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Stay Grounded in review: 2023 – A year of sustained momentum

Stay Grounded - Tue, 01/09/2024 - 05:51

2023 was a busy year, with lots of growth and momentum in the movement and within the Stay Grounded network. We saw our network grow – reaching 215 members! – and numerous inventive and impactful actions against private jets, aviation growth, and destructive tourism. While it’s impossible to cover everything, here’s our attempt to give an overview of the activities and achievements of our 215 member initiatives, our individual members, our working groups, our volunteers, our Turtles coordination group, and our team of campaigners.

The call to ban private jets grew loud

Our campaign against private jets and luxury emissions gained momentum and demands for policymakers to implement effective solutions – such as a ban on private jets, a ban on frequent flying programmes, and a tax on frequent flying – were echoed by the movement through powerful actions throughout the year. 

In May, a hundred activists supporting Stay Grounded, Greenpeace, Extinction Rebellion, and Scientist Rebellion, and other climate justice groups, disrupted Europe’s biggest sales fair of private jets (EBACE) in Geneva. It was a key moment in the movement to hold the rich accountable for their outrageous emissions and brought hope and motivation. “We’ve come to tell the super-rich that the party is over. To expose the toxicity of the private jet industry, which is fuelling further the climate catastrophe and injustice!”, explained Charlène Fleury, who came to join the action from France.

As part of the campaign we produced a number of resources to help people understand and explain why private jets are the pinnacle of climate injustice. We created key messages to frame and communicate the issue, a Q&A cheatsheet, and infographics. In August, we released our factsheet on private jets (available in English, French, Spanish and German), which debunks claims made by the private jet industry and explains the solutions we need. 

In October, 90 organisations – including Stay Grounded – issued an open letter calling on national and European policymakers to ban private jets and tax frequent flying. Our demand for an end to luxury emissions was bolstered by people across Europe, just days before, taking to the streets in the Their Time To Pay marches which called for an end to the current unjust system and the resulting cost of living and climate crises. 

Action snowballed

The energy for action continued throughout 2023. In April, we joined The Big One – a mass protest organised by Extinction Rebellion in the UK – our member BAAN co-organised the March Against Airport Expansion with over 5,000 people joining. Groups in France staged a week of actions in May to demand a cap on flights and a curfew. 

The year culminated with several key moments in the movement to ground aviation. In Mexico, several actions took place against the new Tulum International Airport. Activists condemned the marketing of this as a ‘green airport’ despite its devastating environmental impact and the fact that it jeopardises Mayan peoples’ interests. 

At the same time, supporters of Code Rouge from across Europe took action at Liège Airport in a peaceful direct action to demand a drastic reduction of flights. Shortly before, hundreds of activists were arrested around Antwerp, while preparing to block Antwerp International airport, one of the biggest private jet airports in Belgium. Despite police targeting activists, a large group managed to enter Antwerp Airport and achieved success: no private jets took off from Kortrijk or Antwerp on that day.

Fighting industry greenwashing

2023 saw the aviation industry dig its heels even further into new greenwashing strategies in order to continue its climate-wrecking growth. As always, we didn’t let them! The Stay Grounded greenwashing working group produced a detailed, comprehensively researched, and accessible fact-sheet on Carbon Offsetting. This explained why the very concept of using resources that are essential for the global majority to continue the polluting habits of a wealthy minority is fundamentally unjust. Meanwhile, research commissioned by Stay Grounded showed the reality of forest carbon offsets: exaggerated emission savings and legal challenges.  

We saw the industry shift its focus towards so-called Sustainable Aviation Fuel in 2023, presenting it as a magic bullet to continue to pollute. We turned their attempts to greenwash the public with so-called SAF into an opportunity to raise public awareness of this false solution. During Virgin Atlantic’s 100% so-called “SAF” flight we contributed to over 300 articles while also doing TV and radio interviews to call them out for what it was: a greenwashing marketing gimmick. 

Our network and educational work grew

In 2023, we welcomed 15 new member initiatives. Our multipliers network also grew to nearly 200 multipliers ready to give talks and workshops about aviation and climate injustice. Across autumn we ran 30 trainings for multipliers in French, English, Spanish, and German and saw enthusiastic new campaigners joining our global network to spread the word. 

We hosted two webinars looking at the destruction wrought by extractivist tourism and an industry co-dependent on aviation. The first reimagined tourism in a future with less air traffic and the second examined the urge to travel to far away places while ignoring the beauty and mystery that surrounds us. Last year our airport conflict working group collaborated again with the Environmental Justice team to continually update the map of airport conflicts and injustices in the Environmental Justice Atlas (English/Spanish). In August, the Mexican members CPOEEM and Otros Mundos represented Stay Grounded at the Mesoamerican Gathering for Social Moments – a valuable opportunity to exchange with other movements in the region and place the topic of aviation in the agenda of such a meeting. In September, we also co-organised a webinar with our member CECIC on the dynamics of airport expansion and tourism development in the African continent while focusing on the resistance against the expansion of the Kasese airstrip in Uganda.

In February, we joined with Safe Landing and Transport & Environment to organise an online workshop inviting aviation workers to discuss their future and job security. The aim was to bring together workers across companies and trade unions from different countries to share experiences, network and strategise. In September, we joined with Umanotera, to host a webinar on aviation subsidies in Europe. This session explored the complex web of direct and indirect subsidies which privilege the aviation industry in the EU and explained that any campaign to abolish aviation subsidies would need to include aviation workers and focus on the positive impact of taxing aviation. 

The Stay Grounded campaigners team also saw new members join with Sara joining as an action coordinator, Lounes joining within the Network Coordination and Education teams, and Sean and Hannah joining the comms team. At the regional coordination level, Angel Sulub joined the team as regional coordinator for the network in Latin America & the Caribbean (LAC), an important milestone in the consolidation of the LAC network and SG work in the region. During winter, the campaigners team and the Turtles coordinating committee took part in a two session anti-oppression training to reflect on ways to further decolonise our network structures and protocols. 

Looking to 2024

In 2024 we want to build on the skills, momentum, and achievements that were plentiful in 2023. We’ll be looking at measures to reduce frequent flying, countering industry greenwashing on so-called “SAF”, and continuing to support local airport resistances. 

If you’re interested in getting more involved with Stay Grounded in 2024 by becoming a member, join us!  

In spring, we’re joining Badvertising for an international week of action to expose the industry’s scandalous greenwashing. To get involved in organising a creative action sign up

Thank you for your support! We look forward to organising alongside you, learning with you, and supporting each other in 2024 and beyond. 

Der Beitrag Stay Grounded in review: 2023 – A year of sustained momentum erschien zuerst auf Stay Grounded.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

US struggles to free itself from Russian enriched uranium supplies

Bellona.org - Mon, 01/08/2024 - 11:04

As the past year drew to a close, the US House of Representatives passed legislation that would ban the purchase of enriched Russian uranium for use in American nuclear reactors — a measure meant to hobble Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear corporation, which is actively participating in Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Prohibiting Russian Uranium Imports Act, which was approved by voice vote, would bar Russian uranium imports 90 days after enactment while allowing a temporary waiver until January 2028. The bill needs to be passed by the Senate and then signed by President Joe Biden to become law, though the timeline for this remains unclear.

The US has imposed deep sanctions on Russian-produced oil and gas over the war, but Russian-enriched uranium used to fuel America’s 92 commercial nuclear reactors has thus far escaped legislative action.

That a US uranium ban has not been pursued earlier puts in Washington in shaky moral territory, especially as Rosatom helped orchestrate the takeover of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant — both Ukraine and Europe’s largest such facility — a state of affairs that has made the station hostage to an active war zone.

Experts from the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency have repeatedly raised alarm over the plant’s vulnerability, and agency monitors stationed onsite report constant military fighting nearby. IAEA director General Rafael Grossi has pleaded for both sides to establish a demilitarized zone around the station, without result. Meahwhile, what agency monitors at the plant can view and report on is subject to the whims of the Russian military occupiers.

Yet, like many of its European counterparts that support Ukraine’s resistance, the United States remains heavily dependent on enriched uranium from Russia. Last year — as in decades before — Russia was the United States’ number one supplier of enriched uranium supplies, sending almost a quarter of the nuclear fuel used in the America’s commercial reactor fleet, Department of Energy date show.

Most of the rest is imported from Europe. A final third or so is produced by a British-Dutch-German consortium operating in the United States called Urenco. Nearly a dozen countries around the world depend on Russia for more than half their enriched uranium — many of them likewise Ukraine-allied members of Nato.

Russia is also the only commercially available source of special highly enriched reactor fuel known as Haleu, which is needed for a new breed of advanced nuclear reactors that are under development, numerous nuclear analysts have noted.

The US reliance on Russian-enriched fuel also leaves the country’s current and future nuclear plants vulnerable to a Russian shutdown of enriched uranium sales, which analysts say is a conceivable strategy for President Vladimir Putin, who often wields energy as a geopolitical tool.

”We cannot be held hostage by nations that don’t have our values, but that’s what has happened,” Senator Joe Manchin III, the West Virginia Democrat who leads the Senate’s energy committee, told The New York Times. Manchin is sponsoring a bill that would help rebuilt US enrichment capacity with the help of federal subsidies.

“The United States must ban the sale of Russian uranium in America,” Wyominc Senator John Barrasso, the author of the Senate’s version of the uranium ban, said in a statement following the House vote last month, according to Bloomberg. “Vladimir Putin has used Russia’s nuclear industry to fund his brutal invasion of Ukraine.”

The US spends an estimated $1 billion per year on nuclear fuel from Russia, Barrasso told Bloomberg. While this would pale in comparison to losses Moscow faces in oil and gas sanctions, it nonetheless represents an important source of foreign revenue for Rosatom, whose foreign receipts last year totaled around $8 billion.

So, what has prevented Washington, Ukraine’s primary financial supporter in the West and the de facto head of Nato, from taking steps to phase out its use of Russian-produced uranium?

For one, it is maddeningly difficult to refuse that Russian supply. Throughout the 1990s, the Unites States turned away from its own enrichment capabilities in favor of using down-blended stocks of Soviet-era weapons grade uranium.

That program — dubbed Megatons to Megawatts — was part of a raft of nonproliferation efforts undertaken cooperatively in the 1990s by Moscow and Washington to sequester and dilute post-Soviet stocks of nuclear weapons and materials. Many of these weapons were located in former Soviet republics that, when the union dissolved in 1991, overnight became their own states. Such was the case with Ukraine, which in 1993, relinquished Soviet-era nuclear weapons held on its territory to Moscow.

Megatons to Megawatts provided the US with cheap fuel and Moscow with needed cash during the recurring economic crises of the 90s, and was seen as critical effort to winnow down weapons grade materials. So prevalent were the down blended HEU stocks that every single US nuclear power plant at some point fueled their reactors with them.

But it also destroyed the profitability of America’s inefficient enrichment facilities, which were eventually shuttered.  Then, instead of investing in upgraded centrifuges in the United States when the Megatons to Megawatts program concluded in 2013, successive presidential administrations kept buying enriched uranium from Russia. So prevalent are the Russia uranium stocks that one of every 20 US homes is powered by fuel that Rosatom has enriched.

This now leaves the US on the backfoot should it strive to extricate itself from Russian supply chains. As it stands now, there only one wholly US-owned company that enriches uranium.

As part of the new uranium-ban bill, the Biden administration would earmark $2.2 billion toward the expansion of uranium enrichment facilities in the US. But, under the proposed 2028 implementation of the ban, that only leaves another five years for US nuclear power plants to find alternative suppliers.

That’s a tight deadline. The single facility enriching uranium and providing Haleu is the American Centrifuge Company, owned by Centrus Energy, in Ohio. The plant has been on a 22-year hiatus, but in October, it began enriching again, largely as a response to possible shortages from Russia. But it will be difficult for the company to fully replace that supply in the near term.

As such, the US would likely have to pursue other foreign enriched uranium suppliers, most likely France. But France likewise has deep ties to the Rosatom from which it, like the US, has yet to disentangle.

Meanwhile, the most promising alternative for the US is likely a Urenco plant in New Mexico, which last summer announced plans to expand it production by 2025 to answer demand for non-Russian fuel.

All told, a cold-turkey break with Russian nuclear fuel supplies would be nearly impossible for the US and its allies in the Ukrainian struggle to undertake. But Washington and its European counterparts nonetheless must develop an exit strategy, both for the near term, as the war continues to rage, and for the more distant future as well, when relations with Russia are impossible to predict.

We at Bellona will continue to report on and analyze these strategies, and will over the next several months continue to publish our insights on how a nuclear market free of Rosatom could function.

 

 

 

The post US struggles to free itself from Russian enriched uranium supplies appeared first on Bellona.org.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Settlement parties urge feds to protect climate, wildlife with amendment of Trump-era oil, gas plan for SW Colorado

Western Environmental Law Center - Mon, 01/08/2024 - 08:57

Two years in the making, the Bureau of Land Management (the Bureau) on Friday began its public scoping period for an amendment to a Trump-era resource management plan (RMP) for a 1.64-million-acre Uncompahgre Field Office “planning area” in southwest Colorado as required by three 2022 legal agreements (ours here). In the process for amending the 20-year plan, the Bureau will consider whether and where to allow oil and gas development, how to minimize harm from drilling to Gunnison sage grouse and big game, and management of lands with wilderness characteristics. The scoping period runs through February 20.

“The North Fork Valley has fought for over a decade to prevent leasing of public lands to oil and gas development around our homes, farms and in our watersheds,” said Natasha Léger, executive director of Citizens for a Healthy Community. “We have seen some of the most extreme warming in the country, and our rare and irreplaceable ecosystem is under increasing climate and ecological stress. The Bureau of Land Management must do everything in its power to mitigate these stresses.”

While the former planning area of 2.2 million acres included federal minerals below U.S. Forest Service lands, the planning area for the amendment is significantly smaller and appears to exclude those federal minerals. This exclusion appears to be an effort to omit mineral estate underlying U.S. Forest Service lands, which comprise most of the high-development potential lands for oil and gas within the Resource Management Plan’s planning area. See a map comparing the larger planning area (inside green border) to the decision area (yellow) here. While the Bureau’s Colorado Field Office has taken the position that it lacks authority to close minerals underlying Forest Service lands to drilling, that interpretation is inconsistent with clearly established law.

“The Bureau of Land Management has both authority and a legal responsibility to make a decision for all Bureau mineral estate within the exterior boundaries of the planning area in order to comply with its obligations under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act to prevent unnecessary or undue degradation of public lands, taking into consideration the climate crisis,” said Melissa Hornbein, senior attorney at the Western Environmental Law Center. “It should do so by meaningfully analyzing an alternative that closes federal mineral estate under both Bureau-managed surface, as well as U.S. Forest Service surface.”

Our 2022 legal agreement closed the planning area to new oil and gas leasing during the RMP amendment process. Additionally, the agency agreed to consider an alternative or alternatives that reduce future oil and gas leasing relative to even the most restrictive alternatives previously considered by the agency. Members of groups that previously litigated the Trump-era plan will continue to push the Bureau to consider a “no-new-leasing” and phase-down of fossil fuels alternative, and to hold the agency accountable to its undoubted authority to close the Bureau’s mineral estate underlying U.S. Forest Service lands as well as under the Bureau’s surface estate.

“This is a great opportunity for the Bureau of Land Management to listen to local communities and rectify misguided past decisions made by the last administration that prioritized oil and gas over all other uses,” said Peter Hart, legal director at Wilderness Workshop. “We’ll be pushing the agency to protect sensitive lands in the Uncompahgre Field Office planning area while scaling down fossil fuel development on these public lands.”

“It’s past time for the Bureau of Land Management to tackle the climate emergency by ending all new leasing and phasing out oil and gas extraction in the southern Rockies,” said Alli Henderson, southern Rockies director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Imperiled Colorado wildlife, from greenback cutthroat to Gunnison sage grouse, need our public land stewards to protect these wild places and not worsen climate change. This fragile ecosystem’s survival depends on the Bureau getting this right and phasing out fossil fuel extraction once and for all.”

“The Bureau of Land Management must seriously consider closing these lands to new leasing to protect sensitive resources and local communities, rather than protecting oil and gas industry profits,” said Samantha Ruscavage-Barz, legal director at WildEarth Guardians. “We will continue pushing the agency to do the right thing for public lands and the climate.”

“The Bureau of Land Management must stay committed to a paradigm shift where public lands are valued for their cultural, recreational and environmental resources, not their climate-wrecking fuels,” said Kim Pope, senior field organizer at Sierra Club. “It can make Colorado a prime example for other western states on how these needed changes will work.”

Temperatures in the region have risen more than 2 degrees Celsius (nearly 4 degrees Fahrenheit), drying Colorado River flows that support endangered fish, agriculture and 40 million downstream water users.

The region spans the northwestern San Juan Mountains, several rivers, the towns of Ouray, Telluride, Montrose and Paonia, and the North Fork Valley, whose organic food growers and communities have opposed oil and gas development. It also includes numerous threatened and endangered species, including the razorback sucker, Colorado pikeminnow and Gunnison sage grouse.

“Lands managed under the Uncompahgre plan are essential conservation priorities if the vanishing Gunnison sage grouse is to have any hope of long-term survival,” said Delaney Rudy, Colorado director of the Western Watersheds Project. “Now more than ever, the Bureau of Land Management needs to prioritize the preservation of intact, functional Gunnison sage grouse habitat above private commercial uses of our public lands.”

“Gunnison sage grouse depend on healthy public lands, and expanding fossil fuel development would be deleterious to the health of their public lands habitat,”  said Sue Navy with Gunnison County-based High Country Conservation Advocates. “We hope the Bureau of Land Management will listen to the communities affected by this agreement and protect the wildlife and waters that are sustained by this landscape.”

Several analyses show climate pollution from the world’s already producing fossil fuel developments, if fully developed, will push warming past 1.5 degrees Celsius. Avoiding such warming requires ending new investment in fossil fuel projects and phasing out production to keep as much as 40% of already-developed fields in the ground.

Thousands of organizations and communities from across the U.S. have called on President Biden to halt federal fossil fuel expansion, phase out production consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and develop new rules under long-ignored legal authorities to serve those goals. This revision presents an opportunity for the Biden administration to support corrective action to help undo damage done by the Trump administration.

Contacts:

Melissa Hornbein, Western Environmental Law Center, 406-708-3058, hornbein@westernlaw.org

Natasha Léger, Citizens for a Healthy Community, 970-399-9700, natasha@chc4you.org

Peter Hart, Wilderness Workshop, 303-475-4915, peter@wildernessworkshop.org

Alli Henderson, Center for Biological Diversity, 970-309-2008, ahenderson@biologicaldiversity.org

Delaney Rudy, Western Watersheds Project, 970-648-4241, delaney@westernwatersheds.org

Samantha Ruscavage-Barz, WildEarth Guardians, 505-401-4180, sruscavagebarz@wildearthguardians.org

Sue Navy, High Country Conservation Advocates, 970-349-5886, suenavy@gmail.org

Noah Rott, Sierra Club, 406-214-1990, noah.rott@sierraclub.org

The post Settlement parties urge feds to protect climate, wildlife with amendment of Trump-era oil, gas plan for SW Colorado appeared first on Western Environmental Law Center.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Akashi River in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan has record level of PFAS Contamination

Military Poisons - Fri, 01/05/2024 - 14:06
100,000 parts per trillion of deadly PFOA found in the river.Levels are the highest reported anywhere on earth.

By Pat Elder
January 5, 2023

Prefectural Assemblyman Maki Maruo (left) visited the Environmental Conservation Division in Kobe City Hall and submitted a document requesting industrial waste businesses to investigate the source of the waste.

Maki Maruo is a member of the Hyogo Prefectural Assembly, and he is very concerned about Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) levels in the Akashi River. PFOA is believed to be the deadliest of all PFAS compounds. Maki is worried about the health of the people he represents.

In 2023 Maruo and others conducted PFAS testing of the Akashi River basin in Kobe City's Nishi Ward, and others.

The site of the record levels of PFOA is 12 kilometers from the sea,
not far from Kobe.

 One site identified by Maruo’s group identified an area in the Akashi River with 100,000 ppt of PFOA. The civil engineering firm Seishin Kaihatu is responsible, according to the lawmaker. This is the highest recorded release of PFOA anywhere on earth.

Maruo was forceful with his words. “This is a great crime against humanity.  Perhaps the company does not understand the consequences of its actions. It is the responsibility of the Ministry of the Environment to protect the Japanese people and the environment. Both entities are responsible for endangering human health.” 

Toxic contamination flows from the Seishin Kaihatu site.
Levels are said to be 2,000 times higher than the target value.

 13 locations had water levels that exceeded the Japanese government’s  “provisional target value” of 50 parts per trillion (ppt) for the combined total of PFOS and PFOA. The Japan Ministry of the Environment watches from the sidelines.

PFAS concentrations in waters called effluent that pour from sewage treatment plants worldwide have been found to range up to 5,663.3 ppt, according to various studies. In 2022 at the U.S. Navy’s Yokosuka base on Tokyo Bay, the Navy reported 12,900 ppt of PFOA in wastewater draining to the sea.   

Akio Koizumi, professor emeritus of environmental hygiene at Kyoto University, told the Kobe Shimbun, "We suspect that chemical substances treated as industrial waste may be leaking.” The Japanese people should listen to this great environmental prophet.

PFOA is leaking furiously, but it’s not a leak that can be easily fixed. It is a “leak” that is part of the daily routine. Certain industrial processes necessitate the release of the carcinogens and no one in Japan seems to have a better plan.

This is the site of the highly toxic water draining
from Seishin Kaihatu into the Akashi River.

Many look to the Japanese government to solve this politically charged human health crisis. Political realities rule out vigorous regulation in the U.S. and much of the industrialized world. Japan is the world’s hope, and it starts with the Ministry of the Environment.

The Kobe Shimbun reported:

Although carcinogens and other risks of PFAS have been pointed out overseas, no health hazards have been confirmed in Japan, according to the Ministry of the Environment. However, since the target values are being exceeded in rivers across Japan, the Ministry has indicated that it will conduct research on the harmful effects of PFAS.

Japan is 5-10 years behind much of the developed world on this, but the country is likely to catch up in a hurry, as its amazing history suggests.

A Minister of the Environment spokesperson explained, “Since there are no legal regulations, we will ask businesses that are thought to be the source of the pollution to take voluntary action if high values are found.”

Polluting businesses are allowed to regulate themselves because there are no laws saying they can’t. This is dangerous public policy that will change as the Japanese people learn how dangerous these chemicals are. University professors like Koizumi and Kouji H Harada of Kyoto University, along with Kunitoshi Sakurai of Okinawa University and a host of others have been trying to communicate the dangers. Generally, the press has been reluctant to cover the story in a meaningful way, aside from parroting official sources.

California classifies PFOA as a deadly human carcinogen. Exposure to PFOA in the tiniest concentrations has been associated with dangerously high cholesterol levels, pancreatic tumors, increased liver enzymes, decreased vaccination response, thyroid disorders, pregnancy-induced hypertension, testicular cancer, and chronic kidney disease.

It’s been almost 5 years since Linda Birnbaum, director of the U.S. National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences said the safety threshold for PFOA in drinking water should be under .1 part per trillion. Birnbaum explained, “If you look at the data, pancreatic tumors are present at very, very low concentrations from PFOA.”

It’s not surprising that the incidence, prevalence, and mortality of pancreatic cancer in Japan is the highest in Asia, while Japan is expected to continue seeing large increases in pancreatic cancer cases.

Chronic kidney disease is also closely linked to PFOA. Studies based on several community-based screening programs suggest that Japan has the highest prevalence of chronic kidney disease anywhere on earth.

Certainly, pancreatic cancer and kidney disease may be caused by multiple factors, but these findings deserve further scrutiny, especially when Japan is swimming in these carcinogens.

Since Dr. Birnbaum warned us five years ago, the U.S. EPA has established an interim health advisory of .004 ppt for PFOA in drinking water. The U.S. still does not have mandatory regulations.

EPA scientists set the advisories while political appointees decide whether to enforce them.

Japan’s advisory is set at 50 ppt, a level that is 12,500 times greater than the EPA threshold. The interim health advisory was set at .02 ppt for PFOS, demonstrating the American scientific view that PFOA - among all 15,000 varieties of PFAS, is thought to be the deadliest.

We tested the tap water in Toyonaka, Osaka and found 4.9 ppt of PFOA. This doesn’t sound like a great deal to the Japanese public, but it is still more than a thousand times over what the U.S. says is dangerous. The installation of a simple PFAS water filter cleaned the water from all PFAS. The Japanese ministries of the Environment and the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare and Health ought to be more involved.

Generally, PFAS contamination in streams and rivers throughout Japan pose a greater threat to health than the contamination in the tap water.

The Japanese government’s provisional target of 50 ppt in surface waters fails to protect human health! Tiny levels begin the process of bioaccumulation in aquatic life. Consequently, fish and people are poisoned. Still, many will say they don’t drink from the toxic waters of the Akashi River, so this is not a big deal.

PFOA in these record concentrations can be extraordinarily dangerous for many reasons, but primarily because it bioaccumulates in certain species of fish and in clams and crabs at many times over the Japanese target of 50 ppt. Sewer sludge is loaded with PFOA and spread over fields that grow contaminated crops. Beef, pork, and chicken are also contaminated.

Asked if there is a difference between eating or drinking PFAS contamination, Dr. Birnbaum replied, “No. Both are routes of ingestion. Whether you eat it or drink it, PFAS go to the same places in the body and do the same thing. We need appropriate fish advisories and regulation of what’s in our food.”

PFOA coats the sediment on riverbeds and along the banks. When the waters recede, the chemicals dry in the sun and are lifted into the air as dust to settle in our lungs and our homes.

What’s in your dust, Japan?

Food is the primary exposure pathway of PFOA for adults, while dust is the most prominent way children are contaminated. Drinking water is the major exposure pathway in communities with contaminated water, while water service throughout Japan is rapidly mobilizing to meet the threat. It has always been about the food, although Japan is slow to realize this.

Japan may be slow to catch on to the threat posed by PFAS, although the message is spreading exponentially.

Kobe City Councilor Shinji Kagawa is organizing a conference for 400 set for April in Kobe that will feature Professor Emeritus Koizumi of Kyoto University. Kagawa is working with Maruo and Kaoru Kobashi, a prominent environmental activist.  More to follow.

I plan to return to Japan over the summer with the Veterans for Peace Speaking Tour directed by Rachel Clark. I will lecture about the threat of PFAS posed by industrial, residential, and military sources. Information and awareness of the dangers of PFAS are growing exponentially in Japan. It is exciting to watch this dynamic nation come to grips with these dangerous carcinogens. This year we hope to raise enough funds to expand our tour and provide PFAS testing services to volunteers throughout the country. Please consider supporting us when we solicit contributions in future newsletters. - Pat

 The  Downs Law Group  makes this work possible. Their support allows us to research and write about PFAS contamination in Japan and around the world.

The firm is working to provide legal representation to individuals in the U.S. and abroad with a high likelihood of exposure to trichloroethylene, PFAS, and other contaminants.

The Downs Law Group employs attorneys accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs to assist those who have served in obtaining VA Compensation and Pension Benefits they are rightly owed.

If you spent time in the military and you think you or your dependents may be sick as a result of your service, think about joining this group to learn from others with similar issues.

Are you interested in joining a multi-base class action lawsuit pertaining to illnesses stemming from various kinds of environmental contamination? Contact James Bussey at busride1969@hotmail.com

Join the Veterans & Civilians Clean Water Alliance Facebook group. (2.5 K members and growing rapidly.)

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

75% of California rooftop solar companies at ‘high risk’ of bankruptcy

Environmental Working Group - Fri, 01/05/2024 - 07:52
75% of California rooftop solar companies at ‘high risk’ of bankruptcy rcoleman January 5, 2024

SAN FRANCISCO – A vast majority of California’s rooftop solar companies could go bankrupt in the coming weeks and months as a result of misguided state policy changes that have imperiled the industry, according to a new report in pv magazine.

The warning – from a leading executive at an insurance company that backs many state solar installers – is a catastrophic turnaround from the recent status of California’s residential solar program as one of the most successful of any state. 

Ara Agopian, chief executive officer at Solar Ensure, told the magazine that its data show roughly two-thirds of solar companies in the state are at “high risk” of bankruptcy. “We have seen a wave of recent solar installer bankruptcies and believe another wave will come in Q1 2024,” he said.

More than 17,000 solar installation jobs vanished during the last half of 2023, following disastrous changes to the state’s popular rooftop solar program. The California Public Utilities Commission, or CPUC, approved changes sought by the state’s investor-owned power companies that broadly put solar out of reach for many households.

The changes are taking a heavy toll on the entire solar sector. On Friday, Fremont-based solar equipment company Enphase Energy announced it will lay off 350 workers.

Many more job losses are expected in 2024 in the solar sector as the changes continue to wreak havoc, says an analysis by the California Solar & Storage Association, or CALSSA.

The devastating hit to the state’s once-booming residential solar industry is not linked to any economic downturn but can be entirely attributed to decisions last year by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s handpicked membership of the CPUC.

The five-member utilities commission voted unanimously to gut the state’s financial incentives for rooftop solar installations, which allowed more than 1.3 million families and small businesses to afford to install solar panels. The commission sided with utilities, despite long-running warnings from the Environmental Working Group and others about the many negative consequences of approving the changes.

“It’s unrecognizable what California has done to its pride and joy. The rooftop solar industry is the iconic renewable energy success story and it’s just amazing, just gob smacking, what the state has done,” said CALSSA Executive Director Bernadette Del Chiaro, discussing the CPUC’s decision during a recent webinar.

The state’s three investor-owned utilities – Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric – sought the changes. They despise the successful solar initiative, because it allowed their captive ratepayers to escape the utilities’ grip and generate their own electricity at considerably lower costs.

Scores of individuals from across the state and more than 600 clean energy, environmental justice, affordable housing advocates, cities, schools and solar industry representatives repeatedly warned the CPUC and Newsom that the state’s thriving solar industry would crater if regulators backed the utilities’ scheme.

Dave Rosenfeld, executive director of the nonprofit Solar Rights Alliance, who joined Del Chiaro during the recent webinar, said:

Nearly a quarter of a million people directly told the CPUC, don’t do this. Keep rooftop solar growing. There were more than 600 nonprofits, entire cities, school districts, farmers, businesses who were all saying, don’t do this. Keep rooftop solar growing.

But the CPUC, and by extension Gov. Newsom, completely disregarded what the public was saying. We told them. They didn’t listen and now the consequences are starting to come down the pike.

“The CPUC, as always, did exactly what PG&E told them to,” said EWG President and Bay Area resident Ken Cook, who moderated the webinar. “Extinguish the only source of competition for the big utilities and by doing that, cause thousands of jobs to be lost, businesses gone and the opportunity for energy independence to be lost along with it.”

###

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.

Areas of Focus Energy Renewable Energy Regional Issues California Critics warned CPUC, Newsom of industry collapse with disastrous policy change Disqus Comments Press Contact Alex Formuzis alex@ewg.org (202) 667-6982 January 5, 2024
Categories: G1. Progressive Green

GFC is hiring for the role of Director

Global Forest Coalition - Fri, 01/05/2024 - 03:22

The Global Forest Coalition (GFC) is seeking an experienced Director to provide strategic direction for the organization and oversee the coordination and implementation of our mission and policies across GFC’s four main campaigns: Gender Justice and Forests; Climate Justice; Extractive Industries, Tourism and Infrastructure; and Unsustainable Livestock Production.

About GFC

The GFC is an international coalition of NGOs and Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations defending social justice and the rights of forest peoples in forest policies. GFC was founded in 2000 by 19 member organizations and has grown to include 126 groups in 73 countries. We participate in international forest policy meetings and organize joint advocacy campaigns on issues like Indigenous Peoples’ rights, the need for socially-just forest policy and addressing the underlying causes of forest loss.

Our mission is to advocate for the conservation and restoration of forest ecosystems through defending and promoting respect for the rights, territories, traditional knowledge and sustainable livelihoods of the Indigenous Peoples, local communities and women that co-exist with them.

About the Role

Title: Director

Job Type: 24 hours a week

Starting date: March 2024

Location: This position is remote. GFC is a global organization. Occasional travel is required for relevant international events.

Remuneration: The employment will be on the basis of a special service agreement at a rate of 32.50 € per hour.

Responsibilities
  • Providing leadership, along with other staff and partner organizations, in the development and implementation of policy priorities and strategy.
  • Supporting campaign coordinators where needed, including in strategic planning, fundraising, budget administration, and reporting matters. 
  • Following up on the main global debates related to the defence of territories, the threats of climate change, the impacts of extractive industries on vulnerable populations, especially women, and other issues related to environmental disputes on the planet. 
  • Reviewing narrative and financial reports to donors and ensuring that they are consistent with the project proposals submitted to donors.
  • Supporting the Controller of Finance and Operations in ensuring coherence between campaign needs, budget and team care.
  • Overseeing the hiring and onboarding of new campaign coordinators when needed, in collaboration with the Controller of Finance and Operations and existing campaign staff.
  • Planning monthly Advisory Council (staff) meetings. 
  • Coordinating the annual Monitoring, Evaluation and Planning meeting for staff. 
  • Serving as a resource for member groups and encouraging their participation, in coordination with regional focal points and the Membership Coordinator, including at Members’ Assemblies.
  • Receiving and integrating requests by member organisations.
  • Supporting the GFC Board of Directors in planning, organizing and reporting on their meetings. 
  • Coordinating larger cross-cutting fundraising proposals, in close collaboration with relevant campaign coordinators and member organizations. 
  • Following discussions in the Advisory Council and communications team.
  • Representing GFC in the media and at international meetings and conferences, including in civil society spaces at conferences as determined by the campaign coordinators.
  • Ensuring effective communication within the team and making decisions based on consensus.
  • Supporting the communications team, the campaign coordinators, or GFC members in writing and publishing policy briefings, op-ed articles or other relevant publications.
Qualifications
  • Profound affinity with and knowledge of the mission, vision, objectives, strategies and campaigns of GFC, and commitment to feminist values. 
  • Knowing of the main networks of IPLCs and environmental CSOs.
  • At least 10 years’ experience coordinating international campaigns focused on advocating for rights-based, gender-just policies to address the drivers of deforestation, ecosystems and biodiversity loss, including climate justice issues.
  • Proven experience with fundraising and donor relations.
  • Proven affinity with working for a multicultural coalition of NGOs, grassroots organizations, women’s rights groups and Indigenous Peoples Organizations.
  • Good working knowledge of the drivers of deforestation, biodiversity conservation, gender transformative and intersectionality approach, Indigenous Peoples’ and local community rights, food sovereignty and climate justice and feminist perspectives.
  • Profound knowledge of global and regional policies related to forests; unsustainable livestock production and food systems; social and environmental justice; climate justice, extractive activities and agro-commodities.
  • Self-starter able to grasp complex forest-related policy frameworks, rights-based approaches and environmental policy issues.
  • Strong understanding of campaign strategies, management and Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (PMEL).
  • Professional, creative, with great interpersonal and problem-solving skills.
  • Self-motivated and organized, with strong communication skills and the ability to plan, organize and prioritize multiple projects and respect tight deadlines.
  • Fluency in English; Spanish, Russian, French or another major language is an advantage.
To Apply

Please send your CV and a cover letter outlining your suitability for the role with the subject heading: “Application: Policy Director Position” to gfc@globalforestcoalition.org. We particularly encourage GFC affiliates (current and former staff, contractors, representatives of member groups, etc.) to apply. GFC is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to providing all people with equal access to employment and volunteer opportunities. We strive for gender and regional diversity in our team and an increased number of Indigenous team members. 

Closing date for applications: January 28, 2024

The post GFC is hiring for the role of Director appeared first on Global Forest Coalition.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

E. coli from factory farms threatens America's leafy greens

Environmental Working Group - Thu, 01/04/2024 - 06:36
E. coli from factory farms threatens America's leafy greens rcoleman January 4, 2024

A single enormous cattle feeding operation potentially threatens the safety of thousands of acres of leafy greens grown in the U.S. during the colder months, an EWG analysis shows.

Irrigation water or dust contaminated with fecal matter from this giant feedlot, located in Yuma County, Ariz., could contaminate many acres of lettuce fields within 3 miles of the cattle farm, which produces 115,000 cows each year. This one feedlot is likely to be the source of contamination because of its size and proximity to the lettuce fields, compared to the other two animal feeding operations in Yuma County identified by the Food and Drug Administration in its investigations. 

In a canal near this feedlot, the FDA also found the exact strain of the bacteria E. coli that sickened people from lettuce during a recent outbreak.

Farms in Yuma County that grow leafy vegetables produce 90 percent of the nation’s winter lettuce, between November and March. Among these farm fields is the 350-acre McElhaney Feedyard. (See image below; the cattle feedlot is outlined in red.) It is owned by the Five Rivers Cattle Feeding company, which owns cattle feedlots throughout the western U.S.

Image

Source: EWG, from Department of Agriculture National Agriculture Imagery Program, 2021 imagery 

Animal waste produced in a feedlot can contaminate nearby crop fields, like lettuce, with E. coli, a type of bacteria that can be found in the fecal matter of animals and humans. Most E. coli strains are harmless, but a few can make people extremely sick or lead to death. 

Irrigation water in canals near animal feeding operations can become contaminated with E. coli and then sprayed on lettuce, or contaminated dust from feedlots can drift onto the lettuce fields. While cooking food can kill pathogens, lettuce is typically consumed raw, which makes E. coli contamination of leafy greens particularly dangerous. 

Feedlot linked to previous outbreak 

In 2018, five people died after eating romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma Valley. The FDA says the bacteria, which contaminated 36 lettuce fields on 23 farms in Yuma County, potentially came from the McElhaney Feedyard. 

There were only three animal feeding operations in Yuma County when the FDA conducted its investigation into the 2018 outbreak. McElhaney Feedyard is the feedlot located closest to many acres of lettuce grown in this area. And the exact strain of E. coli on the lettuce that sickened and killed people was found by the FDA in an irrigation canal near this feedlot. 

In late 2021, another outbreak of E. coli was linked to contaminated leafy greens, including kale and spinach. It sickened 10 people and killed one. That strain was the same as the one that caused the 2018 outbreak and was traced back to Yuma County, although the FDA did not seem to tie this one as closely to McElhaney Feedyard as it did the 2018 outbreak. 

How E. coli spreads to leafy greens fields

There are two theories about how E. coli gets to lettuce and other leafy greens fields from animal feeding operations. 

Bacteria from cattle manure may contaminate irrigation canals that travel past the feedlot, either through manure washing into the canals or from dust particles blowing from the feedlot into the canals through the air. Without knowing whether the water is contaminated, lettuce farmers use the water in the canals to irrigate their crops or mix it with pesticides before spraying it on the crops.

The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believe this is the most likely pathway of contamination for the 2018 and 2021 E. coli outbreaks. 

Another theory is that E. coli–contaminated dust from feedlots drifts onto fields and settles on the leafy vegetables. While the federal health agencies prefer the irrigation canal theory, the possibility that contaminated cattle feedlot dust settles on farm fields is especially alarming, because particulate matter like dust can travel thousands of miles in the air. 

In the new analysis, EWG finds that thousands of acres of leafy vegetables, including lettuce, are located within a short distance from the McElhaney Feedyard. An irrigation canal used by nearby farmers runs through the cattle feedlot, posing a risk of bacterial contamination of the leafy greens. EWG focused on this feedlot because the FDA found the strain of E. coli in lettuce that sickened people in the 2018 outbreak in an irrigation canal near this feedlot, and because of the canal’s proximity to lettuce fields, compared to the other two animal feeding operations in Yuma County identified by the FDA .

Many parts of the feedlot border a large irrigation canal. And as the image below shows, a pool of cattle manure and wastewater from the animal operation is even located within feet of an irrigation canal, making a spillover into the canal possible. (The canal is represented in the image by the blue line.)

Image

Source: EWG, from Department of Agriculture National Agriculture Imagery Program, 2021 imagery 

As the map below shows, the irrigation canal that runs through the feedlot is connected to many miles of other canals in the valley. So if E. coli from the cattle operation washes or blows into the irrigation canal, it can travel for many miles and may wind up on a large number of leafy vegetable fields. And the irrigation canal at risk ultimately drains into the Colorado River. 

Image

Source: EWG, from Department of Agriculture National Agriculture Imagery Program, 2021 imagery 

Studies show that E. coli from cattle feedlots can drift in the air and land onto nearby farm fields. For our new analysis, EWG chose to look at a 3-mile buffer zone around McElhaney Feedyard to assess the number of acres of leafy greens fields, because research shows that 3 to 4 miles is the distance pollutants from animal feeding operations can travel by air and cause respiratory damage in residents. 

The map below shows 1,899 acres of leafy greens, including lettuce, cabbage and herbs, within a 3-mile buffer zone of the feedlot. And the closest leafy vegetable field is only 938 feet away from the cattle operation.

Image

Source: EWG, from Department of Agriculture National Agriculture Imagery Program, 2021 imagery 

The proximity of the irrigation canal to the cattle feedlot and the fact there are thousands of acres of lettuce near the feedlot means an E. coli outbreak on leafy greens from Yuma County could happen again. 

Inadequate regulation puts people at risk

Following a series of E. coli outbreaks caused by leafy greens, Congress in 2011 directed the FDA to develop standards for water sprayed on crops.

The rule the FDA first issued, in 2015, required enforceable periodic testing for contaminated irrigation water. But a revised rule, proposed in 2022, abandoned the requirement, allowing farms instead to decide whether to include tests in their “water assessments.” Voluntary efforts have not reduced the number of outbreaks, according to a CDC study. (Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Foodborne E. coli illnesses are still frequent in the U.S.

Image

Source: EWG, from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Outbreak Reporting System

It is very difficult for consumers to protect themselves from E. coli in lettuce. The bacteria contaminate both organic lettuces as well as conventional ones, and studies show that washing lettuce before eating it does not significantly reduce E. coli, so there’s still a threat of getting sick. 

The risk of contamination to food grown in the U.S. will continue unless farmers face stricter regulations to conduct tests of their irrigation water, management of manure from industrial agriculture is more rigorously monitored, and the FDA enforces its regulations more aggressively. 

Methodology

For this analysis, EWG identified leafy greens fields within a 3-mile buffer of the McElhaney Feedyard in Yuma County, Ariz. The location of the feedyard was found through a visual search of aerial imagery, and a 3-mile buffer was placed around this animal facility.

Using a combination of the Department of Agriculture’s Common Land Unit data and the Cropland Data Layer, or CDL, we overlaid this 3-mile buffer zone with a footprint of all fields used to grow leafy greens. EWG included all fields the CDL claimed contain lettuces, cabbage and herbs, including double-cropped acres used to grow a leafy green during part of the year and a different crop during another part of the year.

EWG included in the analysis all fields the USDA says are used to grow leafy greens, except for smaller fields – less than five acres – because these may be falsely categorized as a leafy green.

To find a footprint of all the irrigation canals near the feedlot and the leafy greens fields, we used the National Hydrography Dataset, from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Areas of Focus Farming & Agriculture Factory Farms Farm Pollution Disqus Comments Authors Anne Schechinger Al Rabine January 11, 2024
Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Embrace Rest in 2024: The New New Year’s Resolution

Dogwood Alliance - Thu, 01/04/2024 - 05:03

Embracing Rest: Recharge, Refocus, and Thrive As a new year begins, resolutions take center stage. There are ambitions to hit the gym or overhaul diets. But let’s shine a light on an essential resolution that’s often neglected. For a fulfilling 2024, we must prioritize REST. We’re part of a powerful movement that spotlights forests, climate, […]

The post Embrace Rest in 2024: The New New Year’s Resolution first appeared on Dogwood Alliance.
Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Who We are

Biofuel Watch - Thu, 01/04/2024 - 03:42

Biofuelwatch provides information and undertakes advocacy and campaigning in relation to the climate, biodiversity, land and human rights and public health impacts of large-scale industrial bioenergy.  We are a small team of staff and volunteers based in Europe (including UK) and the USA. Our work has recently been supported by grants from Ceres Trust, CS Fund/Wash-Mott Legacy, Grassroots Foundation, NRDC, Packard Foundation, Patagonia Foundation, Polden-Puckham Charitable Foundation, Moore Charitable Foundation, Threshold Foundation and Swift Foundation. We are also grateful for smaller individual donations. Please see our donations page for details about how to support our work.

Please see our Privacy Statement

Our Chartiable Purpose

Biofuelwatch aims to advance citizenship and environmental protection through

-Advancing the education of the public about the environmental, climate, social and
public health impacts of different types of large-scale bioenergy as well as bio-based
products.

-Promoting sustainable renewable energy policies and investments which result in real
greenhouse gas reduction, protect ecosystems, soil, water and public health and which
protect human rights, including the right to food and water;

-Promoting environmental decision making in relation to bioenergy and other bio-based
products – including bioenergy-related decisions on land use and environmental
permitting – which prioritise the protection of climate, environment, social justice and
public health and promoting active citizenship in this respect.

Our Mission

Biofuelwatch provides systemic analysis based on secondary and occasionally primary research and undertakes advocacy and campaigning in relation to the climate, environmental, human rights and public health impacts of large-scale industrial bioenergy.

Our History

Biofuelwatch was founded in the UK in 2006 and shortly thereafter expanded to the US in 2008. The organisation began with a dedicated campaign against EU biofuel targets followed by US biofuel proposed at the time. We worked as part of an international network of organisations opposed to those targets because of their expected (and sadly now realised) negative impacts on forests, climate, land rights, and food sovereignty and security. We worked at the forefront of raising the alarm about the implications of creating an unprecedented and vast additional demand for crops and wood for energy. Though we were not able to prevent the policies from being put in place, we did set in motion a strong resistance that has continued now for over 15 years.

Within the first two years, we changed from being a purely volunteer-run UK group to becoming a UK-US organisation with our first funded staff member. Since 2010, our focus has been increasingly on the expansion of large-scale wood bioenergy, although we have continued to work on liquid biofuels and on a set of different bioenergy technologies.

Between 2008 and 2012, we led a highly successful UK campaign against burning palm oil and other liquid biofuels for heat and power. Today, no palm oil is burned for energy in this country. The campaign, which combined community outreach and resistance to proposed biofuel power and heat plants with national advocacy against subsidies for this form of energy, became a blueprint for our subsequent work against biomass plants in the UK and elsewhere in Europe.

Who We are and what we do

Biofuelwatch has a team of volunteer and staff members based in the UK and the USA. While relatively small, Biofuelwatch has out-sized influence as a result of our global network of trusted and longstanding collaborative relationships with many other organisations and individuals.

We know that effective change requires engagement with this issue at all levels from local communities to policy makers, and seek to ensure that the bioenergy concern becomes integrated and not siloed. Central to our mission, we recognise that a key to success in opposing industrial bioenergy is collaboration with climate and energy activists working to transition away from fossil fuels. It is imperative that we ensure bioenergy is not promoted as the alternative to fossil energy. If we are to bring about the broad systemic change with effective and justice-based solutions we must work together and do so with a holistic and strategic approach.


Over the years our work has taken many forms, but primarily we undertake research on bioenergy related technologies and policies, provide educational materials, assist community activists impacted by biomass and biofuel developments, help build capacity for other organisations, participate in relevant government and agency consultations, help to coordinate various national and international networks, have participated with the UNFCCC and UN Convention on Biological Diversity processes and served as reviewers for IPCC reports.


Biofuelwatch is recognized globally as a “go to” resource for critical analyses, providing rigorous well referenced briefings and reports that can provide a solid base from which to develop campaign work and enhance public and policy-maker’s understanding of the issues and consequences of large scale bioenergy and its environmental and human rights implications.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

5 Moments of Hope from the US Climate Movement in 2023

350.org - Fri, 12/22/2023 - 07:51

It’s been a mixed year for climate progress in the US. Heading into 2024, we will finally see solar and wind surpass coal production in the US for the first time. 2023 also brought some promising investments in the transition to renewable energy. At the same time, we saw the hottest year on record and intensifying climate disasters that only emphasize the need to fully phase out fossil fuels and transition to justly-sourced, justly-implemented renewable energy much more quickly. The US remains the top oil producer and exporter in the world—it continues to cause disproportionate climate harm without taking adequate responsibility for it.

At the turn of a critical new year, we identified key signs of hope from the US climate movement to carry with us into 2024. All of them reveal growing public awareness of the climate emergency and who is causing it, and a refusal to accept the unjust and unsafe conditions we’ve been expected to accept. 

Pictured: members of 350 local groups gather at the March to End Fossil Fuels in NYC

1. Climate week in NYC: the first mass climate march since 2019, direct action, and a pledge for elected officials

Why it matters: this showed coordinated, collective action from across the climate movement. There were meaningful levels of involvement for everyone, including:

  • Hundreds risking arrest in disruptive actions at key financial institutions that invest in fossil fuels
  • Frontline communities and groups/contingencies from all over the US, including over 1,000 from 350 local groups, marching together in a crowd of 75,000 in NYC, making all the major headlines. Global South forces, including activists from the Ugandan diaspora who have been fighting to #StopEACOP, headed up the march.
  • A strategic pledge campaign that over 100 elected officials signed on to. Signees pledged to help hold the Biden admin accountable to phasing out fossil fuels and switching to renewable energy. 
  • Art and distributed actions across the country and world

 

2. Over 10,000 people wrote to the Federal Reserve

Why it matters: the Federal Reserve typically exists outside of the public’s attention, as this vague official entity that we can’t influence.

  • Many people didn’t know what the Fed does, or why it has a connection to our climate fight.
  • But after a year-long campaign for a Fossil Free Federal Reserve, the climate movement helped pressure the Fed, the “referee” of the US economy, to introduce a review of their impact on climate. As we wrapped up the campaign in February, 10,000+ of 350’s members submitted comments on the Federal Reserve’s climate plans. 

 

3. More Americans believe that climate change is here, now

Why it matters: this growing awareness weakens the fossil fuel industry’s hold on society. And misinformation is one of the biggest tools at their disposal.

  • Nearly three-quarters of Americans believe that climate change is causing harm in the US now (Pew Research Center)
  • 64% of U.S. adults say both that they’ve recently experienced extreme weather and that they believe it was caused at least partially by climate change, up from 54% in April. (AP News)
    • Unfortunately, this also means that frontline communities are facing exacerbating impacts while the rest of the country belatedly wakes up.
  • The media is also slowly starting to mention fossil fuels more often in climate change coverage. For example, Arizona news coverage of deadly heatwaves started a headline with “climate change” and named fossil fuels within the article.
  • Reminder: many of the major outlets are paid by the fossil fuel industry

 

Pictured: group photo from a public power convening in Maine in October (including 350 US staff)

4. We saw a renewed and growing push for public power

Why it matters: utilities can either accelerate or block climate progress. Restructuring utilities from investor-owned models to publicly-owned models would help move us towards both economic and climate justice.

  • Many view utility companies—and high utility bills—as just a stressful but necessary fact of life. As we increase public awareness of how utilities cater to investors and block renewable energy projects, we weaken the fossil fuel industry’s hold over society.
  • Utilities don’t have to be structured this way. Key campaigns, like Pine Tree Power in Maine, showed that across the country there is growing momentum for a different path forward. We can choose public power instead of letting rich faraway investors make our home energy decisions for us. 

 

5. The government is starting to question the planned expansion of LNG (fossil gas), on the heels of COP28

Why it matters: this is an example of our government responding to global public pressure.

  • The fossil fuel industry and their backers have historically tried to greenwash gas and present it as a “solution” and an “alternative to fossil fuels.” But gas IS a fossil fuel, and produces methane, which is even more harmful for warming the atmosphere in the short-term than CO2. 
  • Last week, COP28 concluded with an agreement that is only “historic” considering the extremely low bar past COPs have set. Yet thanks to major pressure from civil society, our partners in the small island nations that face some of the most devastating impact of climate chaos already, and you, COP28 did shift things. The coming year will be a moment of truth for whether top-emitting nations are serious about the “fossil fuel phaseout” that they finally put in the agreement.
  • There’s real hope: members of US Congress are now walking back their support of the planned expansion of LNG. Our frontline, environmental and climate justice partners in the Gulf region have long called for this. We’re hopeful that we might actually start to see support for gas wane so the renewable energy we are supporting can actually address the climate crisis. 

 

As the climate emergency only intensifies, we know that we have our work cut out for us. These signs of hope and of our movement growing give us strength for that fight. We look forward to climate progress together in 2024!

Be sure to stay up-to-date with 350 US on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

 

The post 5 Moments of Hope from the US Climate Movement in 2023 appeared first on 350.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Talking climate: tips for the holidays

350.org - Mon, 12/18/2023 - 03:32

With holiday celebrations fast approaching for many of us, it means we might soon be seeing folks we don’t always agree with.

From political divides to what we’re interested in, it can be hard to connect on the topic with some. But, as we both know, we need as many people as possible to join our fight for climate justice.

So if it does come up, we’ve put together some tips – backed up by science – to help you have better conversations over the holidays. And hopefully get people on board. 

  • Speak to lived experiences 

As tempting as it is to launch into facts about tipping points, melting ice caps or polar bears – they don’t speak to what most people see in their everyday lives.

A better way to get someone interested is to speak about what you’re experiencing directly.

Perhaps it’s the record-breaking extreme temperatures, the frequent flooding, droughts or wildfires you experienced this year. Whenever it is, root your conversation in familiar experiences.

  • Connect with emotion and tap into shared values

There’s so much scientific evidence that shows stories and emotion persuade people – not facts. So use your story to talk about the climate crisis.

Think about sharing when you first became concerned or why you took action. Sharing this will help you connect deeply with whoever you are talking with. Share your own story into climate activism – what drove you to take action?

Parents love hearing about their children’s passions, so if you’re talking to your mum or dad, show them exactly how much this means to you.

When we try to persuade someone on an issue we care about we often use moral arguments. But people have different morals. When you talk to someone about climate change, ask yourself, am I presenting this in a way that will resonate with them?

For example, if you are talking to someone who enjoys walking or the outdoors, you could center your conversation around the importance of protecting nature and keeping the environment healthy.

  • Listen

Ask your friends and family questions about their own experiences.

Make listening your most important task in any conversation. You are not a preacher, you are here to listen and offer a chance to channel what they feel into something powerful, if they want to.

  • Offer hope

The writer and activist Rebecca Solnit, said that, sometimes, we’re really bad at celebrating our victories. She’s right.

But our movement has had lots of victories. They are strong reminders that we are not powerless. By remembering and talking about them, we can have hope. And hope that things can change can inspire action.

There’s also a huge amount of research that hope is actually good for us. So share some inspiring stories with whomever you are talking to.

If you’re looking for some, check out our Power Up actions around the world. 

I hope some of these prove helpful for you. But remember, sometimes, you just won’t persuade people – and that’s ok. So practice empathy and understanding on yourself too. We could all do with being a bit kinder to ourselves sometimes. You’ve done your best no matter what!

Whatever your celebrations look like this end of year, from all of us at 350, we wish you safe, hopeful and happy times.

More reading:

Personal Climate Stories Can Persuade | Yale Climate Communications 

The Role of Narrative in Science | Advanced Science News.

How to talk about climate change with family and friends over the holidays | Climate Outreach

The power of framing: It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it | Science | The Guardian

How to talk about climate change: Ask questions | Yale

Ten ways to confront the climate crisis without losing hope | The Guardian

How Hope Can Keep You Happier and Healthier

The post Talking climate: tips for the holidays appeared first on 350.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Our movement held the line at COP28

350.org - Wed, 12/13/2023 - 15:15

This year’s UN Climate Conference wrapped up today, leaving a bittersweet taste for the climate movement: while the final text made some strides in the right direction, acknowledging the need of move away from fossil fuels and setting support for tripling clean energy and doubling energy efficiency by 2030, it feel short on crucial aspects as how to fairly fund the energy transition. Now, these targets must be backed up with quantifiable timelines and equitable finance, particularly for the Global South.

Our movement held the line for a full fossil fuels phaseout and a fast and fair energy transition at COP28 and with Global Power Up‘s actions worldwide – and that made a difference! We know we have the tools and resources to make a world powered by the wind, the sun and the people a reality, and we will keep pushing for it! As 350’s executive director, May Boeve, said earlier today: “The energy revolution is already underway, as we stand by to build our own power!

“Hold the Line” action at the last day of COP28 in Dubai. Photo credit: Konrad Skotnicki

 

But I also have some other and more personal news to share: this will be my last Fossil Free News edition. As I write this email, I reflect on my journey since taking over this newsletter in 2021. Our collective efforts have been dedicated to showcasing the strides made in our mission against the fossil fuels giants, working closely with all partners and communities on the ground. It’s been incredibly fulfilling to know that we’ve contributed to pushing the needle in our favor – toward a more sustainable future powered by accessible renewable energy.

This isn’t goodbye, it’s more of “I’ll see you around”. I’m shifting gears to a new role, but I’m still part of the fantastic 350 team. From January on, you’re going to be in Mallika Singhal’s excellent hands!

With love, Christine

In Case You Missed It

Tripling renewable energy

COP28 started with hopeful news: more than 130 countries pledged to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030 – a great step toward the goal of keeping global heating under 1.5 ºC, and a sign that global leaders are listening yo us. However, it’s not enough. We don’t need more pledges and promises, we need real action and commitments.

Tripling renewables needs to be part of a comprehensive energy package, including a decision to support the transition with meaningful climate finance. COP28 didn’t deliver on that. We will take this win and we will keep fighting! It is crucial that the global renewable energy transition happens at the scale and speed needed, and that it is rooted in justice.

Moments before U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, started his press briefing at #COP28. Photo credit: 350.org

 

Fossil Fuels Phase Out Day at COP28

During the second week of COP28, on December 8th, we rallied for a global #PowerUp of renewables and an urgent phaseout to fossil fuels. Led by 350.org and the Pacific Climate Warriors, the actions amplified the voices of all of the 15,000 people who joined the Power Up month of actions, pushing for a swift and fair shift towards a world powered by renewables. The message was clear: we demand a fast and fair energy transition! It’s time to shut the door on false solutions.

Action at COP28 demanding global #PowerUp of renewable energy. Photo credit: 350.org

 

Total Report puts people at the center

Amid the high-stake talks at COP28, 350.org and the Multinationals Observatory dropped a fresh report diving into why it’s vital to take back control from the big fossil fuel companies if we’re serious about switching to clean energy. The report “This is what a Total phaseout looks like” report uses TotalEnergies as a case study to call on policymakers to dare to imagine a shut down of the fossil fuel industry, and puts forward concrete pathways to make it happen.

This is a must read, an invitation to shake things up. Dive into the report and let’s get the conversation going!

Check our 2022 highlights! Download the full report

Stop EACOP / Total HQ action in Paris, on December 8th. Photo credit: Lea Garson

 

One to Watch

During the first week of COP, our team and StopEACOP activists went straight to Total’s CEO Patrick Pouyanné, urging him to support the release of seven imprisoned Ugandan StopEACOP activists. Pouyanné responded, saying “that’s our focus for today.” – and that’s a commitment we will follow up!

Earlier this year, seven youths were arrested for peacefully opposing the East Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), a project led by TotalEnergies. A recent press release states their bail was denied, forcing them to remain in deplorable prison conditions at least until December 19th.

Check our 2022 highlights! Watch the video

 

Use Your Power

As we wave goodbye to 2023, let’s shake things up a bit! We’re not just saying farewell to the year, we’re asking you to help us spread the word. Be the ripple effect! Invite your friends and family to join the climate movement and to stay looped on all the incredible work we’re doing worldwide. Ask them to sign up to our newsletter:

Check our 2022 highlights! Sign Up Here Skill Up Your Activism

Despite COP28 delivering a text riddled with loopholes, communities persist in holding the line for the future we want to see – and we already have exciting plans for the upcoming year! The “Our Own Power” toolkit for Community-led Renewable Energy is about to launch, and we need your energy too!

Become part of our global network of activists leading community-led renewable energy projects worldwide! Whether you have a project in mind, are already involved in one, or simply want guidance to kickstart a local initiative, we’ve got you covered:

Check our 2022 highlights! Resgister Now Quote of the month

“Every year, we travel across oceans to come to these negotiations and we continue to get only drops of ambition. So we will return home, and continue to build up resilience in our communities, but it is evident that we may do so without the strong backing of the international community.”

– Joseph Sikulu, Pacific Managing Director at 350.org

IN OTHER NEWS

The post Our movement held the line at COP28 appeared first on 350.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Tripler la capacité des énergies renouvelables d’ici 2030 : un triomphe pour le 1,5 degré à la COP28

350.org - Tue, 12/12/2023 - 07:49

Alors que la poussière retombe sur la COP28, les défenseurs du climat du monde entier, y compris ceux de 350.org, célèbrent une avancée significative dans la lutte contre le changement climatique suite à l’engagement de 130 pays de tripler leur capacité en énergies renouvelables d’ici 2030, ce qui conduit à une réduction de la dépendance aux combustibles fossiles et à une limitation du réchauffement climatique à 1,5 degré Celsius.

Du 4 novembre au 9 décembre, 350.org et ses partenaires sont descendus dans les rues du monde entier sous la bannière du “PowerUp”, exhortant les gouvernements à tripler leurs investissements dans les énergies renouvelables et exigeant que les grands pollueurs assument la responsabilité des dommages qu’ils ont causés. Les résultats de la COP28 suggèrent que ces efforts n’ont pas été vains, alors continuons sur notre lancée.

Pourquoi 1,5 degré Celsius est important : on va la jouer simple!

Vous avez peut-être entendu parler de l’objectif de 1,5 degré Celsius, mais qu’est-ce que cela signifie vraiment ? En termes simples, il s’agit d’un seuil crucial fixé par la communauté internationale pour limiter la hausse des températures mondiales. Pourquoi ? Parce qu’au-delà de 1,5 degré, les effets du changement climatique deviennent plus graves et plus étendus. Il s’agit de vagues de chaleur plus intenses, de l’élévation du niveau des mers, de phénomènes météorologiques extrêmes et de menaces pour nos écosystèmes et nos communautés.

Imaginons maintenant un monde où nous limiterions le réchauffement de la planète à 1,5 degré Celsius. C’est un monde où nous atténuons les pires effets du changement climatique, en préservant un environnement plus sûr et plus stable pour les générations futures.

Tripler la capacité des énergies renouvelables : Un changement de cap

L’une des grandes victoires de la COP28 est l’engagement pris par 130 pays de tripler les capacités en matière d’énergies renouvelables d’ici à 2030. Mais pourquoi cet engagement est-il si important pour maintenir le réchauffement de la planète à 1,5 degré ?

La réponse se trouve dans la source de notre énergie. À l’heure actuelle, une grande partie de notre énergie provient de la combustion de combustibles fossiles tels que le charbon, le pétrole et le gaz. Ces activités libèrent d’énormes quantités de gaz à effet de serre, qui emprisonnent la chaleur dans l’atmosphère et provoquent une hausse des températures mondiales.

Les énergies renouvelables, en revanche, proviennent de sources telles que le soleil, le vent, l’eau et la chaleur géothermique. Lorsque nous investissons dans ces sources propres et durables, nous réduisons notre dépendance à l’égard des combustibles fossiles, ce qui diminue les émissions à l’origine du changement climatique.

L’Afrique peut jouer un rôle important dans cette fête de l’énergie propre, car elle regorge de potentiel d’énergie renouvelable sous forme de vent, de soleil et d’autres sources. Le triplement de la capacité ne réduit pas seulement notre dépendance aux combustibles fossiles, mais exploite également les ressources renouvelables de l’Afrique pour un développement économique et social généralisé, comme l’accès à l’électricité, l’emploi et l’amélioration des conditions de vie.

Nous demandons aux décideurs d’investir plus d’argent pour soutenir les plans visant à tripler les énergies renouvelables. Cela signifie qu’il faut tripler l’argent déjà investi dans la construction de fermes solaires, de turbines éoliennes et d’autres équipements géniaux qui nous donnent accès à l’électricité.

C’est comme si nous disposions d’une grande boîte à outils remplie de solutions intéressantes pour produire de l’énergie sans nuire à notre planète. Pour exploiter le potentiel de l’Afrique et tripler les énergies renouvelables, un financement substantiel est nécessaire pour soutenir la transition.

Le pouvoir de la pression publique et de la mobilisation sociale

Les décisions prises lors de la COP28 reflètent non seulement les efforts des décideurs politiques, mais aussi le pouvoir des personnes qui se rassemblent pour exiger un changement. La mobilisation PowerUp, menée par 350.org et ses partenaires, illustre la manière dont la pression publique peut influencer les décisions politiques et économiques. Lorsque nous descendons dans la rue, que nous élevons la voix et que nous exigeons des mesures, les décideurs s’en rendent compte.

Quelles sont les prochaines étapes ? Éliminer progressivement le pétrole, le charbon et le gaz

Si l’engagement de tripler les capacités en matière d’énergies renouvelables constitue une avancée majeure, il reste encore beaucoup à faire. Le développement des énergies renouvelables doit également s’accompagner d’une volonté et de plans concrets pour l’élimination progressive du charbon, du pétrole et du gaz. La société civile demande que la COP 28 aboutisse à une décision d’élimination progressive des combustibles fossiles d’ici 2050 et que cette décision soit reflétée dans les résultats officiels de la conférence. Pourquoi ? Parce que nous ne pouvons pas limiter le réchauffement de la planète à 1,5 degré si nous ne nous affranchissons pas des combustibles fossiles.

En outre, il est essentiel que les grands pollueurs soient tenus responsables des dommages qu’ils ont causés et du rôle qu’ils ont joué dans la crise climatique. Cela signifie qu’il faut s’assurer que ceux qui ont le plus contribué au problème assument la responsabilité d’engager des fonds pour soutenir la transition équitable vers les énergies renouvelables dans les pays en développement, aider ces pays à s’adapter au changement climatique et les dédommager pour les pertes subies.

Alors que nous célébrons les victoires de la COP28, n’oublions pas que notre voix et notre action collectives sont des outils puissants dans la lutte contre le changement climatique. En continuant à promouvoir des mesures audacieuses et ambitieuses, nous pouvons créer un monde où l’objectif de 1,5 degré Celsius n’est pas seulement une aspiration mais une réalité, sauvegardant ainsi la planète pour les générations à venir.

The post Tripler la capacité des énergies renouvelables d’ici 2030 : un triomphe pour le 1,5 degré à la COP28 appeared first on 350.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

COP28: Une flambée d’annonces optimistes

350.org - Mon, 12/11/2023 - 07:50

La 28ème conférence des parties a débuté ce Jeudi 30 novembre 2023. C’est l’une des COP qui a réuni le plus de personnes, environ 100 000 personnes ont fait le déplacement y compris les jeunes africains tel que Oureya Raïssa Responsable de Programme à l’ONG Jeunes Verts pour apporter leur voix et promouvoir la cause climatique.

Le début de cette COP 28 a été marqué par des annonces de financement notamment sur les pertes et dommages destinés à aider les pays vulnérables à faire face aux conséquences de plus en plus coûteuses et dommageables des catastrophes climatiques.

Des avances ont été faites afin de renforcer la résilience des communautés mais néanmoins de nombreux sujet de discussion sont encore sur la table notamment en ce qui concerne le transfert de technologie et la fin des énergies fossiles reste toujours d’actualité. Ceci dit, actuellement il n’y a pas d’engagement de la part des pays développés pour mettre fin à l’exploitation des énergies fossiles et à faciliter le transfert des technologies dans le domaine des énergies renouvelables pour accélérer la transition juste.

En tant qu’activiste pour la promotion des énergies renouvelables, je pense que c’est un point crucial pour le développement durable des communautés. C’est dans ce sens que ma participation aux différents mouvements, sides events et surtout aux négociations en tant qu’observatrice me permettra d’attirer l’attention de nos gouvernements à travers le plaidoyer sur les décisions importantes à prendre pour la survie des communautés et surtout collaborer avec les milliers de personnes présente pour ensemble partager les expériences, nouer des partenariats, mieux orienter nos actions et surtout montrer l’importance des jeunes dans la lutte contre ce fléau mondiale.

Climate Action Now!

Raissa Oureya
ONG Jeunes Verts, membre de Renewable Energy Coalition

The post COP28: Une flambée d’annonces optimistes appeared first on 350.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030: A Triumph for 1.5 Degrees at COP28

350.org - Fri, 12/08/2023 - 08:29

As the dust settles on COP28, climate activists around the world, including those at 350.org, are celebrating a significant step forward in the fight against climate change following the commitment of 130 countries to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030 which leads to a reduction of fossil fuel reliance and limitation of global warming to 1.5 degrees Celcius .

From November 4 to December 9, 350.org and its partners took to the streets globally under the banner of the “PowerUp“, urging governments to triple their investment in renewable energy and demanding that major polluters take responsibility for the damage they’ve caused. The outcomes of COP28 suggest that these efforts have not been in vain, so let’s keep the momentum going. 

Why 1.5 Degrees Celsius Matters: Let’s Keep It Simple

You might have heard about the 1.5 degrees Celsius target, but what does it really mean? In simple terms, it’s a crucial threshold set by the international community to limit the rise in global temperatures. Why? Because beyond 1.5 degrees the impacts of climate change become more severe and widespread. We’re talking about more intense heat waves, rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and threats to our ecosystems and communities.

Now, imagine a world where we limit global warming to just 1.5 degrees Celsius . It’s a world where we mitigate the worst effects of climate change, preserving a safer, more stable environment for future generations.

Tripling Renewable Energy Capacity: A Game-Changer

One of the big wins at COP28 is the commitment from 130 countries to triple renewable energy capacity by 2030. But why is this so important in the quest to keep global warming at 1.5 degrees?

The answer lies in the source of our energy. Right now, a significant chunk of our power comes from burning fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas. These activities release massive amounts of greenhouse gas, trapping heat in the atmosphere and causing global temperatures to rise.

Renewable energy, on the other hand, comes from sources like the sun, wind, water, and geothermal heat. When we invest in these clean and sustainable sources, we reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, cutting down the emissions that drive climate change.

Africa gets to play a big role in this clean energy party as it is abundant in renewable energy potential in the form of wind, solar and other sources. Tripling the capacity not only reduces our reliance on fossil fuels but also harnesses Africa’s renewable resources for widespread economic and social development like access to electricity, jobs and better lives. We call on decision makers to invest more money to back up plans to triple renewable energy. This means tripling the money already invested into building solar farms, wind turbines, and other cool stuff that give us access to electricity. It’s like having a big toolbox full of cool ways to make power without hurting our planet. To leverage Africa’s potential and realize the tripling of Renewable Energy, substantial funding is required to support the transition. 

The Power of Public Pressure and Activism

The decisions made at COP28 reflect not only the efforts of policymakers but also the power of people coming together to demand change. The PowerUp mobilization, led by 350.org and partners, exemplifies how public pressure can influence political and economic decisions. When we take to the streets, raise our voices, and demand action, decision-makers take notice.

What’s Next? Phasing out oil, coal and gas

While the commitment to triple renewable energy capacity is a major step forward, there’s more work to be done. The scaling up of RE must also be supported by a resolve and concrete plans for the phase out of all coal, oil and gas. Civil society is calling for COP 28 to deliver on a decision to phase out fossil fuels by 2050, and for this decision to be reflected in the formal outcome of the conference.Why? Because we can’t limit global warming to 1.5 degrees unless we break free from fossil fuels. In addition, it is critical big polluters are held accountable for the damage they’ve caused and their role in the climate crisis. This means ensuring that those who contributed the most to the problem bear the responsibility of committing finances to supporting the just transition to renewable energy in developing nations, supporting these nations to adapt to climate change and compensating them for the losses suffered. 

As we celebrate the victories at COP28, let’s remember that our collective voice and action are powerful tools in the fight against climate change. By continuing to push for bold and ambitious measures, we can create a world where the 1.5 degrees Celsius target is not just an aspiration but a reality, safeguarding the planet for generations to come.

The post Tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030: A Triumph for 1.5 Degrees at COP28 appeared first on 350.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

“TotalEnergies: This is what a total phase-out looks like” outlines how to reclaim control over the fossil fuel industry

350.org - Thu, 12/07/2023 - 09:00

Check our 2022 highlights! Download the full report

 

As crucial climate negotiations are underway at COP28, 350.org and the Multinationals Observatory are launching a new report outlining why it is necessary to reclaim control over the fossil fuel industry strategies for the world to transition to clean energy, and how to do it.

For decades, TotalEnergies and other fossil fuel giants have tried to make us believe that there is no alternative to the current fossil fuel industry, and that they are part of the solution to climate change. A record number of close to 2500 fossil fuel lobbyists, including CEO of TotalEnergies Patrick Pouyanné, are at COP28 this year to push this version of the story. Their multiple strategies to delay meaningful climate action, as well as their plans to continue to expand their fossil fuel production and their marginal investments in renewable energy, show that the energy transition we urgently need to tackle the climate crisis won’t come from them.

Multinationals like TotalEnergies thrive on the illusion of being sovereign entities, independent of states. But their power rests on legal, political, and economic conditions—conditions that can be altered. The report delves into three ways to steer TotalEnergies towards a fossil fuel-free future. These strategies aren’t mutually exclusive and might benefit from a combined approach: 

  • A comprehensive climate, environmental, financial and lobbying regulatory reform package in order to ensure TotalEnergies serves public interest, and not just the ones of its leaders and shareholders. 
  • A democratic takeover of the company from within, so that employees and stakeholders beyond only shareholders drive the company’s strategy. 
  • A public takeover of TotalEnergies to transform the corporation into a public interest organisation free from the pressures of the financial market, with an inclusive governance and democratic approach to driving a process of exiting fossil fuel production. 

With this report, we aim to open up a dialogue on an idea which may seem radical but must be included in global climate discussions: if we are to truly start phasing out fossil fuels, we must tackle the economic and political weight of the fossil fuel majors.

Global heating and its impacts are accelerating, just as war and pandemics have done, and this could be a trigger for change, with previously unthinkable scenarios quickly becoming credible or even unavoidable. We want to challenge political leaders to imagine them, and to implement them.

The post “TotalEnergies: This is what a total phase-out looks like” outlines how to reclaim control over the fossil fuel industry appeared first on 350.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

STAY COOL Hosts Webinar on “Nature-based Climate Solutions”

Stay Cool 4 Grandkids - Sun, 06/05/2022 - 10:08
The City of San Diego, in its Climate Resilient San Diego Plan, defines Nature-based Solutions as “projects to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural or modified ecosystems, while addressing societal challenges, improving human well-being, and providing bio-diversity benefits. A nature-based solutions approach can help the city protect against climate change risks, such as heat waves, [...]
Categories: G1. Progressive Green

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