Tag: mobilisation

“Break Free From Fossil Fuels”: bold, coordinated, worldwide actions announced

GLOBAL -- Today the global platform “Break Free” has been launched, featuring a series of peaceful, coordinated actions that aim to disrupt the fossil-fuel industry’s power by targeting the world’s most dangerous and unnecessary fossil fuel projects.[1]

This May, thousands of people from around the world will join actions taking place across 6 continents aiming to halt dirty fossil fuel operations and demonstrate support for an accelerated ‘just transition’ to 100% renewable energy. Major actions are currently planned in countries such as Indonesia, Nigeria, Brazil, US, Germany, Philippines, Australia and more - led by the communities that have spent years already fighting dangerous fossil fuel projects.[2]

“Hot on the heels of the largest ever climate mobilisations in history activists are once again stepping back into the ring to strike a body blow against a fossil fuel industry that’s on its knees.” said Wael Hmaidan, the Director of Climate Action Network. “More and more people are joining the fight because they see how fossil fuels are destroying the planet, risking the economy, and creating injustice for local communities. The movement is here to stay, there is no end to it, until the final bell tolls for the fossil fuel industry.”

On the back of the hottest year in recorded history, communities worldwide are demanding  governments put words into action after delivering the historic Paris Agreement in December where 196 parties signalled the end of the the fossil fuel era. In order to address the current climate crisis and keep global warming below 1.5C degrees fossil fuel projects need to be shelved and existing infrastructure needs to be replaced, now.

“The science is clear: we need to keep at least 80%, if not more, of fossil fuel reserves in the ground,” said Payal Parekh, the Global Managing Director of 350.org, “communities worldwide are experiencing first hand the consequences of climate change and the damage inflicted by the fossil fuel industry. It’s up to us to break free from fossil fuels and accelerate the shift towards a just transition to 100% renewable energy. It’s in our hands to close the gap between what current commitments will achieve and what science demands is necessary in order to protect our common home.”

The climate movement’s commitment to scaling up its resistance to the fossil fuel industry comes at a time when renewable energy is already more affordable and widespread than ever before. These new tools give communities at the front lines of climate change new ways to respond to the crisis and build their own power.

“Moving towards 100% renewable energy is possible with the political will to make the change” said Arif Fiyanto, Coal Campaigner at Greenpeace Indonesia. “There are no major economic or technical barriers to a future supported by renewable energy. Any new infrastructure built to support fossil fuels expansion, such as coal mines, power plants, oil rigs and export terminals will be a waste of money and further lock us into a path to irreversible climate change”

Post-Paris, the fossil fuel industry is running scared with prices plunging and companies going bankrupt. Now, ramped up civil disobedience will show that the industry’s social licence to operate is fast evaporating. Such peaceful civil disobedience brings people from all walks of life, and not just seasoned climate activists, to challenge both politicians and polluters to accelerate the unstoppable energy transition already underway.

One such example is last year’s Ende Gelände (Here And No Further), which saw 1500 people take part in a daring act of civil disobedience to shut down Europe’s biggest source of CO2 emissions. On the urgency at hand, Hannah Eichberger from this grassroots anti-coal alliance said: “It’s time now for a grassroots energy transition that does not only exchange one source of energy for the other but that tackles the root causes of natural destruction and social injustice: corporate power.”

The struggles against the fossil fuel industry and the environmental, social, economic and political destruction they’ve wielded has been underway across regions for many years.

"Fossil fuels have brought horrendous pollutions to the Niger Delta alongside unimaginable human rights abuses while severely harming communities, said Nnimmo Bassey, Nigerian activist from the Health of Mother Earth Foundation, “We cannot allow fossil fuel addicts to burn the planet. The time for the shift is now. No one will set us free. We must break free ourselves, now" he added.

These peaceful worldwide mobilisations taking place in May serve as an important point in the climate movement’s trajectory to increase pressure on the fossil fuel industry. The global struggle to finally break free from fossil fuels will continue making this a struggle the world cannot ignore.

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CONTACTS

NOTES TO EDITORS

[1] For more information visit: breakfree2016.org

[2] Highlights from some of the planned actions across 6 continents include:

Germany: Last year 1500 people entered the pit of a lignite coal mine in the Rhineland, and in May hundreds more are coming to Lusatia, where local communities have struggled against mining and resettlement for years. There they will engage in civil disobedience to stop the digging in one of Europe’s biggest open-pit lignite mines, which the Swedish company Vattenfall has put up for sale. The action will show any future buyer that all coal development will face resistance, and demonstrate the movement’s commitment to a different kind of energy system that prioritizes people and the planet over corporate power and profit.

Nigeria: In the Niger Delta actions will be held in 3 iconic locations that epitomise the decades old despoiling of the region. The actions will show clearly that Nigeria, nay Africa, is better off without the polluting activities of the fossil industry. They will also underscore the fact that people's action remains the viable way to save the planet from mankind's addiction to fossil fuels.

Turkey: community leaders in the Izmir region will confront the illegal tactics behind the coal industry’s plan to build 4 more dirty coal plants near their homes, in addition to the one operating illegally. They will gather at the gates of a massive, growing spoils mountain used by nearby coal plants against a court order to dispose of dangerous waste from the burning of dirty coal. This action will unite several fights against individual coal plants into a unified stance against the current Turkish government’s plan to dramatically expand the use of coal in the country.

Australia: As an election approaches, climate activists will bring the country’s growing climate movement to the world’s largest coal port in Newcastle, and demonstrate their resolve to both make the climate a key issue in the coming election, and their determination to continue resisting coal no matter who is in the Prime Minister’s chair.

Brazil: Indigenous people and climate activists will join hands for four different peaceful actions addressing key parts of the country’s oil and gas infrastructure -- from where the gas is fracked in Indigenous land, to its risky transportation, to where it is burned. The exact details are being kept confidential, but thousands of participants are expected across more than a week of action in all areas of the country.

United States: Activists are targeting 5 key areas of fossil fuel development: new tar sands pipelines in the Midwest with an action near Chicago; fracking in the Mountain West with an event outside Denver; ‘bomb trains’ carrying fracked oil and gas to a port in Albany, NY; Shell’s devastating refinery pollution north of Seattle; and dangerous oil and gas drilling in Los Angeles. These diverse actions will all escalate critical local campaigns that target the unjust practices of the fossil fuel industry that burdened the poor and people of color with the bulk of the industry’s pollution.

[3] About CAN:

The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 1,000 Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) from over 110 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org  

CAN contact: Mark Raven, CAN International, email: mraven@climatenetwork.org, phone: +90 53626 88406 or +44 7841474125

World sees biggest ever climate marches ahead of Paris Climate Summit

 

UPDATE - Numbers have been revised to be 785,000 - meaning the world saw its biggest ever climate mobilisations this weekend.

Sunday November 29, 2015 - Worldwide: On the eve of the Paris Climate Summit, over 570,000 people around the world took to the streets over the weekend for the record-breaking Global Climate March to urge leaders to scale up action on climate change to achieve 100% renewable energy, eliminate poverty and protect people from worsening climate impacts.

This number of 570,000 is still provisional and could rise further with big marches in Mexico City, Ottawa and Vancouver still to come in later today. These events came despite the Paris event, where 400,000 were expected to march today, being cancelled.

People joined in more than 2300 events across 175 countries. Coming from all walks of life, people from affected communities, development organisations, climate movements, the young and old, people of faith, indigenous people, trade unionists and many more marched together.

In Paris, 22,000 pairs of shoes - including that of Pope Francis and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, were placed at Place de la Republique, on behalf of the 400,000 people who were expected to have marched if possible. Afterwards, 10,000 people held hands in solidarity with frontline communities affected by climate change.

The marchers demonstrated that tackling climate change affects so many of life’s essentials, from equality and poverty, food and energy, to water, jobs, safety and human rights. Support for scaling up climate action has never been higher, and world leaders cannot ignore these calls. Doing so would place them firmly on the wrong side of history.

Highlights of the Global Day of Action:

  • Records were broken in more than 10 countries which saw their biggest-ever climate marches with Australia (140,000, including 60,000 in Melbourne), India (140,000) New Zealand (33,000), Bangladesh, Britain (over 50,000 in London), Italy (over 20,000 in Rome), Spain (over 20,000 in Madrid), Denmark (over 10,000 in Copenhagen), Greece (over 3,000 in Athens), Switzerland (over 5,000 in Geneva), and Austria (over 2,000 in Vienna).
  • Events took place in countries as diverse as Mongolia, Saudi Arabia and Samoa took part. A march took place in Sanaa, Yemen, despite bombs falling close to the start of the march; nuns marched in South Korea; there were powerful marches in the the Pacific islands -- New Caledonia and the Marshall Islands. People marched in cities in Senegal, the Gambia, Cote d'Ivoire, and Nigeria; and in Kenya, there was a march across the Equator.
  • The UN Climate Summit in Paris (30 Nov-11 Dec) is an opportunity for over 190 countries to build a platform, which scales up the just transition away from fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy for all, and provides adequate support for those affected by climate impacts.
  • Climate change is already harming communities all around the world and a further one hundred million people could be forced into poverty if we do not rapidly scale up climate action.
  • We have the solutions to tackle the problem - frontline communities, cities and businesses are leading the way in harnessing the benefits of renewable energy and boosting the resilience of vulnerable communities. Now it is time for governments to listen to the people on the streets and step up.
  • A strong, diverse coalition of groups supporting climate action will be in Paris during the Climate Summit to continue to maintain pressure on governments to deliver an ambitious agreement.

Organisations participating in the marches made the following comments:

Kelly Dent, climate change lead, Oxfam

The voices of people all around the world calling for climate action are echoing in the streets of Paris and must now ring in the ears of world leaders meeting at the summit tomorrow. Millions of people have shown they expect the best possible climate deal for the world's poorest people already hit hardest. For the future of us all, world leaders must aim high and deliver.

Hoda Baraka, global communications manager, 350.org

In Paris, we joined hands today against climate change and violence. People here and hundreds of thousands who are taking part in climate marches worldwide, have a clear message for world leaders: keep fossil fuels in the ground and finance a just transition to 100% renewable energy.

Kumi Naidoo, executive director of Greenpeace

Across five continents, people have taken to the streets to demand that we change the way we power our world. In towns and cities across the globe, people have called for political leadership on climate change. They want a climate deal that keeps temperature rises in the safe zone, that calls time on the fossil fuel era, and that sets us on a course towards 100% renewable energy by the middle of the century. If in two weeks we have that, then Paris will have delivered an historic agreement. The people have marched, and we’ll be keeping up the pressure over the coming fortnight, but now it’s over to the politicians.

Mohamed Adow, Senior Climate Advisor, Christian Aid

As someone from Kenya, a country which is feeling the impact of climate change, it means a lot to see people from all walks of life, of every colour and creed, speaking with one voice about climate change.  My hope is that the world leaders in Paris tomorrow will hear that voice and deliver a strong outcome. Today's act of solidarity is on an unprecedented global scale. The numbers of marchers in places not known for climate change activism shows the scale of the international demand for political action.

Liam Upson, activist, UKYCC

We joined the March to tell heads of state that they're negotiating our future and they must do more. We demand a clear, fair future.

Amitabh Behar, national anchor, action/2015 India

Addressing climate change, and ending poverty and inequalities are two sides of the same coin. We cannot deliver sustainable development without tackling climate change, and we cannot tackle climate change without addressing the root causes of poverty, inequality and unsustainable development patterns. If leaders want to fully implement the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals, aimed at tackling inequality and ending poverty within a generation, they will need to adopt and implement a transformative agenda at the COP21.

Isaac Kabongo, chairperson, Climate Action Network Uganda

We the citizens of Uganda we have demonstrated our will and commitment to tackling the challenge of climate change, Government of Uganda and the developed countries should provide leadership, Resources and policy guides on the implementation of the commitment.

Safa’ al Jayoussi Head of Climate & Energy Campaigns at IndyACT

The marchers on the streets in Beirut and Cairo show that the Arabs do care about climate change and it is in their agenda as our region is also very vulnerable and we are already having extreme weather events. The mobilization is a call from our people for the leaders in  COP21 to sign a binding agreement that is fair for all.

Stephen Brown, European Director at Global Citizen, speaking from Paris

Poverty and climate change are inextricably linked and as extreme climate worsens it is the poorest of our communities that will be hit the hardest - unacceptable when they are the least to blame. If we don't tackle climate change now, we will undermine all the incredible progress we have already made in eradicating poverty. This weekend hundreds of thousands of people, including many in vulnerable communities, have taken to the streets around the world calling on governments attending COP21 to take urgent action. World leaders must respond to this huge outcry by delivering a bold new international agreement to tackle climate change

Henda Gandamanah, action/2015 coordinator in Indonesia, speaking from the march in Jakarta

Climate change is already a reality for us, we are feeling the impacts every day and we are suffering now. From severe floods to droughts, people are already losing their lives and their livelihoods. We have been marching because we want to send a message to leaders meeting at COP21. They must hear our message loud and clear; our lives matter. They must act now for all of our futures, before it is too late.

Kirsty McNeil, Director of Campaigns at Save the Children, a member of action/2015 attending the London Climate March

Children are on the frontline of climate change. In the world’s poorest countries they are already feeling the effects of climate change, despite being least responsible for its causes. This weekend, as part of the Global Climate March, hundreds and thousands of people, including many children and young people, have called for urgent action to fight climate change. When leaders meet in Paris this week they must remember that the decisions they will take now will affect generations to come. Now is the time for a strong deal for climate action.

Media Contacts:

Ria Voorhaar, rvoorhaar@climatenetwork.org, mobile: +49 157 3173 5568

Related Event: 

Update: Find out the latest in the May and June Global climate mobilisations

This May and June, youth and faith leaders, along with members of labour, development and justice organisations around the world are calling for the just transformation to a world powered by 100% renewable energy to address our biggest problems - climate change, social inequality, unemployment and poverty.

To sign up for upcoming events check out this website and to see our favourite photos from actions so far check out our flickr album.


17 June

As we wait for the Pope to call for climate action it is a good moment to round-up some of the actions that people are already taking to tell leaders it is time to rapidly scale up the just transition to a fossil free world powered by 100% renewable energy. It has been an amazing 3 weeks of mobilisation, involving thousands of people of all ages, from all movements and across almost all continents.

Today is no exception, with thousands of people gathering outside the British Parliament to lobby their MP’s, telling them they need to step up national and international efforts to tackle climate change in order to save all that we love. Over the weekend Oxfam arranged colourful, musical rallies in South Africa and across the region calling for more support to strengthen women food producers and to make their communities resilient to climate change. In Seattle, USA days of protests against Arctic oil drilling, that included grannies chaining themselves in a blockade, culminated in a dramatic sea-borne direct action in which hundreds of ‘kayaktavists’ blocked Shell’s Arctic-bound oil rig from leaving port.

In the last few days people on both sides of the Atlantic raised their voices against fossil fuel ties to art institutions. A group of protestors handed over a petition with more than 400,000 signatories calling to the Smithsonian Museum, USA calling for an end to its financial association with the Koch Brothers, two billionaires who fund climate change denial. The Royal Opera House and Tate Modern, both in the UK, were hit by protests calling out their financial ties to BP.

Their message is in tune with the 224,000 people whose petition, calling on “big polluters” to be barred from COP21, was handed over to the UN organisers last week. Fossil fuel pressure groups shouldn’t hold a stake in today’s culture and certainly not in our renewable energy future. We found out last week that nearly two-thirds of people believe that negotiators at these key UN climate talks in December should do “whatever it takes” to limit global warming below a 2C rise and secure this future. The call to governments is growing so loud, it can even be heard in space...

More Highlights

  • Kayaktavists blockade Shell’s Arctic-bound Oil Rig in Seattle (video)
  • Pan-Africa rally for Women, Food and Climate
  • Climate protest at London’s Tate Modern over BP sponsorship
  • Climate protests at London’s Royal Opera House over BP sponsorship
  • Climate protest at Washington D.C’s Smithsonian over links to Koch Brothers
  • Anti-coal protest at UN climate talks in Bonn
  • Stunts for climate justice at UN climate talks in Bonn

7 June 2015

What a weekend! Protesters in Europe and beyond turned up the heat on the G7 leaders. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday thousands of people took to the streets, calling for the leaders of the richest countries in the world to take action on climate change, to boost development, human rights, equality and health. We know that G7 countries could unlock massive benefits for citizens, like improved public health and more jobs, by supporting a fossil fuel phase out, 100% renewable energy and climate finance.

In the Philippines local and global NGOs stood side by side to petition the UN Commission on Human Rights, calling on them to investigate major carbon polluters for human rights violations, that have or will result from the impact of climate change. On the other side of the planet, in the USA, 5000 people marched against tar sands and demonstrated their solidarity with indigenous communities impacted by this dirty industry.

People continue to make their voices heard as G7 leaders prepare to close their Summit and countries prepare for the final week of UN climate negotiations in Bonn.

More Highlights

  • Oxfam put the G7 leaders on the spot flagging how coal is the leading driver of climate change and how it is linked to poverty
  • Avaaz targeted the German Chancellor Angela Merkel featuring a full page in the Financial Times calling on Merkel to be a Green superhero at the G7
  • 5000 people took part in the Tar Sands rally in US against tar sands and in solidarity with indigenous communities
  • In the Philippines a Petition was launched seeking public support asking the Commission on Human Rights to investigate the big carbon polluters for human rights violations that have or will result from the impact of climate change.
  • Greenpeace youth activists called on Angela Merkel to #EndCoal at a church congress in Stuttgart
  • The 6 months global Peoples pilgrimage was launched in Vanatua

5 June 2015

This week we have seen amazing activities all over the world with people turning up the heat on government and business leaders as UN negotiations in Bonn unfold and the G7 summit approaches this weekend. It is evident that the many people-induced political earthquakes are merging into a seismic shift that world leaders cannot ignore. Leaders turning a blind eye on people across the globe, across demographics and across movements  - all calling for a just transformation to a world powered by 100% renewable energy – simply isn´t an option.

Today we all received the amazing news that Norway is divesting its $900 billion dollar sovereign wealth fund from dirty coal - a great example that shows what people power can achieve. Also in Norway, unions lobbied for more climate action in a week of relentless campaigning that has seen unions from Brazil to Bangladesh rally under the banner “no jobs on a dead planet”.

We have seen a women´s climate justice mobilisation in the US, while Avaaz and actor Mark Ruffalo pushed their global petition calling on Angela Merkel and G7 other leaders to ditch fossil fuels and go 100% clean - this has gathered the support of 2.7 million people.

Thousands of people protested against coal expansion in the Philippines, coinciding with a WWF rally in Germany, calling for G7 leaders to be strong on climate and go 100% renewable. Today Alternatiba very nicely kicked off the weekend by embarking on their 5000 km Climate Ride. On avance!

More Highlights

  • Thousands in protest against coal in Atimonan, Philippines
  • Rally in Germany calling for G7 leaders to be strong on climate and go 100% renewable
  • Unions have rallied for climate action in countries around the world including: Germany, Spain, Brazil, Bangladesh and Australia (more here)
  • Groups gather in Germany for alternative G7 Summit
  • In the US a women´s climate justice mobilisation took place
  • Alternatiba 5000 km Climate Ride kicked of
  • Avaaz and actor Mark Ruffalo pushed their petition for Angela Merkel and G7 leaders to ditch fossil fuels and go 100% clean
  • Online actions against finance for coal and weak country efforts at the UN climate negotiations.

1 June 2015

Yesterday and today we witnessed a surge of mobilisations, following actions in 30 countries on Saturday, as a fresh wave of people joined the call for a just transformation away from a world hooked on fossil fuels to one powered by 100% renewable energy - to address climate change, social inequality, unemployment and poverty. As momentum gathers it’s no wonder fossil fuel firms are running scared.

1000 people in Senegal rallied together for the country’s first ever climate march, calling for an end to dirty energy. The fossil fuel industry was also the target for a number of successful actions in the UK where a coal conference was shut down, among other disruptions. The coal industry also came under pressure from people in 60 cities calling for host Angela Merkel to push the world’s richest countries to quit coal at the G7 Summit.

Another political arena placed under the spotlight was the UN climate negotiations in Bonn, where trade union delegates under the “No jobs on a dead planet” theme handed in their demands for the global climate agreement due to be forged in Paris in December. They are calling for a climate agreement that phases out fossil fuel emissions and unlocks clean, secure jobs in renewable energy. Unions have started to mobilise for a week of action, to push these demands in capital cities around the world.

Over the weekend the Brazilian cities of Brasilia, Recife, Manaus, Salvador, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Porto Alegre saw people asking for 100% renewables and the end of tropical forests deforestation.

Check out this great video from Greenpeace which shows some of the many activities over the weekend. 

More Highlights

  • In Senegal 1000 people took to the streets for the nation’s first ever climate march
  • In the UK there were a series of successful direct actions that included the closure of a coal conference and the blockade of RWE Npower Headquarters (more actions here)
  • In Bonn, Germany and capital cities around the world trade unions kicked off a global week of action for climate justice
  • In Germany there were events in more than 60 cities calling on Angela Merkel to push for the G7 countries to quit coal
  • In Argentina people said NO to fossil fuels and YES to renewable energy
  • In Kenya people gathered to discuss and plan for climate justice
  • In France the 1000 climate actions continued to unfold with numerous rallies, events and meetings across the country.
  • In Belgium people ran 20 kilometers for the climate, not to be beaten, three people in Tasmania ran 160 kilometers to raise awareness of the need for urgent climate action
  • At Lake Geneva people held a watery stunt to call for climate action
  • In Brazil, volunteers from Brasilia, Recife, Manaus, Salvador, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Porto Alegre saw people asking for 100% renewables and the end of tropical forests deforestation.

30 May 2015

Today people in more than 30 countries mobilised to rally against fossil fuels, call for 100% renewable energy and tell leaders that they want bold climate action now.

In Germany people called for Chancellor Merkel to show climate leadership and phase-out coal, in the Philippines faith groups rallied for 100% renewable energy, in Nigeria youth groups challenged the incoming President to take climate action, in Japan people supported a petition for solar power, and in Indonesia groups rallied in the streets calling on their government to ditch dirty energy. To mention a few.

More Highlights

  • In Thailand people took to the parks to call for 100% renewable energy
  • In the Netherlands people buried their heads in the sand to protest against poor climate leadership
  • In France there were direct actions against Total, bike rides for climate action, events to promote climate solutions and faith group rallies
  • In Romania there were protests against deforestation and fossil fuel projects
  • In the UK the Climate Camp outside Didcot Power Station continued and there were actions against finance for fossil fuels
  • In the Philippines there were anti-coal protests with Catholic groups saying no to coal and yes to 100% renwewable energy
  • In Hungary there was a visual stunt against nuclear power
  • In Jordan people rallied for renewable energy
  • In Europe health groups petitioned Germany to phase out fossil fuels

29 May 2015

Today people around the world took part in a range of actions, across cities and open fields, the first in a flotilla of mobilisations that will continue to launch into the month June. We witnessed people pitching climate camps outside dirty power stations and rallying outside fossil fuel company AGMs - tomorrow many more will join in the action. As climate impacts strike, we encourage you to support these actions and help amplify the joint call for urgent climate action.

More Highlights

  • Climate camp at Didcot power plant - people gathering to say no to fossil fuels (http://www.nodashforgas.org.uk/)
  • Protest at Total AGM - people gathering to protest fossil fuel influence

Remember you can provide input suggestions and ask for help anytime by contacting  Lasse Galvani Bruun (lbruun@climatenetwork.org) and Mark Raven (mraven@climatenetwork.org).

For more information, please contact Lasse Galvani Bruun:

lbruun@climatenetwork.org | Skype: bruun.lasse | +55 11 99909 4046

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