Ben & Jerry's, Patagonia, Lush and Seventh Generation to take part in global climate strikes
Major US firms Ben & Jerry's, Patagonia, Lush Cosmetics and personal care firm Seventh Generation have agreed to close stores on 20 September to join the worldwide day of climate strikes.
The four companies have agreed to take part in the Global Climate Strike, organised by a host of green groups including 350.org, Greenpeace, SEIU, and March On and Extinction Rebellion.
The 20 September climate strikes are expected to create peaceful protests across the globe, acting as an unofficial prelude to the UN Climate Summit in New York the following week.
The four businesses have committed to taking a “break in business as usual” in order to answer the calls of previous climate strikes, which called on businesses to get involved in the movement and ramp up sustainability efforts to combat climate change.
"As a business that's long fought for the environment, we are acutely aware of the climate crisis and recognise both the indisputable science behind it and the need for strong, tangible action to address it," Lush Cosmetic’s North America chief executive Mark Wolverton said.
"We are committed to disruptive, transformative change. That means a break in 'business as usual,' holding our global leaders accountable and answering the call of the youth activists to join them on the streets this September."
Since the first school climate strike was held by teenage activist Greta Thunberg in August 2018, what started out as a solo protest in Sweden’s parliament has grown to a global phenomenon. More than 70,000 children and young adults, across 270 towns and cities globally, have been walking out of their schools, colleges and universities every Friday since February.
The message behind the strikes is to urge national governments and large corporations to align themselves with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5C trajectory. This is a feat which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has claimed will require global carbon-neutrality by 2050.
In May, Thunberg urged workers and adults across the globe to join students in creating the single largest strike movement on 20 September.
Patagonia’s president Rose Marcario added: "The climate crisis is a human issue—affecting all of us. We are inspired by the youth activists who have led a global movement, and Patagonia is calling for urgent and decisive action for people and our home planet.
“We invite the business community and all those concerned about the fate of our planet and humankind to answer with action and join us."
The news arrives as the Extinction Rebellion protests look set to occupy Manchester this weekend. Hundreds of climate protesters will flock to one of the city’s busiest streets for four days to highlight the “contradictions” of declaring a regional climate emergency while also planning to expand its airport.
A similar movement took place in April across various sites in London, including Oxford Circus, resulted in more than 1,000 arrests.