Born in India and raised in Oman, Aneesa experienced first-hand the painful impacts of fossil fuel extraction. While growing up in a country where drilling for oil was cheaper than providing drinking water, she saw gruesome droughts and harrowing floods devastate her family’s home on the South Indian coast. Seeing the intersection of climate impacts on people and the environment at a very young age influenced Aneesa to dedicate herself to the movement for climate justice. She studied international environmental law and politics at College of the Atlantic (COA) and focused on telling stories of environmental inequity and injustice through graphic design. Aneesa steps into the position of SustainUS’ Executive Coordinator after spending time organizing with Earth in Brackets, Friends of the Earth International, and The Wilderness Society. She has attended United Nations climate conferences in Lima, Paris, and Marrakesh, and most recently led the SustainUS delegation to the 24th UN climate conference in Katowice, Poland in 2018.
Aneesa believes that even though climate change worsens all inequalities, its unyielding deadline is the push that brings together existing movements for environmental justice, LGBTQ and women’s rights, tribal sovereignty, racial justice, jobs and welfare. Aneesa deeply trusts in the mission of SustainUS and its ability to build the kind of community and resilience that will make the world we desire a reality. She is passionate about coordinating its work to kick the fossil fuel industry out of climate policymaking, to hold those with power in the US accountable to their decisions, and to protect the lands, culture and lives of indigenous, black, brown and other communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis.
Aneesa is currently based in Chennai, India, but her heart lies where mountains meet the ocean in Maine. She spends her free time drawing her graphic novel on the experiences of climate activists of color, and knitting scarves (maybe hats someday).