International Day of Cooperatives 2020: Cooperatives for Climate Action

Wednesday, 01 July 2020

The International Day of Cooperatives 2020 will be celebrated on Saturday 4 July with the theme this year of Cooperatives for Climate Action. The International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) and other cooperative bodies including ICMIF are inviting the global cooperative and mutual community to continue pushing for actions that will address climate change. This critical situation is putting lives and livelihoods at risk, disrupting vital ecosystems for people and the planet.

Our common home is in danger. There are methods of production and consumption that are constantly attacking the environment. We don’t have much time to reverse this situation. We must act now, with our values and principles, to demonstrate on a global scale that it is possible to develop an economy with social inclusion and protection of natural resources,” said Ariel Guarco, President of the International Cooperative Alliance.

On 4 July 2020, the ICA is inviting cooperatives and mutuals around the world to join them as they seek to raise awareness on the importance of addressing climate change. No country is immune from it, greenhouse gas emissions are more than 50 percent higher than it was in 1990, and global warming is causing long-lasting changes to our climate system which threatens irreversible consequences if we do not act, says the ICA.

Cooperatives and mutuals are encouraged to promote #CoopsDay and #Coops4ClimateAction widely on all social media channels.

Why this theme?

The ICA says that the 2020 International Cooperatives Day theme was chosen to support Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 on Climate Action. This event will focus on the contribution of cooperatives to combating climate change, one of the most severe challenges facing our planet during the 21st century. Climate change severely impacts people’s livelihoods around the world, especially the most disadvantaged groups such as small-scale farmers, women, youth, indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities, who have to cope with extreme disasters and degradation of natural resources.

The ICA, along with ICMIF, believe that the cooperative and mutual movement can use this important opportunity to take a stand as a global actor of change and collaborate with its partners within the international community. This collective effort can significantly impact the climate agenda and achieve a fair, green and just transition for all communities, leaving no one behind. 

About the International Day of Cooperatives

The United Nations International Day of Cooperatives is celebrated annually on the first Saturday of July. The aim of this celebration is to increase awareness on cooperatives (and mutuals), highlight the complementary goals and objectives of the United Nations and the international cooperative movement, underscore the contributions of the movement to the resolution of the major problems addressed by the United Nations, and strengthen and extend partnerships between the international cooperative movement and other actors.

In 1992, following a concerted lobbying effort by the cooperative members of the ICA and Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC) members, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the first Saturday of July 1995 to be International Day of Cooperatives, marking the centenary of the establishment of the Alliance, by resolution 47/90 of 16 December 1992.

Since 1995, the ICA and the United Nations have been setting the theme for the celebration of the International Day through COPAC, a multi-stakeholder partnership of global public and private institutions, the ICA being a founding member, that champions and supports people-centred and self-sustaining cooperative enterprises as leaders in sustainable development.