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We're mobilizing a global movement to stop dangerous climate change. Join us at 350.org, and take action at an event near you on the International Day of Climate Action, 24 October, 2009.
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Forging the path towards a future powered by the sun, the wind and the people starts with funding equitable solutions

Mon, 06/03/2024 - 06:13

Every June, a charged scene unfolds outside the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) headquarters in Manila. Activists and communities impacted by ADB-funded energy projects gather, a stark juxtaposition to the polished discussions within the Asia Clean Energy Forum which serves as a hub for energy stakeholders, that aims to steer the Asia-Pacific region toward swiftly transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy to mitigate climate change and secure our energy future.

Since its establishment in 1966, the ADB has been tasked with promoting economic and social development across Asia and the Pacific. With 68 member countries, the ADB provides vital financial and technical assistance. Its crucial role lies in supporting developing nations as they transition to sustainable, low-carbon energy systems, aligning with the Paris Agreement’s objectives.

The Billion-Dollar Road to Decarbonization

Between 2016 and 2020, the ADB funneled $8.5 billion into clean energy, bolstering low-carbon transitions and improving energy access in the region. By late 2021, the Bank’s fresh Energy Policy had halted financing for new coal-fired power, acknowledging coal’s environmental and financial hazards. While fossil gas projects remain permissible under the new policy, this marks a significant shift towards cleaner energy. Looking ahead, the ADB has pledged up to $100 billion by 2030 to combat climate change, with a strong emphasis on renewable energy, aligning with their sustainable development and climate mitigation strategy.

Despite these efforts, concerns persist regarding the ADB’s adoption of what many civil society organizations consider ‘false solutions’ like ammonia co-firing, hydrogen, waste-to-energy, and potentially nuclear. These approaches are seen as hindrances to decarbonization, diverging from the goals set out in the Glasgow Climate Pact adopted at COP26. This pact calls for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, phasing out unabated coal power, cutting methane emissions, and offering financial aid to emerging economies.

As of 2023, an estimated 350 million people in Asia, particularly in rural and remote areas of countries like India, Indonesia, and Bangladesh, still lack stable electricity access. Global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the energy crisis have impeded progress in expanding electricity access. To achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, a significant uptick in renewable energy capacity is imperative. Estimates indicate that nearly tripling global investments in renewable energy, with a target of around 8,000 GW of new capacity by 2030, is necessary to replace fossil fuels and meet global electricity demand sustainably.

The road ahead

Approaching 2030, achieving a balance between equity, urgency, and ambition in energy transformation is paramount. This entails excluding harmful energy solutions, prioritizing equitable investment in renewable energy, and ensuring transparency, accountability, and community consultation.

The pursuit of climate action is not merely about meeting emission reduction targets set under the Paris Agreement; it is about fundamentally altering our development pathway to ensure that our country can thrive in the context of climate change. This transformation must intertwine seamlessly with achieving other development goals, recognizing that robust community ownership of solutions is indispensable for any successful climate initiative. Our journey towards a sustainable future demands that action and progress in climate and development are not only compatible but mutually reinforcing.

To achieve this, the climate movement must lead the charge, relentlessly advocating for financial stimulus to transform our energy systems towards sustainability and equity. Through creative actions that speak truth to power, we must challenge the prevailing narrative that economic development is inextricably tied to fossil fuels. By capturing the popular imagination, we can demonstrate that decarbonization is not only necessary but also entirely achievable. This dual approach of confronting entrenched interests and inspiring hope is essential for a just and sustainable future.

The climate crisis is not just about science, technology, and shifting to meet sustainability goals; it is intertwined with issues of poverty, inequality, and economic injustice. Addressing these challenges entails reimagining energy as part of a larger system that transforms how power is produced, utilized, and distributed.

Central to this endeavor is the redirection of resources towards solutions that prioritize both people and the environment. This necessitates a rapid and fair shift towards a clean energy economy, empowering communities while curbing profit-oriented decisions that endanger individuals and the planet. The Asian Development Bank’s dedication to sustainable development and renewable energy is pivotal in reshaping the energy landscape of Asia and the Pacific, driving economic stimulus and paving the path towards a fossil-free future.

The post Forging the path towards a future powered by the sun, the wind and the people starts with funding equitable solutions appeared first on 350.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

How to vote in the EU elections

Tue, 05/28/2024 - 02:44

The EU elections are fast approaching and most countries head to the polls on June 9th. We know if we want to have an EU Parliament that will respond to our calls for climate action, we need to ensure that everyone we know manages to go vote that day.

The best way to do this is make our own plan to go vote and then support others to do the same. Below are some handy tips for making your plan and some guidance for how you can talk to others about what’s at stake and why it’s important to vote.

Tips for making a plan to vote:
  • Check the hours of your polling station and consider what time of day would be best for you to go. Do you need to request time off work? Or plan childcare?
  • Consider how you will get there and how much time you will need for that.
  • Add the day and time to your calendar using our handy tool! 
  • Think about who could go with you and invite them. It’s more fun to vote together.
  • Check you have all you need to bring with you to the polling station and put it somewhere you’ll find it easily on the day.
Resources:
  1. Find all the information you need about how to vote in your country including where to go and what to bring.
  1. Our Partner, Climate Action Network has created a scoreboard where you can check out the track record of the whole EU Parliament on climate action.
Encouraging others to go vote

If you have a lot of like-minded friends, the chances are they’re interested in voting for the same things you care about. But are all your friends and family aware of the election and planning to vote? Encourage them to make a plan together with you and if they seem reluctant here’s some suggestions for ways you can try to motivate them – and try to link these points to things you know they care about.

  • I’m very worried about the predicted outcomes of the EU elections. Explain how you’re feeling and make it personal to you….
  • Every year we’re seeing hotter summers and more devastating floods and droughts. It will only get worse, unless we act now and demand that international bodies like the EU take climate action.
  • We need the next European parliament to prioritise the climate and the social justice issues we care about. If it doesn’t, it will have knock-on effects for all of the changes we want to see in our countries, and in Europe as a whole.
  • Some people who share our values feel skeptical about voting. They wonder if voting will create change. But if lots of people feel this way, and do not vote, it could affect the election result. That’s why it’s so important we take our values to the polls.

We are running some online ads to help increase voter turnout but internet giants like Facebook and Google are making it hard to promote anything related to elections, which is affecting our reach. That’s why we need your help to spread the word. Will you help us promote the tool we created to help get out the vote?

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The post How to vote in the EU elections appeared first on 350.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Protected: Our Pawa: Why Australia’s energy transition matters to the Pacific

Sun, 05/26/2024 - 19:01

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The post Protected: Our Pawa: Why Australia’s energy transition matters to the Pacific appeared first on 350.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Climate neglect is destroying entire cities in Brazil

Fri, 05/24/2024 - 13:27

May was a month of sadness and dismay in Brazil. Extreme rainfall left two-thirds of the state of Rio Grande do Sul underwater. This is a territory larger than that of the entire country of the United Kingdom.

To date, 161 people have died and 81 are missing due to unprecedented flooding of rivers and lakes in this state in southern Brazil, bordering Argentina and Uruguay, after torrential rains in that area. Almost 600,000 people lost their homes and more than 80,000 had to be rescued from rooftops, on boats or in security force helicopters.

How to support people affected by extreme rains in Brazil

Besides, more than 12,000 pets had to be saved from death by rescue teams, including a horse that was left stranded on a roof and became a symbol of the surreal impact that a tragedy like this represents.

“I’ve seen things that no one should go through as a human being. I’ve seen people surrounded by children searching for refuge”, said Juan Romero, a Venezuelan migrant affected by the floods. “Maybe some died like this”. 

At 350.org, we also had employees and partners personally affected by the disasters. A community leader who, two years ago, played a fundamental role in the fight to end a coal mine project in the region and thus helped prevent the environmental degradation of a huge area, lost her home and saw her neighborhood destroyed. A freelance colleague in the Communications area had to hurriedly leave her apartment, on the first floor of a building in the state capital, because the water level accumulated in the street rose so quickly that it reached the height of her doors and windows. Fortunately, both of our friends are safe, but the scare and damage caused to them – and the hundreds of thousands of people affected – will last a long time.

The individual effects of the tragedy are also reflected on a collective scale, and the economic impacts will be felt not just at the state level but nationally. One of the country’s main financial analysis companies, MB Associados, estimates that the disaster will reduce Brazilian GDP growth by up to 0.5 percentage points in 2024, due to the massive destruction of infrastructure and the loss of goods and services in Rio Grande do Sul. Company analysts say a climate event has never caused so much economic damage in Brazil.

And it is worth remembering that, as often happens in times of great collective loss, poor communities and families made up of black and indigenous people were disproportionately harmed. Environmental racism and climate injustice have once again become clear.

What caused such a disaster?

Such a destructive event was only possible due to a combination of several factors, including the relaxation of environmental protection legislation in the state, the geographic position of major cities in the state (the capital and the surrounding towns are located in plain terrains in the margins of various rivers and lakes) and the lack of maintenance in river water containment structures. Not to mention long-term structural causes, such as the waterproofing of soil in cities and the lack of a housing policy that provides housing in safe areas for everyone.

A few scientific papers and climate models alerting that Rio Grande do Sul is an area particularly susceptible to the impacts of the climate crisis were issued in the past few years, but governments at all levels failed to acknowledge and address this issue. Adaptation measures such as moving families from the riskier areas to other locales, creating better evacuation routes, and planting more trees in the margins of rivers and lakes, to prevent these water bodies from being silted up, could have reduced damages.

Plus, a consensus among those climate experts who analysed this case is that the rains over the state were bizarrely concentrated. Cities in the region recorded a volume of rainfall up to ten times greater than the historical average for the period.

A “rapid attribution study” by ClimaMeter, that is, research carried out by scientists to identify what caused such intense rains, showed that the climate crisis worsened the precipitation that led to the deadly floods by 15%. The researchers responsible for the assessment, led by the University of Paris-Saclay, even pointed out that El Niño, a natural climate phenomenon that usually worsens rainfall in this region of Brazil, is not enough to explain the amount of rain that formed. What they are saying is that the human-caused climate crisis played a prominent role in this catastrophe.

Since the main cause of the global climate crisis is the burning of oil, gas and coal, it is therefore evident that the current destruction of Rio Grande do Sul bears the imprint of fossil fuels, as do so many other recent disasters around the world.

Can we avoid new traumas?

The trauma, lives lost, and suffering caused will never be fully repaired, and what can be rebuilt – buildings, bridges, hospitals – will take months or years to return to operating as before. Infrastructure experts predict that recovery could take ten years or more.

To get an idea of ​​the scale of the task, the state government predicts that it will be necessary to move entire cities from the places where they were, to rebuild them in safer areas.

Woman in a center for donations to the families affected by the floods in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Credit: Rafa Neddermeyer/Agência Brasil

The costs of this reconstruction will be impressive. The Brazilian government has already allocated 11 billion dollars to help the state, but the economic consultancy BRCG predicts that the need for spending could easily reach around 21 billion dollars.

This is not an isolated case. Analysis published by the massive news website UOL, based on official numbers from the past ten years, estimates that the damages caused by extreme rains in Brazil in a decade reached 27 billion dollars.

And since, unfortunately, it will be necessary to rebuild a large part of the state, what can we do better this time? What lessons can we learn and put into practice? From 350.org’s point of view, at least three aspects stand out:

  1. Rio Grande do Sul – Locally, governments urgently need to put into practice mechanisms for building public policies together with the communities affected and those potentially affected by climate events. In short, municipal and state governments must listen to people and respect their needs when rebuilding what was destroyed. Furthermore, it will be necessary to consider that the climate crisis has established a new “normal” for the climate, full of extreme events, which requires serious investment in climate adaptation.
  2. Brazil – Nationally, the tragedy in its own territory makes it even more obvious that Brazil needs to take advantage of its temporary leadership role in the G20 (group of the 20 largest countries and economies in the world), in 2024, and host of COP30 (the conference of the UN climate committee), in 2025, to push for a more ambitious agenda for global climate. We need much stronger national emissions’ reduction targets (NDCs), as well as a concrete global commitment to financing the energy transition, with resources flowing from rich countries to poorer ones. Brazil is demanding this and has the opportunity to sew effective commitments in this regard. Additionally, it needs to show leadership, declaring the Amazon a fossil fuel exploration-free area and taking genuine energy transition measures in the country.
  3. Other countries – All governments need to accelerate their fair energy transition and deforestation reduction policies, especially those in rich countries, as they are most responsible for the climate crisis. For this to happen, the world needs to allocate large volumes of resources and implement effective ways for the richest to finance the transition in the poorest communities. If we direct the subsidies that currently support the fossil fuel sector towards renewable energy and tax great wealth to finance adaptation and mitigation measures for the climate crisis, this change is possible.

Ultimately, this Brazilian tragedy shows us that in times of climate crisis, extreme events are taking on a force previously unknown. It also confirms that acting to prevent the large-scale disasters that the climate crisis brings is much easier and cheaper than remedying the situation when these tragedies happen. Most importantly, we can save lives and prevent enormous suffering if we act now.

The trailer for this climate dystopian film was already difficult to watch. The entire film detailing the full-blown impacts of the climate crises, will be undigestible if we do reach that stage. But for now, we still have a chance to rewrite a better script for our future.

The post Climate neglect is destroying entire cities in Brazil appeared first on 350.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Rallying Communities to Shape Our Climate Future: Stories of Impact & Resilience

Fri, 05/17/2024 - 02:48

The focus of our climate movement is clear: a world powered by climate-friendly, safe, affordable and just energy sources. We are making this a reality through moving from fossil fuel driven systems to those run on renewable energy. 

At the core of this energy transition lies the collective strength of communities. Worldwide, local groups are challenging the dominance of fossil fuels, rejecting their social acceptance, and pushing for their phased withdrawal. Along with advocating for better energy solutions, these communities are actively building them, whether it is through large-scale projects or grassroots initiatives.

It is the efforts of such ordinary people that really hold the key to achieving climate justice. Whether it’s through empowering others to own their energy generation or ensuring direct benefits from its production, community energy initiatives are the ones transforming our world based on fossil fuels to one driven by renewable energy. In fact, one thing is clear –  communities aren’t merely rallying beside us; they’re leading the charge. 

So let’s have a look at four amazing stories from different corners of the world that show us just how powerful community-led climate solutions can be. Together, we’re not just envisioning a better world; we’re actively building it, one community at a time:

These stories together present a vital fact: the future of renewable energy depends on what we do together as communities. These stories highlight that locals aren’t waiting for others to solve the problem—they’re driving change from the ground up. Moreover, in the face of climate-induced adversity, these resilient communities stand better prepared to support each other and bounce back.

Embracing this community-led approach to renewable energy, unlocks more than just cleaner air and water. It propels us closer to a world where each individual can have access to 100% safe, affordable and climate-friendly energy. The examples of Indonesia and Ghana vividly demonstrate how community initiatives can foster energy independence and lead us towards a sustainable energy future.  

Further, when we do cultivate stronger communities, we get a chance to hear each voice, particularly those historically marginalized, setting us up for a future that leaves no one behind. The unwavering dedication of groups like the Amazon Coalition showcases the power of community solidarity in fighting for climate justice, while efforts like those of 350NC in the US highlight the transformative potential of fostering collaboration among everyday citizens. Read more about 350.org’s impact through the lens of communities we collaborate with in our brand new Annual Report!

The post Rallying Communities to Shape Our Climate Future: Stories of Impact & Resilience appeared first on 350.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

The Power of Community in Indonesia’s Renewable Movement

Fri, 05/17/2024 - 01:27

In Indonesia, the journey toward sustainable energy has encountered its share of challenges. Despite boasting a potential capacity of over 3.6 million MW in solar energy, only a fraction has been tapped, with renewable sources contributing a mere 2% to the nation’s energy mix.

In the Indonesian Archipelago, passionate grassroots organizations are taking the lead in advancing renewable energy initiatives within their communities. These communities, equipped with a profound understanding of their local context and needs, have taken bold steps to harness solar and micro-hydro power, transforming schools, residential areas, and tourist destinations. Their actions are not just about adopting renewable energy; they represent a stand against environmental degradation, a push for economic stability, and a statement for energy independence.

Playing a vital role in this transformative journey, 350.org has provided crucial support through capacity building, mentoring, and fostering collaborations that amplify the impact of these initiatives. Through tackling obstacles like ambiguous regulations, financial accessibility, and technical readiness, 350.org has aided these communities in navigating the intricacies of the energy transition.

With the spirit of transitioning to renewable energy, 350.org Indonesia has a long-standing collaboration with the young climate activists, local CSOs, NGO partners, and education institutions. Among them is the Climate Rangers Community of Yogyakarta, one of the key partners who has been involved in utilizing and managing a micro-hydro power plant for electricity supply to each household in Kedungrong Hamlet. The micro-hydro power plant in Kedungrong Hamlet is one of the renewable energy power plants managed directly by and for residents. This power plant harnesses the potential of strong water flow from the Progo River.

The micro-hydro power plant in Kedungrong Hamlet is truly changing things for the better in the local community. With this plant, residents no longer have to depend on energy sources from distant places. It’s a major victory for everyone! Now, they can generate their own energy to fulfill their local needs, turning Kedungrong Hamlet into a self-sustaining energy hub.

This energy autonomy offers numerous advantages to the community members. Beyond providing power for homes, the micro-hydro power plant positively influences the local economy of the area. For instance, the electricity from the plant is extensively used by residents for welding jobs, running workshops, and operating food establishments. Essentially, the power produced by this sustainable energy facility is invaluable, catering not just to the everyday power requirements of the residents but also bolstering their economic pursuits.

The Kedungrong Hamlet story is just one chapter in a larger narrative; as 350.org Indonesia continues fostering collaborations with diverse partners, from North Sumatra to Bali, the impact of these initiatives expands exponentially. This movement is not just about energy transition; it’s a testament to the collective power of communities to drive significant, positive change on a global scale.

 

This is a story from 350.org’s 2023 Annual Report

Explore the report

The post The Power of Community in Indonesia’s Renewable Movement appeared first on 350.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Movement hubs like the Network Council are essential to advancing climate justice in the U.S

Fri, 05/17/2024 - 01:26

The journey of the United States toward the effective implementation of renewable energy solutions has been marked by significant progress and notable challenges. In recent decades, the nation has increasingly recognized the urgency of transitioning to sustainable energy sources to combat climate change and reduce its reliance on fossil fuels. Despite advancements, the journey is complex, with obstacles such as regulatory barriers, infrastructure limitations, and fluctuating political support. Organizations like 350.org, along with the many local groups that band together under the Network Council continue to push the envelope, driving the United States closer to a more sustainable and resilient energy future.

The 350 Network Council (350NC) is an association of the 12 largest independent 350 affiliates in the USA. 350.org’s affiliate groups are legally and financially independent organizations and they are 350.org’s closest allies. The affiliate groups run powerful grassroots campaigns for climate justice in cities and states across the country. Since 2009, community leaders and everyday citizens — including students, activists, farmers, teachers, and grandparents — have initiated local campaigns under the 350 banner, creating a nationwide network of more than 100 affiliates dedicated to mobilizing their communities within the global climate justice movement.

In 2018, 350.org partnered with these affiliate organizations to unite the most influential groups under a common goal: to amplify our impact through collaboration. The 350NC has facilitated training, coaching, strategic planning, and coordinated actions, all while maintaining laser focus on our core principles of climate justice and energy democracy.

The collaboration between 350.org and the 350 Network Council amplifies the impact of campaigns and helps connect local actions with a national narrative that underscores the urgency of the climate crisis. This partnership has led to impactful campaigns like the “Fossil Free Fed”, demonstrating the power of unity in efforts against the fossil fuel utility industry and the fight for a sustainable future.

In June 2023, the 350NC led a day of action to end the era of fossil fuels. This nationwide initiative mobilized over 2,000 participants in 65 actions across more than 25 states, including critical swing states. Through innovative tactics and the engagement of 70 partner organizations, the campaign spotlighted the urgent need for a transition to renewable energy and equitable climate solutions. The campaign’s message was amplified by significant media coverage, ensuring our demands reached a national audience and reignited the organizing base of the People vs Fossil Fuels coalition.

The 350 Network Council has made a significant impact by empowering communities and inspiring a shift towards renewable energy, leveraging community strength for systemic change. Through training, resource sharing, and coaching, it equips groups to foster a sustainable energy future. By promoting collaborations and grassroots initiatives for renewable solutions, the 350NC exemplifies the power of collective action, offering a blueprint for global communities to pursue climate justice collaboratively.

 

This is a story from 350.org’s 2023 Annual Report

Explore the report

The post Movement hubs like the Network Council are essential to advancing climate justice in the U.S appeared first on 350.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

A Closer Look at the Amazon Coalition’s Fight Against Fossil Fuel Exploitation

Fri, 05/17/2024 - 01:26

The Amazon Basin found itself on the brink of an environmental crisis, with the prospect of fossil fuel exploration casting a dark shadow over its future. A diverse group of Indigenous Peoples, riverside dwellers, and Quilombola communities from Silves and Itapiranga got together to counter these potentially devastating projects, and formed the Amazon Coalition that we are proud to be a part of.

The Amazon Coalition adopted a multi-pronged approach to amplify their message and advocate for resistance for fossil fuel exploration. We initiated a Public Civil Action (PCA) to contest irregular public hearings and environmental licenses granted by regulatory bodies. Through rigorous legal scrutiny and persuasive advocacy, we highlighted the absence of consultation with impacted communities and the potential environmental hazards of gas exploration activities.

The coalition against fossil fuel exploitation in the Amazon went beyond legal action, conducting grassroots workshops and awareness campaigns to empower local communities. We established communication networks to coordinate stakeholders and foster unity, while effectively raising awareness and garnering global support through targeted media outreach and public events. By amplifying the voices of Indigenous leaders and activists through traditional and digital media, and collaborating with journalists and artists to craft compelling narratives, the coalition highlighted the environmental and social risks posed by fossil fuel activities, emphasizing the importance of protecting the Amazon rainforest from unsustainable development.

In May 2023, the collective endeavors of the Amazon Coalition culminated in a significant victory for environmental justice. The 7th Federal Environmental Court in Manaus ruled to suspend the public hearings and environmental licenses for gas exploration activities in the Azulão Field. This landmark ruling not only put a stop to destructive projects but also upheld the rights of Indigenous peoples and traditional communities to be consulted and heard in matters concerning their lands.

 

This is a story from 350.org’s 2023 Annual Report

Explore the report

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Categories: G1. Progressive Green

The Vital Role of Communities in Renewable Energy Adoption in Ghana

Fri, 05/17/2024 - 01:26

Ghana’s journey towards sustainable energy is powered by community-led initiatives, bridging the stark energy access divide between its rural and urban areas. This grassroots movement, driven by the urgent need for inclusive and sustainable energy solutions, has led to significant socio-economic progress and a reduction in inequalities.

The Renewable Energy for Communities Coalition (RE4CC), supported by 350.org and other partners, emerged from the successful opposition to a 700 megawatt (MW) coal-powered station. This alliance of civil society organizations, community leaders, and renewable energy experts is dedicated to promoting clean, reliable, and affordable energy by advocating for government investment in renewable solutions and leveraging the Renewable Energy Act of Ghana.

RE4CC’s work includes raising awareness, advocating for renewable energy policies, and launching projects like Solar for School, which not only brings light to classrooms but also nurtures environmental stewardship among students. Additionally, training sessions aimed at women and girls highlight the vital role of community participation in environmental advocacy, further driving the shift towards sustainable energy practices.

350.org plays a crucial role in this transformation, providing financial and technical support, facilitating knowledge exchange, capacity building, and policy advocacy. The alliance efforts to elevate the renewable energy conversation underscore the importance of community-centric approaches to achieving energy sustainability.

 

This is a story from 350.org’s 2023 Annual Report

Explore the report

The post The Vital Role of Communities in Renewable Energy Adoption in Ghana appeared first on 350.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

People Power in Collaboration: Advocating for Justice and Human Rights Amidst the Climate Crisis

Fri, 05/17/2024 - 01:26

As global leaders gathered at key international events like COP27 and the G20 Summit, our collective voice amplified the message that environmental and human rights struggles are inseparably linked.

During the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) from November 6th to 18th, 2022, human rights took center stage, when Alaa Abd el-Fattah, civil rights activist and one of the leaders of the Arab Spring embarked on a hunger strike, demanding the Egyptian government’s attention to the cause and securing his release. 350.org stood in solidarity with these calls, a deliberate acknowledgment of our view that human rights are central to the pursuit of climate justice.

At COP27, 350.org advocated for the recognition of “Loss and Damage” as a critical agenda item, which highlights the need for immediate action against the root causes of climate-induced devastations. This commitment was further evidenced by our support for the Kioa Climate Emergency Declaration, showcasing the resilience of Pacific communities at the forefront of climate impacts.

Our advocacy and support goes beyond these moments of attention: for instance, as we continue to campaign for the release of Hoàng Thi Minh Hồng, a revered colleague from Vietnam. Hồng’s arrest was a stark reminder of the risks faced by climate defenders worldwide. Despite her eventual guilty plea under duress, our movement to secure her freedom continues, highlighting the critical need for justice, especially as Vietnam accessed Just Transition funding. Hồng’s advocacy is central to the responsible use of such resources, ensuring they serve the communities most affected by climate change.

The G20 Summit in Indonesia presented another platform for our advocacy. Despite the summit’s theme of “Recover Together, Recover Stronger,” the suppression of civil society events revealed a glaring contradiction. 350.org’s presence at the summit and our support for activists worldwide underscored our belief in the power of community-led movements. By championing freedom of expression and human rights, we aim to ensure that recovery and resilience are inclusive and just for all.

Throughout 2023, our efforts exemplified the theme “People Power in Collaboration: Community-led Solutions, Global Impact,” underlining the indispensable role of grassroots activism in driving systemic change. By fostering collaborations that bridge environmental and human rights initiatives, we are not only fighting for a sustainable planet but also championing the dignity and rights of individuals and communities worldwide.

 

This is a story from 350.org’s 2023 Annual Report

Explore the report

The post People Power in Collaboration: Advocating for Justice and Human Rights Amidst the Climate Crisis appeared first on 350.

Categories: G1. Progressive Green

Today’s student protests are not so different from 350’s own roots

Thu, 05/16/2024 - 07:57

Jeff Ordower, 350.org

As a climate activist, Jewish American, and Columbia University graduate, I want to share why I feel it’s so important to support the student protestors who are bravely taking a stand in support of Palestine, despite rising repression. We’re seeing it on college campuses across the country, including my alma mater. 

I’ve been talking recently with student activists. Each time, I am amazed at their courage, willingness to take risks, and their understanding of how climate change, the U.S. military, and the displacement and persecution of Palestinians are linked together.

Despite how the media may present the university protesters, the students I have spoken to show a clear understanding of what they are fighting and calling for. They are connecting the dots between their university trustees — often leaders in global finance and private equity — who are mining the planet, arming the Israeli military, and funding wars that result in millions of tons of carbon emissions each year.

For those of us at 350.org, these issues are all connected. When supporters like you helped launch the divestment movement, we knew the key to a changed planet was to cut off their finances. We also knew that the issues do not exist in a vacuum. As we stood against the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock, we targeted Wells Fargo with the understanding that their financing of the pipeline was one part of the same business that invests in private prisons and forecloses on private homes.  

As someone 30-plus years removed from college, I can only imagine the pressure and risk any given student is taking to occupy their campus. There’s the arrest itself, which carries varying levels of risk depending on a student’s background and immigration status. And there’s also the fact that universities now threaten suspension, expulsion, and loss of educational opportunities that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. I often wonder, what can we do in the face of this kind of opposition?

We all need to think about what we can learn from these courageous students about the risk and commitment required to change the world. They are facing brutal police forces in addition to the financial and reputational risk of sacrificing their education. But they do it because they know their cause is just – and we need to stand in solidarity with them.

Our movement values our young people so highly for their clarity on climate change and for the ways in which they boldly speak truth to power: so why should we be so quick to assume they’re wrong about this? 

I know this is difficult and confusing, as it conflicts with part of the narrative that many major powers—including our own US government—may want us to believe. But Big Oil successfully hid the true impact of fossil fuels from public view until our movement turned that tide. 

We can’t separate out climate from militarism. In direct opposition to peace, the revenue generated by fossil fuel extraction plays a disturbing role in funding conflicts old and new. The fossil fuel industry has always fought against the right to self-determination; communities who wish to protect their lands from resource extraction, both at home and abroad, are often met with state violence. The amount of money some nations spend on wars, and on the enabling of resource extraction, directly impacts how much is available for a just transition to renewable energy. 

In other words, fossil fuel dependency exacerbates geopolitical tensions and climate change creates instability across so many systems–food, infrastructure, public health, transportation, and many more–that civilization depends on for peace and security. 

Forcing issues into artificial silos favors the status quo, which currently has us hurtling towards climate disaster. We have to call out systems of extraction and greed-fueled destruction everywhere we see them, or we will not achieve justice.

The mass murders of children in Gaza are a symptom of a broken system — and we have a responsibility to take action. We appreciate the students leading the way, and we must always remember that the money and power behind the guns in Gaza are the same money and power repressing activists in Uganda and Appalachia who are fighting pipelines in their communities.

Together we can take them on and create a better, more just world for future generations.

 

— Jeff Ordower, 350.org North America Director

 

We know that all of this may seem difficult and confusing, and we know how hard it can be to tease out and resist some of what we’ve been taught. That’s part of why we do this work to begin with: to fight back against the influence of a false narrative that allows extraction to continue despite the costs. So if anyone wants to take more time to listen, discuss, and unpack, we will be holding periodic listening sessions to better tease out what questions we have about where this fits into our collective climate justice work. Interested? Email jeff.ordower@350.org.

 

 

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Categories: G1. Progressive Green

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