350.org

Subscribe to 350.org feed 350.org
We're mobilizing a global movement to stop dangerous climate change. Join us at 350.org, and take action at an event near you on the International Day of Climate Action, 24 October, 2009.
Updated: 1 day 21 hours ago

Taking your first steps into local climate action

June 15, 2018 - 1:01am

Yes, yes – it can feel daunting. The climate crisis is more urgent than it’s ever been. Some days we feel like we’re making good progress, when we hear of countries powered by 100% renewable energy or a big commitment to take on fossil fuel corporations from a city like New York. But other days, it’s a heavy burden knowing there’s so much more that needs to be done to unseat the fossil fuel industry and move to a just, Fossil Free, renewably-powered world.

Last weekend, we saw how national and international leadership keeps failing to meaningfully address the problem. While the Paris Agreement rightly acknowledged how much damage we’ll see in a 2-degree warmer world, it’s not clear that process is going to be enough to stop it from happening.

So people are trying something new. The We Are Still In coalition in the US unites local governments, businesses, civil society and non-state actors to work together and overcome limited national means. In the international C40 Cities network, mayors of iconic cities around the globe are pushing for fossil fuel divestment. Governor Jerry Brown of California is hosting a summit in San Francisco in September to bypass the national and “take ambition to the next level.” And of course, grassroots movements, from Kenya to the Philippines to Brazil, are securing important wins.

 

 

All these local efforts – and so many others of varying form and size across the globe – give us hope. People power is keeping us in the game. By speaking truth to power and working tirelessly in our communities and with local governments, we can create the change we want to see. We’re not falling for empty words. We know the solutions are simple: ambitious and just renewable commitments, “no” to all new fossil fuel projects, and an end to finance for the fossil fuel industry.

So, don’t get discouraged. Here’s what you can do right now for an injection of hope:

1. Start or join a Fossil Free Group near you

Often, we only catch the headlines – but behind the scenes, groups of people are learning together how to effect real change in their communities with targeted, local campaigns. Start here – and check out some of the amazing tools and the network of groups already out there to help you get started.

2. Join or organize a local Rise for Climate action where you live on September 8

Ahead of the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, the climate movement is gearing up for a huge day of action. With 3 months still to go, 100 actions around the world are already organized – but we know we can scale it to over 1,000. This is a chance to get creative and come together with friends and your community: all you need to know is here.

3. Spread the word about #RiseforClimate on Social media

Don’t underestimate the power of keeping the conversation going, sharing personal stories and amplifying other inspiring voices from around the world. Find sample graphics, video, text and lots more to help you spread the word here. And if you’re in California, join the in-person mass mobilization.

Categories: International News

Study: Civic leaders are among those best placed to save the planet

June 14, 2018 - 6:36am

A new study out last week affirms why we’re organising locally to secure commitments to a Fossil Free world on 8 September.  Big cities are huge emitters of greenhouse gases. But this also means “concerted action by a small number of local mayors and governments can significantly reduce national carbon footprints”.

“Mayors, governors, councils and city bosses have as much opportunity as national governments – and more direct influence.”  Daniel Moran, of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Cities may drive climate change, but they are also concentrations of people who will be most at risk, not just because cities are hotter than the surrounding countryside, but because, as the world warms, more people in more cities become increasingly vulnerable to extremes of heat and flood.

The message of the study is simple: when it comes to real climate leadership, mayors, governors, councils and city bosses have as much opportunity as national governments – and more direct influence.

In other news this week: Watch: 350 Pilipinas unfurled #FossilFree banners around Metro Manila, building up to the #RiseForClimate

Volunteers hope that their actions will help civic leaders meeting this September hear the hopes and aspirations of people from climate vulnerable countries like the Philippines.  Thousands of Rise for Climate rallies, marches and actions are being planned around the world on 8 September.   Find an event near you or register one here.

#RiseForClimate twitterstorm hits US Conference of Mayors

We often think of leadership as something elected officials and people in power embody. The truth is real leadership comes from the people, and the past week has proven that.

As the US Conference of Mayors convened in a Boston convention centre, hundreds of people demonstrated outside to demand action for a #fossilfree future and a light projection called on host Boston mayor to walk the talk on climate. Thousands of tweets were also sent simultaneously at other mayors under the #RiseForClimate hashtag — so many, that the live Twitter feed inside the conference was completely taken over by #RiseForClimate tweets.

Tweets @ US mayors stream behind speakers on the main conference floor

African cities show real climate leadership

Announcements from cities in the build up to the official GCAS summit next September continue to build up.

Africa is sometimes better known for its vulnerability to climate change than its action on the problem – but a set of African cities intend to change that.

Eight major cities – from Accra to Dar es Salaam – pledged this week to deliver their share of emissions cuts needed to meet Paris Agreement targets to limit climate change.

Call on your elected officials to commit to a go Fossil Free too

 

Get involved locally and join Rise for Climate today

Organise an event   Find an event

Categories: International News

Freedom from coal

June 12, 2018 - 5:22am

On September 8th, we will rise up once more alongside thousands of others across the world. We will send a clear message to the politicians who have been bought off by big coal: take action to stop climate change, or face the power of the people.

Categories: International News

Lack of true climate leadership at the G7 summit

June 11, 2018 - 1:35pm

Just over a year ago, Trump announced the US will begin the process of pulling the United States out of the Paris Agreement. Over the weekend, he did it again – this time suggesting the US would back out of the G7 Communiqué penned at the 2-day summit of the world’s largest advanced economies in Charlevoix, Quebec.

How’d he do it, you ask? By tweet, of course – late Saturday night, just hours after the agreement was finalized:

Based on Justin’s false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada is charging massive Tariffs to our U.S. farmers, workers and companies, I have instructed our U.S. Reps not to endorse the Communique as we look at Tariffs on automobiles flooding the U.S. Market!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2018

Not that this disarray comes as a huge surprise. In the lead-up to the summit, many reports came out that he was going to disrupt and divide the meeting, by challenging the international consensus on trade and diplomacy.

Climate change was originally slated as one of the main issues of the summit this time around. Yet the Communiqué (which doesn’t even mention climate until bullet number 23), does little more than “reaffirm” past commitments to fight climate change through a vague multitude of market-based means involving all possible actors. While it does include increased commitment to working for a just transition and with civil society, it doesn’t even mention previous G7 commitments to phase out fossil fuel subsidies by 2025, a timeline that now looks highly unlikely given G7 countries are still spending $100 billion on them per year.

 

Justin Trudeau along with the leaders of the UK, Italy, Germany, and France did offer a concrete initiative – a new non-binding charter on plastics. Canada will put $100 million to the effort. But it’s a drop in the bucket. Just two weeks ago, Trudeau allocated 4.5 billion $CAD to build a tar sands pipeline from Alberta to the British Columbian coast, despite fierce opposition.

We’re running out of time. Global emissions rose between 2016 and 2017. We need real climate leadership now – leadership that properly identifies the drivers of the climate crisis, names them, and takes bold action to stop and chart a new course. We should be able to expect this from the leaders of the world’s most developed economies.

Yet all this quibbling and a brewing trade war among supposed allies goes to show that our national leaders are barely in a position to agree among themselves, let alone implement real action for the climate and regular people. Make no mistake – they are failing us. So what’s the answer?

In a phrase, local climate action. We need to hold our local elected officials accountable, all over the world, at the same time. This is where we can dig in, get our hands dirty, and see real change on the ground. A recent study even spells out how action on carbon reduction at the local level is significantly more effective than at higher levels of government.

We’ve all got to try. You can join the global effort from where you live, and get organized between now and September 8 to secure local commitments on climate.

Categories: International News

Why the climate movement must take a stand against right-wing political parties.

June 11, 2018 - 6:47am

Just a couple of weeks ago, at the end of May, citizens rallied in Berlin and came together under the slogan “Stop the hate! Stop the AfD” to demonstrate for an open society and disrupt a march by the racist party and its supporters. The Ende Gelände alliance, which is campaigning for a coal phase-out in Germany, also mobilized for the demonstration. The climate activists from Ende Gelände stated: “Because climate justice and anti-racism are inseparable, we will commit acts of civil disobedience against both coal and racists.”

The demo was a huge success, with some 72,000 citizens taking to the streets against the 2,000 supporters from the AfD. This outcome gives us courage and hope. The world that the AfD and other racist and xenophobic parties would like to create is not compatible with our values and vision of a good life for all.

Heute riefen wir gemeinsam mit zehntausenden Menschen: #endegelaende dem #Rassismus! Für ein #Klima der Gerechtigkeit! #NoAfD #StopptDenHass pic.twitter.com/nrQrs40oTj

— Ende Gelände (@Ende__Gelaende) 27. Mai 2018


If we truly wish to overcome the climate crisis, we must put an end to the outrageous injustices that underpin it.

The AfD does not have the slightest inkling of how to tackle this crisis and are intent on clinging to fossil fuels with all their adverse effects on global climate. In their manifesto, the AfD goes so far as to deny the existence of human-induced climate change, creating their own alternative facts instead. Nor is the nationalist party willing to offer refuge to people fleeing from drought, collapsing ecosystems, war or social crises.

Given the global nature of the climate crisis, it is imperative that activists in the transnational climate movement intervene when the rights and dignity of some citizens are called into question. The fact that whole swathes of our society are succumbing to the Islamaphobic and racist propaganda of right-wing parties is immensely disturbing. Equally abhorrent are the development of ever-more restrictive border regimes in Europe and Germany, the erosion of the right to asylum, the fatalities in the Mediterranean, and the suffering of refugees held in refugee camps or deported to countries where the threat of persecution, war, and famine hangs over them. And while the climate crisis is already robbing people of their livelihoods in ever greater numbers, states still refuse to recognize its impacts as a ground for granting asylum.

Together with multinational coal, oil and gas corporations, the highly industrialized countries of the Global North are key drivers of climate change – and its beneficiaries. Those most affected by climate change and the resulting catastrophic upheavals have contributed least to global emissions and frequently provide the cheap labor used by the very corporations that destroy ecosystems, social cohesion and our climate.

In the face of the growing threat posed by fascist parties and the climate crisis, we must cleave to our shared values of solidarity and justice. And so, we stand in solidarity with the Pacific Climate Warriors, who are fighting to ensure that Pacific Island countries are not engulfed by rising sea levels. We support indigenous peoples in Brazil who oppose the deforestation of their homelands as a result of the racking boom. We stand in solidarity with workers in fossil-based industries who are seeking secure and regular employment jobs in the renewable energy sector or pushing for alternative climate solutions. We stand in solidarity with disadvantaged communities existing on the margins of society, who received so little help in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Sandy and who were quickly forgotten by the US government. We struggle side by side with people living in coal mining regions in Turkey and Germany’s Rhineland region and who suffer the negative health impacts of mining activities or are forced out of their villages and who dare to stand up against this seemingly all-powerful industry.

We must stand together in solidarity against the hatred and abuse propagated by these xenophobic parties. Our strengths are many – our determination, diversity, solidarity, curiosity and respect for the “other” will stand us in good stead – as will our vision for a good life for all people, regardless of their race, color, social class or other traits.

We are delighted that the climate movement is taking a stand against right-wing ideology and working to build bridges to anti-racist movements and organizations led by refugees, immigrants and people of color.

 

 

If you have any success stories about actions and events that you would like to tell us about, please send them to europe@350.org and we will share them on Twitter and Facebook.

Categories: International News

Protected: We are the limits to the fossil fuel industry

June 8, 2018 - 10:53am

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Password:

Categories: International News

Is Germany getting serious about phasing out coal?

June 7, 2018 - 8:38am

After being postponed three times, Germany’s government has finally appointed a highly anticipated task-force on phasing out coal.

The coal commission – with the official title “Special Commission on Growth, Structural Economic Change and Employment” – will bring policymakers, industry representatives, labour unions, environmental NGOs and frontline communities to the table to decide on a roadmap and a clear end date for coal.

Launched by Merkel’s cabinet on June 6, 2018, the 31-member commission will have four co-chairs and 31 members in total. Preliminary results are expected in October, however, the commission has already come under fire for prioritising jobs over climate protection in its mandate.

The commission includes a number of proponents of a rapid coal phase out and – importantly, as a last minute addition, representatives of coal-impacted communities, which came about as a response to strong criticism of industry bias.

In spite of this, we know that the coal commission will not necessarily bring about the kind of commitments needed to uphold Germany’s climate goals and the Paris Climate Agreement.

While the commission gets underway in the coming months, new power plants are being built and plans for existing mines to be expanded are set to go ahead. As environmental groups have demanded from the outset, the commission should be accompanied by a moratorium on new coal projects.

The commission’s mandate doesn’t reflect the level of ambition required by the Paris Agreement and for Germany to meet its 2020 climate targets. It’s important to talk about an end date for coal, but the dirtiest coal mines must be shut down immediately, or by 2020 at the very latest. Read a civil society proposal for how this can be done here (in German).

There has been no effort to conceal the fact that climate change is not at the heart of the commission’s mandate. The highest priority has been placed on economic development and job creation, as the title makes clear! However, we believe that a stronger vision and more honesty about the future of coal industry workers is needed. That means getting serious about the need for a fair and just transition, and creating new and sustainable prospects for workers and coal-mining regions, rather than prolonging the inevitable.

That’s why we demand:

That Germany meets its climate goals, and that the federal government provides a clear outline of how these targets can be met, in line with efforts to limit global warming to under 1.5 degrees Celsius. For this to happen, 100 million tons of CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants will need to be reduced by 2020.
A legally binding plan for the closure of coal-fired power stations and open-cast mines
The immediate halt of all plans for new coal-fired power plants, open-cast mines and expansions.
Substantial support for the affected coal regions and workers, instead of letting coal companies get away with creating false hope and standing in the way of a fair and just transition to 100% renewables.

We know that the coal lobby and many political players want to further delay a coal phase out, which is why it is necessary for us to increase the pressure on decision-makers.

On 8 September 2018, there will be a Global Day of Action calling on local leaders and our political representatives to leave coal, oil and gas in the ground and to do everything in their power to make a just transition to citizen-led renewables.

Learn more and join Rise for Climate!

Categories: International News

Action Days spotlight local activism for the climate

June 6, 2018 - 7:37am

From city picnics spotlighting renewable energy, to climate management workshops, to bicycle races – on May 15, 25 events happened during Climate Action Day in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. This was a powerful regional showing of concern for the climate, and instilled hope that local communities can lead the way with solutions.

The events were organized by local non-profits in alignment with the Action Days framework initiated by the international organization 350.org  in cooperation with the Ukrainian Climate Action Network, MoveGreen Initiative (Bishkek), Cities for Life campaign team (St. Petersburg), Research-Intellectual Club “Dialogue of Generations” (Kutaisi) and NGO “Prastor” (Vitebsk).

It’s the second year in a row for Climate Action Day, uniting hundreds of thousands of activists working together to address one of the biggest challenges of mankind, climate change. Activities were in 14 cities and three villages of Ukraine*, as well as in 4 other cities in the region: Georgia, Kirgizstan, Russian Federation and Belarus. Overall, 21 organizations and initiatives have joined the movement.

“Action Days is an attempt to unite the efforts of local communities in order to show that together people can influence local climate policy decisions, change their habits in order to prevent negative global consequences of climate change, and move from words to actions”

-Svitlana Romanko, a regional coordinator/campaigner of 350.org in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA).

 

Locally-grounded climate action in solidarity

It was up to local communities to choose the event formats, and therefore every action was unique. All events were devoted to sustainable development and people’s impact on the climate change process.

Communities held cycle races, film screenings, climate debates, thematic workshops, eco-lectures, community work days, eco-parties, planted biofuel plants, flowers and trees, made coffee on a solar generator and measured carbon footprints of event participants. Before and after Days of Actions, public working group discussions on the city Plans for Climate and Energy and city programs on ecological (and climate) well-being!

“For example, in Lviv, Ukraine, our team worked at the Rynok Square. Everybody could come up and measure their “carbon footprint” using a questionnaire”, said Diana Popfalushi, coordinator of the NGO “For Eco Development”. The survey results are measured in hectares of land. According to average estimates, for the Earth to be able to restore its resources, one person requires per year 1.8 hectares of land (for growing food, life, activity emissions). If your result exceeds this figure, you need to change your habits.”

In Georgia, in the city of Kutaisi, activists held a discussion about the climate change challenges there and presented an online application with recommendations for recycling. In St. Petersburg, Russia, an environmental party and film screening were held; in Bishkek (Kirgizstan), a meeting was arranged in the Botanical garden to discuss the upcoming forum of green initiatives to be held in the city; and in Vitebsk (Belarus) people planned an ecological festival on climate change is being planned with the Botanical garden.

“Few of our fellow citizens think about how our needs and consumerism affect the ecosystem of the planet, what world we are going to leave behind – prosperous or drowning in waste. Therefore, being a volunteer during Action Days and helping people to grasp the importance of environmental thinking has become a matter of principle for me, as well as an opportunity to contribute to the promotion of a low-waste lifestyle,” says Julia Vinyarska, Volunteer of Action Days in Lviv.

*The events in Ukraine were initiated: in Kyiv by the Center for Innovation and Sustainable International Development “The Wind of Change”, in Lviv, by NGO “For Eco Development”, in Ivano-Frankivsk, by the Institute of Law of Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University, Ukrainian Youth Climate Association and Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) Environmental Bureau, in Poltava, by “Ecoltava”, in Dnipro, by NGO “Ukraine needs you”, in Lutsk, by LUTSK NIGHT CINEMA, in Rivne, by Garden of Histories Non-government Initiative, in Vinnytsa, by Pangea Ultima Development Center, in Berdyansk, by NGO “Ukraine needs you”, in Brody, by UGCC Environmental Bureau, in Kryvyi Rih, by NGO “Eremurus”, in Zaporizhzhya, by NGO “Dzyga”, in Khmelnytsky, by Khmelnytsky Youth Development Club/ASTAR, in Muzykivka, by local United Territorial Community (Kherson region), in Rozivka, by NGO “Eremurus”, in the village of Bilozirya, by the basic educational institution “Bilozirya school of general education (primary, secondary and high school)” and Bilozirya school of general education (primary and secondary school), branch of the basic educational institution “Bilozirya school of general education (primary, secondary and high school)”.

Categories: International News

Why we are rallying in Boston and [tweet]storming across the USA on Friday

June 5, 2018 - 2:22pm

On Friday June 8, hundreds of mayors from across the United States will be gathering in Boston for the annual US Conference of Mayors to discuss and strategize about the future of cities. The mayors will discuss how to make our cities more livable, ow make them more resilient, and make them more just and fair for everyone. These are noble objectives for the places where the majority of Americans live.

There’s going to be a lot of talk.

Throughout the weekend and more importantly when they go back home to our cities, climate activists want our mayors to go beyond talking and to start acting. It’s been a year since Trump announced he intended to pull the USA out of the Paris Climate Agreement. and since this same group of mayors declared they were “Still In.” The US Conference of Mayors even passed a resolution pledging climate action.

But it’s also been a year where there hasn’t been enough real action to fight climate change, especially to make up for inaction and rollbacks at the federal level.

The clock is ticking. And It’s time to Rise for Climate Action.

That’s why on Friday, hundreds of friends and fellow activists will be rallying outside the conference hall, calling for mayors, including host Boston mayor Marty Walsh, to walk the talk and announce concrete actions to:

  1.    Stop all new fossil fuel projects in city boundaries    
  2.    Adopt a real plan to transition justly to 100% renewable energy
  3.    Divest city funds, including pensions, from fossil fuel companies      

While the rally takes place in Boston, we are going to sweep up our Mayors across the country in a Twitterstorm. Join by tweeting this message at your mayor [Insert their twitter handle] and stand side by side with those rallying in the streets of Boston:

It’s time [@LOCALMAYOR] + all @usmayors #RiseforClimate and:

  1. Stop all new fossil fuel projects
  2. Transition to 100% renewable energy for all
  3. Not a penny more invested in fossil fuel companies.

#USCM2018 #RiseForClimate #FossilFree
http://gofossilfree.org/usa/uscom2018/

The clock is ticking.

In just 3 months, California Governor Jerry Brown, is convening the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco where hundreds of elected officials and corporate CEOs will gather. In the lead up, summit organizers have asked elected leader to make clear commitments to help tackle climate change. And it’s our job to make sure those commitments are strong, Fossil Free commitments.

That’s why we’ll be rallying in the tens of thousands to Rise for Climate Action outside the summit itself and in coordination with thousands of rallies around the world. Together, we must demand our local leaders commit to building a Fossil Free world that puts people and justice before profits. No more stalling, no more delays: it’s time for a fast and fair transition to 100% renewable energy for all.

Together, acting online and offline, we can make that happen. Tweet this Friday and sign-up to join a RISE event in your community September 8.

Categories: International News

Why we are rallying in Boston and [tweet]storming across the USA on Friday

June 5, 2018 - 1:24pm

On Friday June 8, hundreds of mayors from across the United States will be gathering in Boston for the annual US Conference of Mayors to discuss and strategize about the future of cities. The mayors will discuss how to make our cities more livable, ow make them more resilient, and make them more just and fair for everyone. These are noble objectives for the places where the majority of Americans live.

There’s going to be a lot of talk.

Throughout the weekend and more importantly when they go back home to our cities, climate activists want our mayors to go beyond talking and to start acting. It’s been a year since Trump announced he intended to pull the USA out of the Paris Climate Agreement. and since this same group of mayors declared they were “Still In.” The US Conference of Mayors even passed a resolution pledging climate action.

But it’s also been a year where there hasn’t been enough real action to fight climate change, especially to make up for inaction and rollbacks at the federal level.

The clock is ticking. And It’s time to Rise for Climate Action.

That’s why on Friday, hundreds of friends and fellow activists will be rallying outside the conference hall, calling for mayors, including host Boston mayor Marty Walsh, to walk the talk and announce concrete actions to:

  1.    Stop all new fossil fuel projects in city boundaries    
  2.    Adopt a real plan to transition justly to 100% renewable energy
  3.    Divest city funds, including pensions, from fossil fuel companies      

While the rally takes place in Boston, we are going to sweep up our Mayors across the country in a Twitterstorm. Join by tweeting this message at your mayor [Insert their twitter handle] and stand side by side with those rallying in the streets of Boston:

It’s time [@LOCALMAYOR] + all @usmayors #RiseforClimate and:

  1. Stop all new fossil fuel projects
  2. Transition to 100% renewable energy for all
  3. Not a penny more invested in fossil fuel companies.

#USCM2018 #RiseForClimate #FossilFree
http://gofossilfree.org/usa/uscom2018/

The clock is ticking.

In just 3 months, California Governor Jerry Brown, is convening the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco where hundreds of elected officials and corporate CEOs will gather. In the lead up, summit organizers have asked elected leader to make clear commitments to help tackle climate change. And it’s our job to make sure those commitments are strong, Fossil Free commitments.

That’s why we’ll be rallying in the tens of thousands to Rise for Climate Action outside the summit itself and in coordination with thousands of rallies around the world. Together, we must demand our local leaders commit to building a Fossil Free world that puts people and justice before profits. No more stalling, no more delays: it’s time for a fast and fair transition to 100% renewable energy for all.

Together, acting online and offline, we can make that happen. Tweet this Friday and sign-up to join a RISE event in your community September 8.

Categories: International News

Why we are rallying in Boston and [tweet]storming across the USA on Friday

June 5, 2018 - 1:24pm

On Friday June 8, hundreds of mayors from across the United States will be gathering in Boston for the annual US Conference of Mayors to discuss and strategize about the future of cities. The mayors will discuss how to make our cities more livable, ow make them more resilient, and make them more just and fair for everyone. These are noble objectives for the places where the majority of Americans live.

There’s going to be a lot of talk.

Throughout the weekend and more importantly when they go back home to our cities, climate activists want our mayors to go beyond talking and to start acting. It’s been a year since Trump announced he intended to pull the USA out of the Paris Climate Agreement. and since this same group of mayors declared they were “Still In.” The US Conference of Mayors even passed a resolution pledging climate action.

But it’s also been a year where there hasn’t been enough real action to fight climate change, especially to make up for inaction and rollbacks at the federal level.

The clock is ticking. And It’s time to Rise for Climate Action.

That’s why on Friday, hundreds of friends and fellow activists will be rallying outside the conference hall, calling for mayors, including host Boston mayor Marty Walsh, to walk the talk and announce concrete actions to:

  1.    Stop all new fossil fuel projects in city boundaries    
  2.    Adopt a real plan to transition justly to 100% renewable energy
  3.    Divest city funds, including pensions, from fossil fuel companies      

While the rally takes place in Boston, we are going to sweep up our Mayors across the country in a Twitterstorm. Join by tweeting this message at your mayor [Insert their twitter handle] and stand side by side with those rallying in the streets of Boston:

It’s time [@LOCALMAYOR] + all @usmayors #RiseforClimate and:

  1. Stop all new fossil fuel projects
  2. Transition to 100% renewable energy for all
  3. Not a penny more invested in fossil fuel companies.

#USCM2018 #RiseForClimate #FossilFree
http://gofossilfree.org/usa/uscom2018/

The clock is ticking.

In just 3 months, California Governor Jerry Brown, is convening the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco where hundreds of elected officials and corporate CEOs will gather. In the lead up, summit organizers have asked elected leader to make clear commitments to help tackle climate change. And it’s our job to make sure those commitments are strong, Fossil Free commitments.

That’s why we’ll be rallying in the tens of thousands to Rise for Climate Action outside the summit itself and in coordination with thousands of rallies around the world. Together, we must demand our local leaders commit to building a Fossil Free world that puts people and justice before profits. No more stalling, no more delays: it’s time for a fast and fair transition to 100% renewable energy for all.

Together, acting online and offline, we can make that happen. Tweet this Friday and sign-up to join a RISE event in your community September 8.

Categories: International News

7 days until G7: Who’s leading on climate?

June 1, 2018 - 2:03pm

Climate change is a priority for the G7 this time around, with a stated mandate to “transform the way we produce, transport, and use energy”. Ambitions and promises are big, yet not one of the 7 countries sitting down together on June 8-9 in Québec is doing enough to fight the climate crisis. Their shortcomings are driving people and the planet towards the most dangerous of scenarios identified by scientists, as global CO2 emissions increased by about 2% between 2016 and 2017.

With 7 days to go, we profile the 7 countries and take stock of how their climate actions line up with the rhetoric.

 

1. Germany

“Global climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity in the 21st century.”
– Angela Merkel, 15 November in Bonn at the UN Climate Talks, 2017

Indeed, but the German PM cannot be credible while Germany is still hugely reliant on dirty coal, which is responsible for over a third of the country’s CO2 emissions. In 2017, 4 out of 5 of the largest EU emitters were German lignite coal power stations. In order to keep its commitment, Germany has to phase out coal.

What you can do: Support German groups that mobilize to shut down lignite mines, and sign the petition to end coal in Germany.

The Bundestag, Germany’s parliament.

 


2. Italy

Climate change is shaping up to be a disaster for Italy. Malaria is back in the country, Venice will vanish under water, and scientists fear that Mediterranean lands will turn into desert. Yet the recently-nominated government has made zero commitments on climate and energy. Instead it has loudly announced it’d deport 500,000 migrants back to Africa and the Middle-East.

Fighting climate change goes hand in hand with justice and solidarity, and this begins at home: by saying no to any new fossil fuel infrastructure. Communities in southern Italy have furiously resisted TAP, part of a mega pipeline that would bring in gas from Azerbaijan. In Italy, we should evict fossil fuel infrastructure like TAP – not people!

Take action together with hundreds of villages and rural communities, mayors, farmers groups, and people standing in solidarity around Europe: say #NoTAP and sign the open letter. 

Communities in the south of Italy resist the Trans Adriatic pipeline.

 


3. United Kingdom

“By maintaining our commitment to tackling climate change and its effects, the UK can build a clean, green economy which is fit for the future and by so doing, protect and enhance our natural environment for the next generation.”
– Theresa May, December 11 2017, the day before Macron’s Climate Finance Summit in Paris.

Despite this vibrant plea, the UK is one of the last countries (still!) within the EU that did not ban fracking. Even worse: the government recently published its plan to fast-track fracking, by weakening regulations for companies, and taking back local authorities’ power to grant permits.

Support local communities in Britain who are resisting fracking. Reclaim the Power is holding a big day of action on June 27 to block gas infrastructure: you can join in-person or support online.

Protestors in London for divestment from fossil fuels in front of Big Ben in May 2017.

4. United States

“I know much about climate change. I received environmental awards.”
– Donald Trump, January 18, 2016 on Fox News

 

Trump’s record in less than 2 years at the White House is disastrous: Keystone XL is back on track, coal is being resuscitated, cuts have been made to the green energy sector, and car emission regulations are being rolled back. Let’s not kid ourselves: climate leadership in the US lays with communities and people fighting existing and new fossil fuel infrastructure, and defending climate justice.

What you can do: Join the movement for SolarXL, where communities are building solar arrays directly in the path of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Jim Knopick of the North Star Solar Bears, who installed the arrays in the path of Keystone XL.

 

5. Japan

“Japan will spare no effort in tackling the issue of global warming.”
Shinzo Abe, in his statement on Japan’s accepting the Paris Agreement, 8 November, 2016

Japan is competing with China for the dubious crown of the world’s leading coal financier, involving both public and private actors. Japanese megabanks play a critical role in these funding schemes all over the world, and particularly in the Global South. If Japan wants to honor its commitment to Paris, it has no choice but to stop funding coal.

Support 350 Japan and its powerful call to Japan’s 3 biggest banks to stop funding coal worldwide. Sign the petition here. 

Shin Furuno, divestment campaigner at 350.org.

 

6. France

“We must put finance at the service of the climate. There is money to make it happen, and we need this money.”
– Emmanuel Macron, 11 December 2017, the day before the Paris Climate Finance Summit

Yet France keeps using public money to finance fossil fuels. Through its public investment arm, it’s supporting 12 dirty projects around the world  (e.g. Yamal, Goliath, Coral LNG, tar sands in Canada), as well as STEP, new gas pipeline infrastructure spanning the Pyrénées mountains. STEP means more fossil fuels extracted and burned, more lands and forests confiscated, and invaluable flora and fauna destroyed for the sake of gas profits. Macron could say no to this project and divest public money from fossil fuels.

How we resist: 350 France along with allies and local activists are calling on mayors to say no to STEP-MidCAT and to lobby for divestment of public pension funds in fossil fuels. Join them (pages in French).

Macron honing his rhetoric at COP 23 in Bonn, Germany in November 2017.

 

7. Canada

“We’ll demonstrate that we are serious about climate change … It means collaborating with our provincial and territorial partners … and investing in sustainable economic prosperity.”
– Justin Trudeau, on the eve of his trip to Paris for the Climate talks, 22 November 2015 

Indeed Justin, that’s what it means – and certainly not paying $4.5 billion in public money to accelerate the extraction and transport of oil sands from Alberta. Climate leadership and building new pipelines are not compatible. So why are you nationalizing Trans Mountain?

Join 350 Canada in asking Trudeau to abandon the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline extension.

Taken May 29 in Vancouver just after Trudeau’s announcement Canada would buy the pipeline for 4.5 billion. Photo credit: The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck

 

In every case, it’s clear people on the ground, not world leaders, are taking the boldest action to stop the climate crisis. But we need more of this. Wherever you are in the world, you can link up with others who are already organizing or start your own group right now. Then, plan an action for the climate movement’s biggest day of the year: Rise for Climate on September 8. 

 

Categories: International News

Profiles of Paris – May Boeve

May 31, 2018 - 12:15pm

Red. Above my head a billowing red cloth; below me the gray Parisian streets. Next to me, many hands holding the sides of a 100-meter banner so we could keep it above our head, so that the photographers leaning out of five-story windows could capture our message:

It is up to us to keep fossil fuels in the ground!

Everyone wore something in red: hats, gloves, umbrellas (it was December, after all). At first there were just a few of us, but before the day was out, many thousands. It was 12 December, 2015, and we were at the Champs-Élysées for the Red Lines action on the final day of the historic Paris climate negotiations. The goal of the action was for the public to have the last word about the Paris Agreement and, in so doing, make clear that we were committed to continuing to work throughout the world to combat catastrophic climate change. We wanted to make it clear that Paris was a beginning, not an end point, since to truly keep warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, we had enormous work to do even after the last negotiators left town.

I’d been worried about this action for many months, but since arriving in Paris it became much more intense. At our shared flat each night my colleagues would arrive after midnight, fresh with news of that days’ meetings with the activist groups, the other NGOs, and the volunteers planning the action. Each day brought a new and unexpected development.

It’s a lot like what was happening inside Le Bourget, the location of the official negotiations.

We often sit in a parallel process like this as we plan mass mobilizations. The actions we take are the same: we have meetings, we negotiate, we attempt to create clarity and shared purpose amongst many competing interests.

But this one was extra hard. Getting agreement from local, national, and international activists is always difficult—and it was made much more difficult by the tragic bombings in Paris on 13 November, when 133 people were killed. The French government declared a state of emergency, which made any street protests, however nonviolent, very risky and tense, and the rules of what would be allowed–and the consequences for mobilizing anyway–continued to change.

I was not in the middle of the organizing process, by a long shot. I would head off to the formal negotiations in the morning knowing this uncertainly, and would receive many questions from people who were actual negotiators, lobbyists, much closer to the so-called “inside.” They would ask, “are you really going through with this? is it safe? Are you sure this is a good idea? Won’t this undermine our important work?”

And often I wasn’t sure what to say! Because of those darned negotiations. It would be like asking the lead negotiator from a key country to share, at any given moment, will there be a deal? It would be impossible to know with any degree of certainty.

What was abundantly clear is how comfortable activists were with these risks. One night I attended an action training with about 400 people, and was told every single training had filled up. People practiced chants, songs, made connections with fellow travelers all over the world, often fighting similar battles against the fossil fuel industry, environmental racism, defeatism, often in the form of policy and pipeline permitting struggles.

One target for limiting global warming — “1.5 DEGREES” — is projected on the Eiffel Tower on Friday as part of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. Francois Mori/AP

A large part of our goal of doing mass actions is to shift a conversation; to insert an idea that isn’t sufficiently present. It’s a way of demonstrating power when you aren’t the ones holding the pens that actually sign a given deal. But you know what will happen—and crucially what won’t happen—as a result of those deals.

350.org began with this purpose. We wanted to insert the idea of 350 into the discourse of the global climate debate and promote much more ambitious action than was being proposed at the time. To take a scientific data point that people were guaranteed to have a reaction to, and use that to influence politics. About how fast to move, how deep of a societal transformation to be pursued. The debate about how much of society’s collective wealth can be dedicated to a just transition off of fossil fuels. Who has to pay for that, and when, and how quickly they will be required to do so. What to become of the perpetrators, the polluters themselves; and what becomes of those whose homes are already washed away, burned, who are losing hope about the possibility of climate action?

“350” was, at the time, seen as ludicrous, impossible, and us, its champions, a little hard to take seriously for proposing it. It refers to the safe level of carbon dioxide, measured in parts per million. Also, “we” at the time, this was 2007 at the Bali climate talks, were a bunch of newly minted college graduates from the US. All white, middle class, mostly men, which also raised eyebrows about our vision for global movement building.

Over time and with a lot of work and pressure that shifted some, but what hasn’t and won’t shift is the core essence of our demands and a dramatic approach to changing ideas. That is why we organized an action called Red Lines. Red lines that should not be crossed.

Would the Paris Agreement limit warming to 1.5 degrees ? Would it be equitable? Each essay in this series will put forth a different answer to the question of how close we’ve come to these milestones. But take any social movement gain over history and show me one where there isn’t this diversity of opinions. When we’re trying to restructure the entire global economy to a decentralized energy system, and convince the wealthiest corporations on the planet to stop turning a profit from planetary destruction, there’s going to be some disagreement.

And yes, the agreement crossed red lines. If followed through on to the letter we will still heat the planet much too much. Outside pressure is its main accountability mechanism. But it could so easily not have happened, and with it, the singular kind of focus that comes when commitments are made. Global reference points for complex problems are rare and we celebrate the tools they present for accountability and organizing.

That’s exactly what’s happened since Paris: massive proliferation of action at the local level. Because there is a framework that ties us all together, the pressure points become national, regional, and local; and even though many national governments work at odds with everything we stand for, that has not stopped anyone in the movement from using every lever they can.

That is why 350.org has launched the Fossil Free campaign: to unite work towards the just transition across the globe in three key areas: stopping fossil fuel projects, 100% renewable energy, and not a penny more of financing for fossil fuels. In cities like Seattle where movements effectively stopped Shell from drilling off their coasts, they’ve taken the fight to housing and public transportation, because a city where more people can affordably live is also a city with less transport emissions. In places ravaged by climate disasters, like Puerto Rico, there are organizers like Tara Rodriguez Besosa with “Efecto Sombrilla,” a food justice organizer seeking food system solutions that rebuild equitably. In coal-dependent countries in Africa, like Ghana and South Africa, it’s “de-coalinise”—a frame which highlights the new colonizing force coal represents and all the damage it does. They are calling for much, much more.

Most of the actions that demonstrate this momentum are ones you won’t read about in the newspaper. Most of the activists in this movement did not have a seat at the negotiating table in Paris—but they use their power wherever they can, and they do it with wisdom, beauty, and a fierce love. They are, in the words of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, “Protectors, not Protestors.” Attending the Paris talks and working on climate change amidst a truly global movement is an enormous privilege—and I am grateful to all the contributors in this series for what they contribute to the collective whole of this movement. Even—perhaps especially—when we work through our disagreements and recognize how we need each other in service of our greater goals.

Onwards!

To explore all the stories in the Profiles of Paris series, click here

Categories: International News

Profiles of Paris – Bill McKibben

May 31, 2018 - 12:10pm

For me, the Paris negotiations of 2015 actually took place on Sixth Avenue in New York a year earlier.

That is to say, my experience of the Paris accords is somewhat unusual, in that I never even made it inside the negotiating hall itself. Truth be told, the agreement was not that important to me; instead, the mere fact of the negotiations was the crucial thing, because it gave civil society the chance to bring climate change front and center.

For me, the journey began at Copenhagen (2009), or maybe at Kyoto (1997). Because I’d written the first book for a general audience about climate change, I was fascinated by those Japanese talks. They seemed to be the moment at which the world would decide to take its gravest crisis seriously—but, as it turned out, that didn’t really happen. The U.S. punted, and indeed most of the countries of the world just kept spewing greenhouse gases throughout the decade that followed. Then we all adjourned to the Danish capital—“Hopenhagen,” they were calling it. Surely here, with the damage from climate change now easily visible, we would find action. But no—nothing. A profound failure.

But a failure that was useful in one way. It helped some of us realize that without a real movement forcing politicians, we would never get action. They would forever pontificate and forever avoid anything even close to real action. And so we got busy organizing. At 350.org we put together something like 20,000 rallies in every country on earth except North Korea. We went to jail by the thousands to stop new fossil fuel projects. We organized campus after church after pension fund to divest from fossil fuels. We helped build a movement where none had been before. And so, by 2014, we were able to put that movement to use.

With Paris clearly on the horizon, we called people into the streets. Never before had we attempted a true mass rally—truth be told we were always afraid that not enough people would show up, that it would fail. But now we were at least hopeful that the tide had begun to turn. And so—acting in concert with thousands of different organizations—we issued the call for people to come to the streets of New York while the UN was in session, to send a message that the time had come. We hoped very badly that 100,000 people might turn up; that would have been by far the largest climate demonstration of all time.

When the morning dawned—muggy and cloudy, but not thank God raining—I remember arriving on the streets of the upper West Side. It was early, but people seemed to be gathering. There were politicians on hand, and we had to explain that they would not be leading the parade: that honor went to young people and to indigenous people, on the theory that they had the most at stake and were in any event the de facto leaders of our fight. As we held press briefings and the like, people kept arriving—soon the side streets along Central Park West were so crowded that we began to worry. How would anyone march?

Our worries were in one sense correct—it took hours past the set start time for most people to begin walking, simply because the streets were so clogged. But people seemed thrilled by the inconvenience—they understood perfectly that it meant, finally, the climate movement had turned out in force. And what a parade! Churches and synagogues, following labor unions, following scientists in white lab coats, some of them wheeling blackboards with equations. Since New York is a city of immigrants, it made sense that blocs marched representing countries facing flood or drought. Even Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the UN, marched—which is atypical behavior for the strenuously non-partisan holder of that post.

Building momentum for Paris was the goal, and it definitely helped. A few weeks later Barack Obama told the UN, “when people march we have to listen.” It’s not that we changed his mind—it’s that we gave him, and others, some room to operate. And—not unimportantly—we made it impossible for them to come home from Paris empty-handed. Copenhagen was a bust because the Obamas of the world had nothing to fear; they could return in failure and not pay a price. But there was enough of a movement by the time of Paris that taking a pass would have come with a heavy political price.

So what did we do in Paris, instead of going to the negotiating sessions? Well, we kept building the movement. More marches and demonstrations (though some were constrained by the attack on the Bataclan). Remarkable concerts organized by Pathways to Paris. Small sit-down rallies on the grounds of the talks themselves. Why? Because we knew—even before Trump—that the Paris accords were not an end in themselves. They were obviously not going to solve the problem, even if they began the process of setting up some kind of framework. Since they were a series of voluntary pledges, people in every country would need to hold their leaders accountable. Since they failed to achieve their stated goal of holding temperature increases to 1.5 or even 2 degrees, we’d need to push to strengthen them. And all of that meant that our most useful work was building the movement stronger and more resolute.

When news of the final agreement came, we were in the streets of Paris, in a big rally led by indigenous people from around the world. We were happy for the news from the negotiations, but not as overjoyed as the delegates and diplomats who were hugging and high-fiving. We knew it was another day—an important day, but not a decisive one—in the fight to save the climate. Winning that fight would mean building stronger movements, so the negotiators of the future would have more courage, or more fear.

To explore all the stories in the Profiles of Paris series, click here

Categories: International News

Break Free 2018 – Here’s What Happened!

May 29, 2018 - 10:50pm

On Friday, people across Africa stepped up their commitment to keeping fossil fuels in the ground with courageous actions that have challenged business as usual across Africa.

Click here to see photos from Break Free actions that happened on Friday!

Lephalale, South Africa. Photo by Greenpeace Africa, Shayne Robinson, 25 May 2018

Break Free stood up to the proposed coal-fired station in Lamu, Kenya – told the Development Bank of Southern Africa to not fund Thabametsi, or any more coal projects in South Africa – reached out to communities in the Eastern region of Ghana (Dome, Asayansu, Kwesi Kunde, Fori) to promote and distribute renewable energy solutions.

#Breakfree Press Conference in Abuja Made Headlines, See one below:
We will not rest untill we #BreakFree from Fossil Fuels and embrace Renewable Energy for the good of all of us. @350Africa @AfricaCRP @ninteretse @GlenTyler @groundWorkSA @Rukiya_Khamis https://t.co/LprVpyiwgb

— David Mike Terungwa (@miketerungwa) May 27, 2018

With powerful actions involving people across the continent, Break Free from Fossil Fuels took the fight directly to the fossil fuel industry and showed just how powerful we can be when we act together.

Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo

The only way we’ll defeat the fossil fuel industry, which is wrecking our climate is if we all come together to show it up for what it is: an immoral and dangerous industry that is at odds with a safe future.

Lamu, Kenya

As the planet becomes dangerously hot, our greatest collective hope is that this movement continues to grow in size, strength and boldness. Friday showed what we can accomplish together.

Abuja, Nigeria

In every country that took action on Friday — Cote D’Ivoire, South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Zambia, Senegal, Kenya, Togo, Uganda, Ghana — organising against fossil fuels and for renewable energy will continue, stronger than ever.

Children are the future of tomorrow, let us habit train them to #breakfree and go for #fossilfree. Children in Kenya are saying #CoalSiCool @350_kenya @350Africa @ninteretse @deCOALonize @LamuYouthAllia1 @savelamu #deCOALonize pic.twitter.com/OjlAb902pj

— BintiKhamis (@Rukiya_Khamis) May 25, 2018

Because people everywhere see the writing on the wall: the planet is heating up, renewable energy is becoming more affordable, and the fossil fuel industry is entering a financial crisis, the time has come to stand up to its power and pollution.

Bargny, Senegal

This movement will continue to grow in all of its forms: divesting from fossil fuels, blocking fossil fuel extraction and transportation, passing fracking bans, stopping new coal plants, ending fossil fuel subsidies, and securing commitments build a 100% renewable economy.

in case you missed us ,#GreenEnergy is the future.#breakfree #fossilfuel #FossilFriday #fossilfree #ClimateChange pic.twitter.com/9pw4wjvn9k

— Asmaa Hanafi (@AsmaaHanafi1) May 27, 2018

But our work does not end here. The need for a rapid transition to renewable energy has never been more urgent, and the way we get there is by continuing to organise, mobilise and campaign.

This how we did it in Lagos Nigeria. Happy that African Youths are Championing this course- We must #BreakFree from Dirty Energy. @350Africa @AfricaCRP @gifsep4climate @ninteretse @GlenTyler @Rukiya_Khamis pic.twitter.com/BJJVFp9bch

— David Mike Terungwa (@miketerungwa) May 26, 2018

Even though Break Free 2018 is now over, you can get involved in climate campaigns and mobilisations by signing up to the deCOALonise.africa platform mailing list, or getting involved in the global mobilisation, Rise for Climate.

Categories: International News

Fossil fuel industry faces a crisis of reputation

May 25, 2018 - 2:07pm

The public view of the fossil fuel industry has been deteriorating for quite some time now. This week, a series of powerful actions is showing disapproval is at a serious high.

It was foreshadowed by Norwegian oil and gas giant Statoil’s rebranding last week, announcing they’d be called Equinor from here on out. Why?:

Statoil will rebrand itself Equinor because “a name with ‘oil’ as a component is a disadvantage" in recruiting young talent. Who knows, it might be even more effective to stop drilling in Arctic, Great Australian Bighthttps://t.co/j9o02KyRPB

— Bill McKibben (@billmckibben) May 15, 2018

From streets in Benin and Nigeria, to outside shareholders’ meetings in Europe – people made it clear this week: we won’t tolerate fossil fuel projects any longer. It’s 2018, and a climate crisis is unfolding all around us. We want a 100% renewable future that works for everyone, we’re already building it, and more and more people around the world are getting on board to make it happen.

On Monday in Manchester, outside BP’s annual general meeting (AGM) protestors stood in solidarity with Patagonians resisting a massive BP-sponsored fracking project in Argentina. It’s just the start of a powerful showing of solidarity between Latin America and Europe around gas: on Thursday, the United Beyond Gas Tour kicked off in Barcelona. It’ll stretch into June, making stops in France, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy.

Protesters outside #BPagm calling for the company to end its fracking plans in Argentina. pic.twitter.com/PFiIzTOkXB

— Chloé Farand (@ChloeFarand) May 21, 2018

Then on Tuesday, Shell’s own shareholders put forward a resolution that’d lay out a genuine plan to adhere to the Paris Climate Agreement to keep warming under 2 degrees C. Shell directors advised against the proposal, and it didn’t pass. But that didn’t stop people from turning up outside. A busload of Groningen inhabitants delivered bricks from their houses that have been damaged by Shell and Exxon’s gas fracturing in the area.

 

More of this kind of organizing – between neighbors and friends from their towns and cities – appears to be on its way. A huge global mobilization was announced for later this year, on September 8. Communities around the world from Japan to South Africa are gearing up to Rise for Climate Action and a Fossil Free world, by joining or organizing actions near them for the big day (you can too!).

We had a full house in Oakland at the first planning meeting for the Sept. 8th #RiseForClimate global day of action. We're marching for real #climate leadership from @JerryBrownGov and beyond. https://t.co/UXeMMvV589 pic.twitter.com/qAG0f8P46y

— 350 dot org (@350) May 25, 2018

In case all this wasn’t enough, on Wednesday a Harvard University board member made headlines when she symbolically resigned over the university’s failure to divest its multi-billion dollar endowment fund. And on Thursday, families from 8 countries in Europe, including the Sami indigenous community of Sweden, launched a People’s Climate lawsuit against the European Union.

A Harvard overseer — part of one of the university's governing bodies — resigned in protest of the school's endowment and fossil fuel investments. https://t.co/7sBfe1ixPQ

— HuffPost (@HuffPost) May 23, 2018

Categories: International News