Bill McKibben interview – time for the climate movement to get on the front foot

Journalist and author Bill McKibben is one of the most prominent climate change activists in the USA, and is founder of the growing network He is coming to the UK for a speaker tour this week, and before he set off, I caught up with him over Skype from my house in Oxford.

Adam Ramsay: The climate movement in the UK grew to a peak around 2009, around the time of the Copenhagen talks, then died off and there’s been a lot of introspection about that. Is that a pattern we’ve seen globally, or just in the UK? What should be done about it?

Bill McKibben: Everybody was cratered after Copenhagen. If the movie had worked the way that it should have, if it had been scripted by Holywood, the world would have come together and addressed the biggest problem it ever had faced and delegates would have embraced each other, and it all would have been a good happy scene instead of the complete farce and debacle that it turned into – maybe in certain ways, an absolute low point for human diplomacy.

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On Sept 19, 2023 ahead of the Climate Ambition Summit in New York City, climate activists gathered for a rally and civil disobedience outside Bank of America Tower in Midtown Manhattan as part of the March to End Fossil Fuels wave of actions resulting in multiple arrests. Activists demand Bank of America to “Defund Climate Chaos and Defend Human Rights” Photo: Erik McGregor (CC BY-NC 2.0 Deed)

Let’s Save Each Other

Let’s Save Each Other

Illustration by Stephanie McMillan. Used with permission