Christian Aid launches #StopRugbySinking campaign to spotlight climate injustice

Christian Aid has launched a social campaign to raise awareness for climate injustice during The Rugby World Cup. #StopRugbySinking is inspired by the very real threat of rising sea levels faced by three of the smallest countries in the tournament – Fiji, Tonga and Samoa – because of fossil fuel burning by many of the richest.

The campaign, devised by creative agency, Impero, is designed to start conversations about climate justice, and loss and damage to smaller countries. It coincides with the launch of Christian Aid’s updated report, World in Disunion (originally published in 2019).

Influenced by the Pacific Islands famous traditional war dancing, the hero film shows UK-based Pacific Island dance group, Beats of Polynesia, from Tonga, Samoa and Fiji, dancing in central London, knee deep in the Thames. The campaign forces people to consider the consequences of rising waters in countries that have had almost no part in the catastrophe that is facing them. The choreography tells the story of their troubles with climate change and is accompanied by a chant, specifically written for the campaign, called ‘The Battle for Climate Change’. The campaign is live now and will run until the end of the World Cup on 28 October.

“The Rugby World Cup brings together some of the world’s biggest carbon emitters, and some of the most climate-vulnerable countries. When it comes to the climate crisis, there is no level playing field,” said Christian Aid Chief Executive, Patrick Watt. “The actions of big polluting countries like Australia, France and the UK have devastating consequences for low-lying island nations in the Pacific, in the form of storms, and rising sea levels and temperatures. It is time for the big emitters to play by the rules, meet their commitments to limit climate change and repair the damage caused to climate-vulnerable communities. The wealthiest countries need to deliver the finance they’ve pledged for adaptation and commit to the loss and damage fund.”