Jane Fonda: Actor, Feminist and Climate Activist

Jane Fonda has always been an icon: during her days as a hugely successful Broadway and screen actor and now as a prominent feminist and a political and environmental activist. There is much to be said for the 81 year old. 

She made headlines for being arrested four times over the last month while taking part in climate protests in Washington DC. 

She is no stranger to activism; the multi-award winning actor has been campaigning for environmental action on climate change for several decades and was one of the first Hollywood celebrities to do so. 

She was essentially blacklisted from Hollywood while protesting against the Vietnam War. In 1972, she even went to Vietnam to see the effect of the war on the country for herself. She has also critiqued the Iraq War and violence against women. 

As part of her environmental activism, she took part in the March for Jobs, Justice and Climate in Toronto in 2015, the same year that she criticised Barack Obama for allowing drilling in the Arctic to commence. She has also worked closely with Greenpeace and their anti-oil development movement. 

In a television interview on The View last week, Fonda talked about why she is so invested in the climate movement and why she is willing to be arrested for protesting.

“Climate activists have been doing this for 40 years. We've been writing articles and we've been giving speeches. We've been putting the facts out to the American public and politicians and we've marched and we've rallied peacefully, and the fossil fuel industry is doing more and more and more to harm us and our environment and our young people's futures, and so we have to up the ante and engage in civil disobedience,” she said in the interview.

On November 5, it was reported that the US has begun the process of withdrawing their pledge from the Paris Agreement by November 2020. 

The agreement was signed by Barack Obama in 2015 and pledged that the US, along with almost 200 other countries, aim to prevent global temperatures from increasing by more than two degrees Celsius. 

They would also aim to limit their greenhouse gas emissions to the levels that the sea, trees and soil can absorb naturally, and for richer countries to aid poorer countries in achieving these goals. 

Fonda has urged US voters to not re-elect Trump: “He is an oil president, his cabinet is an oil cabinet…and so the sooner that we move beyond him, the better.”

She isn’t just speaking about causes. Time and time again, she has channelled her wealth from her films and her iconic Jane Fonda’s workout videos into Native American struggles, socialist movements and the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power and Potential. This campaign was established by Fonda to tackle the overall health and wellbeing of young people in Georgia, including dealing with issues around underage pregnancy and sexual abuse. 

She has also co - founded the Women’s Media Center, an organisation that aims to magnify women’s voices in media through advocacy and leadership training. 

On The View she said that she has no wish to stop being an activist saying, “ We are the last generation who can make a difference between life and death of the planet.”