On 23 September 2019, Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old-climate activist addressed the United Nations (UN) Climate Action Summit. She was not the first young person to address the UN but her words reverberated around the world as they were broadcast globally perhaps signalling a shift in public perception around the issues of climate change. In the address she stated,

You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you! For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you’re doing enough, when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight. (Greta Thunberg addressing the United Nations Climate Action Summit, New York, 23 September 2019)

It is almost ten years since the first edition of Sustainability, Midwifery and Birth was published. Over that time, consciousness of the issues related to sustainability has moved from the margins to the centre of public debate globally. This has largely been driven by the massive increase in the frequency and ferocity of adverse weather affecting every ecosystem and community on this planet. The language has shifted from ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change’ to ‘climate crisis’ and ‘climate emergency’. The melting of the polar ice caps, receding of glaciers across all the mountain ranges on the planet, lethal droughts, hurricanes affecting coastal communities around the globe, massive flooding bringing inundation and landslides and heat waves are continuously in the news. Wild fires burn in the Amazon, Indonesia, Australia and Siberia and regularly affect Southern Europe, North Africa and the west Coast of North America, sparked off both by weather and human actions. The pattern of extreme weather and its devastating impact on the living organisms, including humans, is inescapable. The atmospheric concentrations of the so-called ‘greenhouse’ gases, carbon dioxide (CO2, methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) are significantly higher than they were before the 2industrial revolution beginning in the mid-1700s (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2018).