Why You Should Get Excited About 2016: It’s A Leap Year For Climate Justice

We are fast approaching February 29th, the beginning of the 2016 Leap Year. Every four years we add a day to our calendars to bring them into sync with the earth’s revolution around the sun—because it’s easier to change our human systems than to change the laws of nature.

To celebrate the Leap Year, groups in Canada and around the world are holding events to push for a justice-based transition away from fossil fuels and towards new economic and energy systems. From Vancouver to Prince Edward Island, Salt Lake City to Zagreb, there are teach-ins, film screenings, community forums, mobilisations and more:

—In Nelson, B.C. high school students are organizing a 24 hr Leap Day sit-in with workshops and local speakers to push the government on bold climate action.

—In Zagreb, Croatia Friends of the Earth are hosting a film screening and panel discussion titled “Climate change as an opportunity for building a more just world.”  

—In Peterborough, Ontario, community activists are holding an event celebrating and building on a forum held earlier in February that drew hundreds of people to discuss and commit to local actions suggested by the Leap Manifesto.

—In Fort Chipewyan, the Keepers of the Athabasca and Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation are hosting a Leap Day installation of solar panels at the local Youth and Elder’s centre.

—In New York, Bronx Climate Justice North will host a Leap Day discussion and will host a vote to adopt their own version.

—Across Canada, ten Council of Canadians chapters are mobilizing for Leap Year, holding events and activities calling for action on climate change.

—On Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Naomi Klein and other leaders will stand with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers to launch a new campaign to turn the postal offices into green community hubs powering Canada’s next economy.

With scores of groups holding dozens of events around the world, it’s clear there is powerful momentum to make 2016 a true Leap Year for the climate justice movement.

To find an event near you, or learn how to host your own, visit leapyear2016.org.

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About the Leap Manifesto

Canada’s Leap Manifesto has garnered more than 30,000 signatories and close to 200 organizational endorsements, including national nonprofits, major unions, religious groups, and a multi-million dollar corporation. CNN called it “a model for the world” during the UN climate negotiations in Paris in December, and parallel initiatives are underway in the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia and the United States.

Ready for more?

Learn how to host your own Leap Year Event,

Download pamphlets, social media materials and the original Manifesto in 11 languages on our Resources page.

Check out Naomi Klein’s Guardian op-ed Let’s make this a real ‘leap’ year, and go fossil fuel-free and her short video Let’s kick oil while the price is down

Watch our recent Hangout with Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis (This Changes Everything), Bill McKibben (350.org) and Asad Rehman (Friend of the Earth UK) on why this 2016 will be a Leap Year for the climate justice movement.

For questions about Leap Year events or other queries, email Bianca Mugyenyi, Outreach Coordinator for the Leap Manifesto, at contact@leapmanifesto.org.

Photograph by Clifford Skarstedt/Peterborough Examiner/Postmedia Network. It was taken at the Peterborough forum on the Leap Manifesto held in February.