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CLIMATE LEAVE by FB: climate leave

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A climate leave is the employee’s time off from work in an organization to care for the Earth through involvement in environmental projects.



Mobilize for climate change.

Going on climate leave (the same way as we go on parental leave) benefits everyone.

Pay off for the employee: this time off from work (can also be spare time) will allow him/her support from his/her employer to get personally involved in social & environmental projects.

Pay off for the employer: while supporting projects of his/her employee in the field, the employer may be willing to bring some visibility to these projects as a part of the company's vision and/or CSR policy.

Pay off for the Earth: through the climate leave of absence initiative, all actors of the economy are involved in tackling climate change.

Many little streams make a mighty river.

Starting out with the understanding that we all need to build a caring, responsible, more sustainable world, small groups of people & organizations working together can create a momentum.

The Climate Leave Ambassador Working Group (CLAWG) will be an information and experience exchange forum. From these discussions, a toolkit will be designed that will act as a guideline for people and organizations adhering to the climate leave principles and willing to engage in activities to address climate change.


Category of the action

Changing public perceptions on climate change

What actions do you propose?

Climate change - what you can do while on leave:

Build strong communities: join a group or get together with friends and neighbours to establish local, sustainable community-building networks. Some suggestions include:

1. Establish a community garden and educate yourselves and others about sustainable food practices.

2. Start a ‘share network’ to pool resources such as lawn-mowers, garden or shed tools, bottling kits, bikes and so on.

3. Recycle unwanted goods through a local ‘swap meet’ or invite your neighbours to hold a joint garage sale.

4. Get together with parents from your children’s school to start a Walking School Bus.

5. Organise with others to hold community tree-planting days.

6. Get involved in your local council activities or join a group to help design people and environment friendly public spaces.

7. Create a sustainable ‘transition town’ to plan for and limit the effects of climate change on your local neighbourhood.

Who will take these actions?

All employees in profit-driven organizations (especially corporations).

Where will these actions be taken?

European Union

How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?

Emissions will be reduced by approx. 1/4 (25%) in case of a three months climate leave.

What are other key benefits?

Environmental AND social, as the employee will build/join communities while working on specific projects during the leave.

What are the proposal’s costs?

The economic cost will depend on the financial support given by the employer to the employee (paid vs. unpaid leave of absence / sponsored vs. unsponsored projects).

Time line

All the proposed actions may be initiated by day 1 after the employee goes on climate leave.

Related proposals


Google co-founder Larry Page implicitly advocating climate leave at « Khosla Venture CEO Summit » July 3rd, 2014

"the idea that everyone needs to work frantically to meet people's needs is just not true. (...) I think there's also a social problem that a lot of people aren't happy if they don't have anything to do. So we need to give people things to do. (...) we're busy destroying the environment and other things, maybe we don't need to be doing."

QUESTIONNAIRE: Climate Change Information Request (targeted to all companies around the globe) - made by the CDP organization.

* Is climate change integrated into your business strategy?
* Do you engage in activities that could either directly or indirectly influence public policy on climate change?
* What processes do you have in place to ensure that all of your direct and indirect activities that influence policy are consistent with your overall climate change strategy?
* Did you have an emissions reduction target that was active in the reporting year?
* Did you have emissions reduction initiatives that were active within the reporting year?
* Have you published information about your organization’s response to climate change?
* Have you identified any climate change risks that have the potential to generate a substantive change in your business operations, revenue or expenditure?

The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) is organizing "Climate leadership awards" - We envision a "STAFF MEMBER CLIMATE LEADERSHIP AWARDS"

A leave of absence MAY/SHOULD be applied for by any employee willing to be a climate ambassador:

"A leave of absence (LOA) is time allowed away from work, generally requested by an employee, to cover unusual circumstances occurring in the employee’s life. The leave of absence is used when the employee’s time off from work is not covered under an employer’s existing benefits such as sick leave, paid vacation, paid holidays, and paid time off.

(...) During periods of time where the employer's market is sluggish, some employers offer certain classes of employees an opportunity to take an unpaid leave of absence as extra vacation time, in an effort to temporarily reduce operating expenses without the complications of performing a Layoff, and potentially losing critical employees permanently. Such a period is referred to as a leave of absence in lieu of layoff. In academia, "unpaid leave of absence" has no negative connotation.

COP 21 in 2015 is for economic operators the opportunity to place their commitments to the fight against climate change at the heart of their strategies.