis.Trade unions around the world are backing today’s protests and Petersen said it was “about time” they engaged in the climate crisis.
In the UK it is difficult because people have their hands full with austerity and precarious jobs but unions are starting to realise that if we get the climate justice policies right we can tackle not just the climate but also a wider social justice issues.In the UK it is difficult because people have their hands full with austerity and precarious jobs but unions are starting to realise that if we get the climate justice policies right we can tackle not just the climate but also a wider social justice issues.
Trade unionists join today’s climate march in London.“This is going to be the defining issue for future generations and if we are not involved now how are we going to be relevant to the young people here today.” pic.twitter.com/JtxKByvwfcTrade unionists join today’s climate march in London.“This is going to be the defining issue for future generations and if we are not involved now how are we going to be relevant to the young people here today.” pic.twitter.com/JtxKByvwfc
Lois Borny has been speaking to young people on the London march, including student Noemie, who told her:Lois Borny has been speaking to young people on the London march, including student Noemie, who told her:
It’s depressing knowing you’re waking up to not such a bright future. The climate crisis has always been in the back of my mind, but I always used to be a bit of a pessimist ... now that the movement has gained traction you get the feeling that you can change something.It’s depressing knowing you’re waking up to not such a bright future. The climate crisis has always been in the back of my mind, but I always used to be a bit of a pessimist ... now that the movement has gained traction you get the feeling that you can change something.
When asked what she thinks about the fact children are leading the movement she says:When asked what she thinks about the fact children are leading the movement she says:
It almost seems like a game for them [the politicians]. They aren’t taking it seriously. This isn’t for fun or just for the sake of it. It’s real and urgent.It almost seems like a game for them [the politicians]. They aren’t taking it seriously. This isn’t for fun or just for the sake of it. It’s real and urgent.
It is Nazreen’s first day in London, having arrived from Malaysia yesterday. The 22-year-old, who is studying political philosophy, said:It is Nazreen’s first day in London, having arrived from Malaysia yesterday. The 22-year-old, who is studying political philosophy, said:
I’m happy this is happening because at home we have a big haze problem, because of forests being burned in Borneo.I’m happy this is happening because at home we have a big haze problem, because of forests being burned in Borneo.
Nazreen says that if we were in Borneo, from where we are standing (by the stage) the Houses of Parliament would be unrecognisable from the haze.Nazreen says that if we were in Borneo, from where we are standing (by the stage) the Houses of Parliament would be unrecognisable from the haze.
Borneo is burning. It has one of the oldest rainforest in the world and half of it is gone. We are really proud of our rainforests, but what is there to be proud of when it is gone?Borneo is burning. It has one of the oldest rainforest in the world and half of it is gone. We are really proud of our rainforests, but what is there to be proud of when it is gone?
He says that it is good children are leading the movement, because it is allowing them to see “what is happening in the real world”.He says that it is good children are leading the movement, because it is allowing them to see “what is happening in the real world”.
A small but noisy crowd gathered in the financial district of Sandton in Johannesburg, outside the offices of Sasol, a huge South African energy and chemical company.A small but noisy crowd gathered in the financial district of Sandton in Johannesburg, outside the offices of Sasol, a huge South African energy and chemical company.
Natalie Kapsosideris, 16, said:Natalie Kapsosideris, 16, said:
We don’t really have a way out of this. The future looks really dismal at this point. There’s not going to be a lot of food available, there will be droughts, floods, natural disasters. The fact that Sasol gets away with stealing our future from us ... and it’s all because they want to make money.We don’t really have a way out of this. The future looks really dismal at this point. There’s not going to be a lot of food available, there will be droughts, floods, natural disasters. The fact that Sasol gets away with stealing our future from us ... and it’s all because they want to make money.
Tariro Banganayi, 18, a student at Sacred Heart college, said:Tariro Banganayi, 18, a student at Sacred Heart college, said:
It’s important that I lend my voice to this cause ... a lot of people who aren’t as privileged as I am don’t have the opportunity to speak out against these sorts of issues, who live where the air is unbreathable, where toxic waste is dumped in rivers, those people don’t have a voice to speak out ... Also I am here to educate people about these issues and to get as much information from as many different places as I can ... I am going to try to diversify the way that I raise awareness ... I am going to use my social media a lot more effectively, I am going to centre my conversations with my friends, I am going to bring it up at the dinner table with my family ... because if every person tells one person then we can tell everybody.It’s important that I lend my voice to this cause ... a lot of people who aren’t as privileged as I am don’t have the opportunity to speak out against these sorts of issues, who live where the air is unbreathable, where toxic waste is dumped in rivers, those people don’t have a voice to speak out ... Also I am here to educate people about these issues and to get as much information from as many different places as I can ... I am going to try to diversify the way that I raise awareness ... I am going to use my social media a lot more effectively, I am going to centre my conversations with my friends, I am going to bring it up at the dinner table with my family ... because if every person tells one person then we can tell everybody.
Crowds of students in Delhi are blocking the road near to Lodhi Gardens, chanting: “What do we want? Climate justice.” “You can’t run away from climate change,” reads one sign.Crowds of students in Delhi are blocking the road near to Lodhi Gardens, chanting: “What do we want? Climate justice.” “You can’t run away from climate change,” reads one sign.
Delhi is one of 21 cities predicted to run out of groundwater by 2020, according to the Indian government’s policy thinktank, Niti Aayog.Delhi is one of 21 cities predicted to run out of groundwater by 2020, according to the Indian government’s policy thinktank, Niti Aayog.
It is also one of the most polluted cities in the world.“The lungs of an 11 year old have black spots on them,” Shivam, a law student, says. “This is why we have to change things now.”It is also one of the most polluted cities in the world.“The lungs of an 11 year old have black spots on them,” Shivam, a law student, says. “This is why we have to change things now.”
In Exeter, the protest is in full swing. Leon Hayton-Twigg, 11, (pictured below with his brother Lucas and his friend Ossian Finn, 10) says: “We have come here to show the people there’s a problem and we want it to stop.”In Exeter, the protest is in full swing. Leon Hayton-Twigg, 11, (pictured below with his brother Lucas and his friend Ossian Finn, 10) says: “We have come here to show the people there’s a problem and we want it to stop.”
More of the protest signs from the Exeter strikes ...More of the protest signs from the Exeter strikes ...
Archie Graham, 15, and his friends were supposed to be in school today but felt compelled to join Manchester’s climate strike, while still rocking their school ties.
He said:
What’s the point in going to school if we can’t use that knowledge in the future because there won’t be a future for us.
His friend, Sam Pembroke, added:
It’s really important because there’s no second chance - this is the only chance we have. If this carries on it’s just going to end.
Their friend, Santana Daza, 15, said they might get in trouble for bunking off school but it was worth it:
I think it definitely does make a difference. They encourage us to learn about it but we all know about climate change - we don’t need to be educated about it, it’s more about taking action.
Herding a group of six placard-carrying children, Kitty Rostron, 40, said her seven-year-old daughter Margot watches Greta Thunberg on YouTube and asks:
Why is this happening? Why is Boris Johnson not doing anything? Why do people not make good decisions about climate change?
Her friend Karine Joshua, 39, said it was important to bring children along so they understand what is happening to the environment:
There’s a real crisis right now, not in 10, 20 years time. Action is needed now so we’re trying to teach them if we come together and show our support hopefully we can make a change.
Archie Graham, 15, and his mates were supposed to be in school today: “What’s the point in going to school if we can’t use that knowledge in future because there won’t be a future for us?” pic.twitter.com/iydpMOSL19
Here is a selection of images from other climate strikers:
#ClimateStrike Bristol pic.twitter.com/y6xAxJEXjw
Huge turnout for today’s #ClimateStrike in Oxford - west end of Broadstreet and Cornmarket completely full pic.twitter.com/oBgb8WBrr1
Amazing scenes on Brighton sea front right now. This goes on for miles. pic.twitter.com/Z6BKVXYClN
#ClimateActionNow strikes already unfolding across the globe — these are some of the first views out of Australia of thousands taking to the streets for the global #climatestrike — major events in Ann Arbor and Detroit today. pic.twitter.com/iTjYTGIgK7
#Climatestrike #Paris pic.twitter.com/AKapTJB8FB
Thousands of protesters have come today to join the climate strike in #Dortmund. #ClimateStrike #FridaysForFuture #Klimastreiks pic.twitter.com/CfAUKpNcjn
Hello, this is Haroon Siddique taking over from Sarah. The video below shows a small proportion of the staff who walked out at the Guardian. If you want to get in touch, please tweet me @Haroon_Siddique
#ClimateStrike at the Guardian pic.twitter.com/MqoUDukDMD
The Guardian live blog will be closing from noon (12:00 BST) until 12.30 BST as we are participating in a solidarity strike. When it resumes, my colleague Haroon Siddique will be taking over.
In an email to staff explaining why we are walking out for 30 minutes, Guardian editor in chief, Katharine Viner, said:
We fully support this global campaign, and we want colleagues to feel able to show solidarity with campaigners - so we are happy to support this activity across the organisation.
Sadiq Khan is not the only mayor who has come out strongly behind today’s strikes.
The leaders of Paris, New York City, Los Angeles and Copenhagen released a strongly worded joint statement overnight.
Our shared planet is facing a climate emergency. The science is clear that, without urgent action, sea levels will rise further, extreme temperatures will become the norm and climate-related disasters will inflict even greater damage. We are making historic investments to prepare and adapt our cities to the inevitable consequences of emissions already released into the atmosphere.
When your house is on fire, somebody needs to sound the alarm. Young people in our cities, displaying incredible maturity and dignity are doing just that. School children are taking to the streets, drawing attention to the terrifying threat that climate breakdown poses to their future. Young people recognise just how unfair climate change is. Those who have generated the least greenhouse gas emissions, including the poorest, most disadvantaged and youngest in society, will suffer the worst effects of a rapidly changing global climate. They are right to sound the alarm, and they are right to demand action that tackles climate change and inequality simultaneously.
On September 20, these inspiring young leaders have called for adults to join them for a Global Climate Strike. We have an opportunity to show, not only that we hear their message, but that they have inspired us to act even faster.
As mayors, our greatest responsibility is to protect the lives and wellbeing of those that live in our cities. As adults, our obligation is to leave the world in a better state for our children than we inherited it. Fortunately, the evidence is increasingly clear that transforming our cities to prevent the climate crisis will also make them healthier, more equitable, safer and ultimately better places to live. The cities of the future will enjoy affordable and reliable public transport; the air will be free from poisonous toxins; buildings will generate zero emissions thanks to ultra-high efficient heating, cooling and insulation; waste will be recycled or reused, and all of this will be powered by abundant renewable energy. We have a unique opportunity to bestow a bright and hopeful legacy to the next generation. This is the future we want.
That is why we are supporting the Global Climate Strikes. Mayors around the world, working through C40 Cities, are committed to deliver on the Paris Agreement and taking action to peak their emissions as our cities already have and bring them down sharply by 2030. Many businesses, investors, labour groups, faith leaders and local communities share our urgency. But we cannot tackle the climate crisis alone. We need science-based action from every sector of the economy, and we expect greater leadership from nation states. Young people are telling us that the climate emergency demands an emergency response. We couldn’t agree more.
It was signed by the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, as well as the mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, and the lord mayor of Copenhagen, Frank Jensen.
Lovely thread by Mary Hamilton on what to do if you cannot make the strikes today but still want to make an effort to reduce your waste.
So for a little while I've been trying to reduce the amount of waste I produce, especially plastic, and of the various things I've tried there are two that make me happiest:1) milk delivery 2) wormery
All of which is also by way of saying that if you - like me -can't #climatestrike today for whatever reason, there are other things you can do to join in. Not everyone can do worms or milk delivery obvs. Would love to hear more ideas.
Useful links! Find a milk delivery service in your area: https://t.co/qCl1iG1iUVComposting/wormeries: https://t.co/IMTdcZ8YBp works with some local councils, but usually easier to google [your local council] + "wormery" as each council seems to have its own scheme
Greater Manchester mayor @AndyBurnhamGM addresses climate protest: “My generation has failed you - and I include myself in that”. Loud cheer greets his declaration that “fracking is the past - it does not belong in the future.” pic.twitter.com/QeQqrUpAE4
Ruby, 10, and Dougie, 7, (pictured below), were the first to start striking outside the Scottish parliament, back on a cold dark 11 January. Back then it was just them and the police. Seeing how big the movement has become, Ruby says she feels “happy and proud”. “Amazing,” says Dougie.
Staff at the Guardian will be striking today at noon, so there will be no posts on the live blog between 12:00 BST and 12:30 BST.
The fashion industry is a fossil-fuel-guzzling operation, as many of our clothes are made from petroleum-based textiles such as polyester. Even natural fibres such as cotton have a huge carbon footprint and require a large portion of the world’s pesticides.
In a bid to solve this disastrous environmental equation, scientists and designers are creating completely new textiles from fast-growing, carbon-sucking organisms such as micro- and macro-algae, mycelium (elements of fungus), bacteria and fermented yeast. These new biotechnologies efficiently convert sunlight and CO2 into mass raw materials, suck carbon out of the atmosphere and pave the way to a carbon-negative wardrobe.