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Updated: 21 hours 27 min ago

Stop Line 3, Stop Big Oil

May 21, 2018 - 9:11pm

On Friday, more than 500 people gathered and marched in St. Paul, Minnesota with chants of “Water is Life” and “Stop Line 3.” We stood together for the land. We spoke as one for the water. We demanded bold action on climate change. We honored the treaties. And we asked Minnesota’s elected officials to do the same and reject Enbridge’s dangerous Line 3 pipeline.

The Line 3 pipeline would ship more than 760,000 barrels of dirty tar sands oil across Minnesota waterways and through Anishinaabe treaty lands every day. It would violate treaty rights, endanger Minnesotan livelihoods and threaten water systems—including the Great Lakes, source of one-fifth of the world’s fresh drinking water.

Minnesota’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has the power to approve or deny the Line 3 tar sands pipelineand they’re going to make their final recommendation this June. If they don’t hear from us, the PUC may not do the right thing and stop this hazardous project.

If you’re in the area, you can speak out against Enbridge and Line 3 at PUC meetings June 18-19 and 26-27.

Photo Credit: Fibonacci Blue

From Standing Rock to St. Paul, the fossil fuel industry is playing dirty. But together, we are fighting back for what is undoubtedly right: clean drinking water, Indigenous rights and a safe climate.

We can beat Big Oil here on Anishinaabe and Dakota territory in Minnesota. Line 3 is such a bad idea that even the Minnesota Department of Commerce—a government agency that has never taken a public stance against a pipeline before—recommended the state reject the project. Turns out those jobs and economic benefits Big Oil promises are nothing but talk.

As we strike down oily fictions and stand up for a just transition to clean and renewable energy here in Minnesota, we are also holding hands with Indigenous communities fighting tar sands mega-projects across North America: the TransMountain pipeline in British Columbia and the Keystone XL pipeline in South Dakota, Montana and Nebraska.

You are part of this historic fight. Sign-up to join or host an action as we rise for climate justice on September 8.

Categories: International News

Building a clean Indonesia, together

May 16, 2018 - 4:33am

Categories: International News

There Is No Climate Justice If The Poor Are Left Behind

May 15, 2018 - 10:14am

350.org recently endorsed the Poor People’s Campaign (PPC). The PPC is about drawing attention to the systemic inequalities poor people face, uniting them to challenge systems of oppression like racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation and changing the narrative around poverty. The PPC launched on May 14th with a set of nonviolent direct actions, in which our Executive Director, May Boeve, participated. Those actions will continue for 40 days including the week of June 3-9th which will focus on the Right to Health and a Healthy Planet.

Poor People’s Campaign actions are happening all around the country. Sign up here to participate in one near you.

Photo Credit: Poor People’s Campaign, May 14, 2018

Personally, 350’s endorsement of PPC means a lot to me. Two years ago, just before I began working for 350.org, my Latino family went through really tough economic hardship. Both my partner and myself were unemployed. We went from being a lower middle class family to living on food stamps on the brink of losing our home. Watching my daughter live through the type of poverty and hardship I was accustomed to as a child was almost paralyzing. The anxiety and overwhelming feeling of helplessness that it brought to me was only outsized by the feeling of guilt I had for not being able to prevent her from also experiencing poverty.

I have experienced poverty throughout my life. Because of this experience, I believe the climate justice movement has the potential to create system wide changes that will ripple through existing systems of oppression — and break them. I’m originally from Guatemala, a country where more than half of the population lives under the global poverty line. To put it in perspective: that’s living on $1.90 US a day or less!

I didn’t spend all of my life in Guatemala. My family fled to Canada in the 1980’s. We left Guatemala because of the civil war, funded by US military intervention. Right-wing military dictatorships committed genocide against indigenous peoples, destroyed social movements, and deepened inequality. More resources and money were spent on the war economy than on the wellbeing of Guatemalans. The war made life impossible for us; to survive we left everything we knew.

The lasting effects of that civil war mean the few in power continue to maintain that stronghold, and the wealth that comes with it. The wealthiest 1% of Guatemalans own or control 65% of the wealth. Despite the fact that Guatemala has always been at the economic mercy of foreign powers, like the US and Spain, poverty in the country is linked to certain myths: including the idea that Indigenous and Black people are lazy, that our culture somehow prevents us from advancing in life, and that with just a little grit everyone can have a better future. Sound familiar?

If it does, it’s because many of the same poverty myths pervade the United States and Canada, two countries where I’ve experienced poverty. In Canada, I thought much of my experience deeply entrenched in poverty was because a refugee family of five led by a single dad, with only a grade 6 education, had many hurdles stacked against it. What I’ve learned as I’ve become more educated is that poverty isn’t a necessary evil. Families who face inequity and deep challenges can overcome those if there are welfare nets that both sustain families when they experience shocks, and that uplift them when they get caught in a circle of poverty. Poverty exists because the status-quo economic systems make it acceptable for the few to hoard the largest amount of wealth while the masses can barely get by. Currently in Canada the top 20% of Canadians own over 67% of the wealth and this gap continues to increase.

Life in Canada wasn’t easy, but my dad instilled the importance of education and working hard in all of us. In my experience, and in the experience of many working-class families, that idea means nothing when you are only one season of unemployment away from living under the poverty line, or have difficulty finding work in your own field.

We deserve better than a system that condemns so many people to poverty so a few can enjoy the privileges of wealth. Take a stand with the Poor People’s Campaign to change the conversation on poverty and push for real policy solutions.

Photo Credit: Natalia Cardona, Poor People’s Campaign launch May 14, 2018

In the US, my experience of poverty has been different, yet the same. How is it that my family went from being seemingly lower middle class to living under the poverty line? Simple: we have no wealth. We don’t come from wealth, and when we lost our jobs we lost our only source of income. Jobs with good wages and benefits in our field were scarce and hard to access. We ended up spending a year and a half looking for work and taking what we could get. In that time our unemployment benefits ran out, as did the little savings we had. It’s no coincidence that African Americans and Latinos are often in much more precarious financial situations than white Americans. In the United States, the unemployment rates for African Americans and Latinos have always been higher than the unemployment rate for whites.  

At a time when poverty within countries is increasing, the United States’ huge wealth gap means 10% of the richest families own 3/4 of wealth — this is deeply segmented along racial lines. Add to this, the fact that existing welfare programs in the US do not put people above or on the poverty line. For our family of three, the federal poverty level is $20,780. We actually survived under that for the better part of a year and a half. After this experience of economic hardship and trauma, we are both gainfully employed and back on our feet more or less. It never escapes me that we are only another job loss away from ending up under the poverty line.

For those of us, like me, who were born in poverty and are part of the climate movement, the struggle is not just to save the planet – it’s to save ourselves from systems of oppression that allow a few to hoard wealth while the rest struggle to survive. For me, the climate justice movement has the most potential to have a system wide effect to not only care for the planet and move away from dirty energy, but also to make sure the fossil free transition is a just one for workers and communities. It’s my hope that this transition would not only move us away from fossil fuels, but also to a more equal society that dismantles systems of oppression which sustain the dirty fuel economy and the current capitalist system.

Categories: International News

The Mayor has got to choose

May 14, 2018 - 6:22am

Last week, activists from Fossil Free Ghent visited the AGM of Fluxys in Belgium with a message about the company’s role in building a new gas pipeline.

Local organiser from No TAP Ghent Ewoud Vandepitte explains why:

Tomorrow’s society is financed by investment decisions today. If you want to know how our politicians feel about our energy system in 2050, you’re better off taking a look at the financial plans they vote on, rather than the climate agreements they sign up to. Let’s follow the money.

Unfortunately the money our politicians manage doesn’t always walk the way they talk. Case in point: Daniël Termont – the Mayor of Ghent in Belgium.

Termont is known all over Ghent as the man who wants to make the city carbon neutral. Less well known is the fact that he, as the president of the municipally-owned company Fluxys, is building a pipeline which is supposed to supply Europe with gas from Azerbaijan (the TAP, or Trans-Adriatic Pipeline). Going carbon neutral and building new gas mega pipelines are contradictory aims. Here’s why.

Gas is not green.

If we take global warming seriously we need to end our reliance on gas. Despite the greenwash proclaiming gas as “cleaner than coal”, it’s still a fossil fuel. The methane in ‘natural gas’ is even 34 times more potent a greenhouse gas than CO2 on a 100-year timescale. In the first 20 years, it’s even 86 times more potent. Taking into account that impact of methane, fossil gas is not an improvement compared to coal. New fossil gas infrastructure threatens to lock us into another generation of greenhouse gas emissions we cannot afford to emit.

A project like TAP costs billions of euros and is being financed by the European Investment Bank (among others) as well as Fluxys – in which Flemish municipalities have a lot of their money. If Fluxys builds TAP and wants to see a return on the investment of Flemish public money, we become financially tied to that gas infrastructure for 30 years or more. This comes at a moment that we need less to be burning less fossil gas, not more.

Democracy and energy independence

By building TAP, we’ll be financing dubious political regimes abroad. According to TAP’s supporters, the new pipeline will decrease our reliance on Russian gas – but who will we be reliant on instead? The TAP is the final section of the Southern Gas Corridor, which begins in dictatorial Azerbaijan, where opposition journalists have been imprisoned and other human rights abuses have been documented at the hands of President Ilham Aliyev’s regime. Gas revenues keep Aliyev in power. The pipeline then passes through the increasingly authoritarian Turkey before it arrives in Europe.


Source: TAP website

Many MEPs have argued their support for TAP is based on the need for energy independence from Russia. However, it is likely that Russian gas could end up flowing through the Southern Gas Corridor regardless – which significantly undermines one of the key geo-political arguments behind the project.

A useless mega-project and stranded asset?

Third reason: the project risks the same fate as the ‘Doel dock’. Finished in 1991, it’s never seen a ship, because the petrochemical sector expanded less than planned. TAP risks being underused as well. The current gas use in Europe is half of its maximum capacity. According to predictions by the European Commission, we’ll use even less gas in the future. What’s the reason for this huge new wave of gas infrastructure projects including 96 which have Project of Common Interest status? It’s about continuing a business model that keeps the fossil fuels companies afloat.

Carbon neutral Ghent

Can Ghent become carbon neutral by 2050 and at the same time invest through Fluxys in a project to pump fossil fuels from a dictatorial regime? Global warming is a global problem and Termont can’t content himself with sweeping his own front door only. A carbon neutral economy at home is contradicted if at the same time our money keeps financing climate change and oppression abroad. Termont’s got to choose: carbon neutral Ghent or the TAP. There’s no in-between.

Want to hold your local leaders accountable? Find a #FossilFree campaign near you or start your own using the platform.

 

Categories: International News

Africa uniting forces to challenge the fossil industry on May 25

May 11, 2018 - 4:46am

Coal plant bi dou fi takke. This is the slogan hammered by the community in Bargny, a village located 30 km south from Dakar that the 350 Africa team recently met on the site where Senegal’s first coal plant has just been built.

Coal plant bi dou fi takke means ‘the coal-fired power plant will not get launched here’. The completion of the plant did not affect the determination of the Bargny and Sendou communities who continue to oppose this project.

In Senegal as in Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria and Mozambique where governments seem to be fond of coal-fired power stations, we are hearing and seeing this same strong feeling of resistance and opposition from communities, local groups, and civil society in general. Collectively, they denounce the so-called energy projects with disastrous social, health and environmental impacts.

Conscious of this fierce opposition from communities against the proliferation of coal-fired power plants on the continent, 350 Africa in collaboration with these same communities and regional partners is organising a Regional Day of Action called “Break Free from Fossil Fuels” on May 25.

 

 

On that day, communities, civil society groups and other activists will organise various mobilisation actions – from street walks to the community forums, field visits to affected sites,  exhibitions and press conferences – all of them united by the same message : No to fossil fuels in Africa, targeting the existing and proposed fossil fuel projects on the continent.

Now more than ever, the time has come for Africa and its people to reject this type of obsolete energy, which is being phased out across the world. It is unanimously recognised for its major contribution to the ongoing climate crisis. Being the most vulnerable continent to climate impacts, it is inconceivable to consider a polluting, destructive and obsolete energy model in the name of development in Africa.

No, Africa does not need fossil fuels to meet its growing demand for energy. Africa has a wide range of renewable resources that can be used to boost its economy. This is the message that African activists are going to convey to their local and national leaders, as well as to international institutions like the African Development Bank that continues to fund coal projects on the continent.

The registration of events for Break Free from Fossil Fuels 2018 has already started and is still going on. We encourage you to register yours as soon as possible. It doesn’t matter at this stage if you don’t have a clear idea or plan in place – register your action and we’ll help you with the restWe’ll encourage and help you plan powerful, public actions that pull the mask of respectability off the fossil fuel industry.

Categories: International News

Africa uniting forces to challenge the fossil industry on May 25

May 11, 2018 - 4:41am

Coal plant bi dou fi takke. This is the slogan hammered by the community in Bargny, a village located 30 km south from Dakar that the 350 Africa team recently met on the site where Senegal’s first coal plant has just been built.

Coal plant bi dou fi takke means ‘the coal-fired power plant will not get launched here’. The completion of the plant did not affect the determination of the Bargny and Sendou communities who continue to oppose this project.

In Senegal as in Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria and Mozambique where governments seem to be fond of coal-fired power stations, we are hearing and seeing this same strong feeling of resistance and opposition from communities, local groups, and civil society in general. Collectively, they denounce the so-called energy projects with disastrous social, health and environmental impacts.

Conscious of this fierce opposition from communities against the proliferation of coal-fired power plants on the continent, 350 Africa in collaboration with these same communities and regional partners is organising a Regional Day of Action called “Break Free from Fossil Fuels” on May 25.

 

 

On that day, communities, civil society groups and other activists will organise various mobilisation actions – from street walks to the community forums, field visits to affected sites,  exhibitions and press conferences – all of them united by the same message : No to fossil fuels in Africa, targeting the existing and proposed fossil fuel projects on the continent.

Now more than ever, the time has come for Africa and its people to reject this type of obsolete energy, which is being phased out across the world. It is unanimously recognised for its major contribution to the ongoing climate crisis. Being the most vulnerable continent to climate impacts, it is inconceivable to consider a polluting, destructive and obsolete energy model in the name of development in Africa.

No, Africa does not need fossil fuels to meet its growing demand for energy. Africa has a wide range of renewable resources that can be used to boost its economy. This is the message that African activists are going to convey to their local and national leaders, as well as to international institutions like the African Development Bank that continues to fund coal projects on the continent.

The registration of events for Break Free from Fossil Fuels 2018 has already started and is still going on. We encourage you to register yours as soon as possible. It doesn’t matter at this stage if you don’t have a clear idea or plan in place – register your action and we’ll help you with the restWe’ll encourage and help you plan powerful, public actions that pull the mask of respectability off the fossil fuel industry.

Categories: International News

7 iconic fights to keep fossil fuels in the ground

May 10, 2018 - 6:00am

Despite the urgent climate crisis, fossil fuel companies and their financiers are still supporting new projects to extract, transport, and burn coal, oil, and gas. These projects don’t just threaten the communities in their path: they also lock us into fossil fuels for decades to come at exactly the time we need to stop.  When you’re in a hole, stop digging!

The fossil fuel industry is global – but luckily resistance is too. Here are 7 of the fights going on right now to keep it in the ground, and how you can help.

Kinder Morgan

In the west of Canada, people power on the frontlines – and actions of solidarity from around Canada and the world – has put the breaks on plans for an expansion of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline. On March 10th, the largest mobilization yet against Kinder Morgan took place, with 10,000 people taking the street in Burnaby, Canada. They took action in solidarity with Indigenous leaders who built a a “Watch House” – a traditional structure used by the Coast Salish Indigenous peoples for generations to watch over their enemies – on the pipeline’s path on Burnaby Mountain.

Since then, more than 200 arrests have taken place at the pipeline terminal facility on Burnaby Mountain, with Indigenous activists, students, grandparents, and many others — including 2 sitting members of parliament, standing up to take bold action to protect the land, water and climate from Kinder Morgan.

WATCH: here's what eight days of bold action to #StopKM & 170+ arrests look like. #ProtectTheInlet pic.twitter.com/pZUV19odoW

— Greenpeace Canada (@GreenpeaceCA) March 25, 2018

This outpouring of action forced Kinder Morgan to lose investor confidence and subsequently halt work on the pipeline. The company has now set a deadline of May 31st to determine the fate of the pipeline — and things don’t look too sunny for the project with even the CEO saying it’s likely an “untenable” endeavour. But PM Justin Trudeau is offering up billions in public funding to fill the gap, to force the pipeline through at whatever cost, despite opposition from Indigenous communities and the provincial government in British Columbia.

People across Canada find that to be unacceptable — that’s why communities across the country are standing up to reject Trudeau’s multi-billion dollar bail out of the pipeline and show the Trudeau government the massive political risk of building this pipeline.

If you’re in Canada, you can find an action close to you — or signing up to host one in your community — by visiting the People vs Kinder Morgan website.

If you’d like to support from afar, Kinder Morgan has been pushing for criminal contempt charges and a SLAPP suit against the 200 people arrested on Burnaby Mountain. If you are able to, please make a contribution to the legal defence fund for these folks.

Save Lamu

A planned coal plant in Kenya – in a beautiful, UNESCO-protected coastal area – has stoked a climate movement in East Africa and beyond. Lamu plant, which would be the first coal plant on the continent outside of South Africa, poses serious social and environmental threats to local communities. What’s more, it would set Kenya and other African countries a precedent to start developing more coal – a path we simply cannot afford to go down.

Despite deliberate efforts to exclude communities in the public consultations, Save Lamu and its partners continue to challenge its construction, with the support of national and international allies. Communities have raised serious concerns and managed to take these cases to the Kenyan courts, after grassroots large-scale mobilisation and networking that led to the formation of a national anti-coal and a pro-renewable energy movement called deCOALonize.org.

They’re still fighting. On April 30, the high court made a landmark judgment on community rights and the rights of fishermen as regards to development projects. And on May 25, Break Free, a day of coordinated action across Africa will show how the Lamu fight is emblematic of a larger movement brewing, rejecting coal and ensuring it’s replaced by alternative, renewable solutions that can address energy and financial poverty and build more resilient communities.

 

Bayou Bridge

Camp L’eau est la Vie – “Water is Life” in French – is a resistance camp that has been going strong in southern Louisiana since November 2017. It is the site of ongoing resistance to the Bayou Bridge pipeline, which would span 163 miles and cross over 700 bodies of water. The environmental track record of the company behind the project, Energy Transfer Partners, the same company that build the Dakota Access pipeline, is the worst in the country. Combined with the effects of climate change that are already being felt, Louisiana’s wetlands – and the communities that have thrived around them for generations – are under threat.

Thankfully, members of the local community have organized to alert their neighbors to the project, and to oppose its completion. Two months ago, a judge halted construction through a sensitive Atchafalaya Basin, while a lawsuit against the federal permit for the project is underway. Environmental groups are also suing the Army Corps of Engineers, on grounds that it violated the federal Clean Water Act when approving the permit for the pipeline. Construction has continued when the ruling on the injunction remains undecided. Just this week, a Louisiana judge ruled that the state violated state law in issuing a coastal permit for the Bayou Bridge pipeline for failing to consider the health and safety impacts to St. James’ largely Black community.

You can follow along and learn how to support here.

Line 3

Line 3 is a proposed pipeline that would bring crude oil from the Alberta tar sands in Canada to Superior, Wisconsin in the United States. While the company behind the project, Endrige, is trying to label the project a “replacement” pipeline, it would be a massive expansion that would go straight through Indigenous territory, violating treaty rights, and posing an immediate threat to water, land and way of life. This would enable Enbridge to export over 750,000 barrels of oil each year for 30 years – a toll the communities and the climate can simply not afford.

This video from July 2017 breaks it down.

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10 Things Tribal Communities Need to Know About the Line 3 DEIS

Submit your public comment by July 10th: bit.ly/Line3CommentEnbridge wants to abandon their crumbling Line 3 pipeline in our lands and build a new one in a new corridor through our lakes, wild rice beds, and treaty territories. The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Line 3 pipeline attempts to justify why the oil industry’s need to profit is greater than the need of the Anishinaabeg people to survive. These are the 10 ways the Line 3 DEIS has failed to serve tribal communities of Minnesota:1. NO FREE, PRIOR, AND INFORMED CONSENT OF TRIBAL NATIONSEnbridge seems to have learned nothing from Standing Rock. Nowhere does the document say that free prior and informed consent of Tribal Nations must be attained through formal Nation-to-Nation consultation before any plans or decisions are made for this pipeline.The State of Minnesota doesn’t seem to understand the basic concept of tribal sovereignty. The route alternatives compared in the DEIS include two routes, called RA-07 and RA-08, that would cross the Leech Lake and Fond du Lac Reservations, despite the fact that the tribes clearly will not consent to a new pipeline. Enbridge’s “preferred” route would skirt reservations boundaries while still crossing watersheds and lands of 1855 Treaty Territory. This is a clear attempt to circumvent tribal consent. 2. DISREGARD FOR THE HEALTH OF TRIBAL COMMUNITIESChapter 9 of the DEIS acknowledges that impacts on tribal communities “are part of a larger pattern of structural racism” that tribal people face in Minnesota. The DEIS also states that “the impacts associated with the proposed Project and its alternatives would be an additional health stressor on tribal communities that already face overwhelming health disparities and inequities”, but concludes that is "insufficient reason" to deny the project.3. NO CONSULTATION OR PLAN FOR PROTECTING SACRED SITESJust as we saw in North Dakota, the assessment of archeological artifacts were performed by the company, whose best interest is to put the pipeline through their preferred route at any cost. Enbridge admits that 63 sacred sites are slated for destruction, but claims that only 3 are eligible for protection under the National Register of Historic Places (5.4.2.6.1). Pipeline corporations cannot be trusted to understand and implement protections for our numerous sacred sites.4. VIOLATION OF TREATY RIGHTSOjibwe people have Treaty Rights, the rights to hunt, fish, and gather on traditional lands ceded to the U.S. Government. The DEIS acknowledges that “traditional resources are essential to the maintenance and realization of tribal lifeways, and their destruction or damage can have profound cultural consequences.” It also shows that Enbridge’s preferred route would “impact more 1855 Treaty Territory wild rice lakes and areas rich in biodiversity than any of the proposed alternative routes.” These sensitive areas would be the worst place for a tar sands oil spill.5. LINE 3 IS GUARANTEED TO SPILLThe DEIS estimates the annual probability of different kinds of spills on the proposed route:Pinhole leak = 27% (once every 3.7 years)Small Spill = 107% (once every 11 months), Medium = 7.6%, Large = 6.1%Catastrophic = 1.1% (once every 87 years)Basically what this means is that in 50 years, the 1855 treaty territory can expect 14 pinhole leaks, 54 small spills, 4 medium, 3 large, and 1 catastrophic spill. The DEIS also contains no spill analysis for tributaries of the St. Louis River (which is already a toxic superfund site) or Nemadji River, where a spill could decimate our sacred Gichigami, Lake Superior. 6. NO “WELLS TO WHEELS” ASSESSMENT OF IMPACTThere is zero discussion of how Line 3 starts at the sacrifice zone of the Alberta Tar Sands where Dene and Cree people continue to be poisoned, raped, and murdered by the most extreme extraction project in the world. Further, there is no mention of how with 370,000 bpd of additional capacity, Enbridge will need a new pipeline departing its terminal in Superior. We know that they plan to expand pipelines through Ojibwe and Ho-Chunk territories in Wisconsin to accommodate. Finally at the end of the line, refineries are poisoning communities of color. Residents live with fear of kidney failure, autoimmune diseases and cancer and early death due to chemical exposure from massive refineries. This big picture must be considered to truly assess the impacts the Line 3 pipeline.7. NO PLAN TO HOLD ENBRIDGE ACCOUNTABLE Neither the State of Minnesota nor the Federal Government have a plan for enforcing environmental regulations for Line 3. When searching through extensive databases of Enbridge’s spill history, the numbers often disappear once they hit the reservation line. How many spills have already ruptured in our communities without any response or reporting?Many of the DEIS’s environmental impacts and plans for minimizing them are drawn directly from Enbridge’s permit application without any evidence of compliance or genuine consideration that Enbridge won’t follow all the rules. History shows that they continually violate permit conditions. 8. NO PLAN TO STOP SEX TRAFFICKING IN PIPELINE MAN-CAMPSThe DOC assumes “all workers would re-locate to the area” and zero construction jobs will go to Minnesotans. We are all too familiar with how “the addition of a temporary, cash-rich workforce increases the likelihood that sex trafficking or sexual abuse will occur”.But the DEIS dismisses this problem quickly, saying that “Enbridge can prepare and implement an education plan or awareness campaign around this issue” (11.4.1). That is in no way an assurance that our women and children will be any safer come 2018 when construction is slated to begin.9. INADEQUATE ASSESSMENT OF ABANDONMENTEnbridge’s current plan is to cap off the crumbling old Line 3 pipe in sections and leave it in the ground for landowners to take care of, setting a dangerous precedent for future pipelines in Minnesota, including the NEW Line 3. The risks of abandoning pipelines are not adequately assessed in the DEIS. There is no discussion of the dangers of exposed pipe, how fast it will corrode, or how much currently buried pipe will become exposed once it is emptied. These rusting pipes are conduits, and could one day drain a lake or wetland and dump toxified water onto farm fields. What is the plan for cleaning up the contamination from the countless spills that have already occurred along Line 3? There is also no mention of the abandonment of the other 3 ancient pipelines in Enbridge’s existing mainline corridor (Lines 1, 2, and 4), which we expect Enbridge will very soon attempt to follow suit. It should also be known that Enbridge will stop paying taxes to the MN counties along the mainline corridor. For many of these poor northern counties including the Leech Lake and Fond du Lac reservations, revenue from Enbridge’s property tax makes up a significant portion of the county budget.10. THE “NO BUILD” OPTION IS NOT GENUINELY CONSIDEREDThe DEIS includes an option of the “Continued Use of Existing Line 3” (Chapters 3 and 4), but nowhere is the “No Build” Alternative considered. Enbridge already has a massive pipeline corridor leaking across our territories. It is not the responsibility of our communities to continue to sacrifice our waters and lands so the a foreign corporation can maintain their bottom line. When will the is the “Shut Line 3 Down Because It’s Falling Apart and Poisoning Our Communities” option be considered?

Posted by Stop Line 3 on Thursday, June 22, 2017

Resistance has been strong against this pipeline in Canada and the US since 2012, when they originally proposed the project. Recently, on Monday April 23 a judge blocked the preferred route, saying the project should only be approved if 17 conditions are met.

But the fight is by no means over. People on the front lines are gearing up for a big mobilization in Minnesota on May 18-19, open to anyone in the area to join.

 

Fracking in Brazil

In Brazil, a coalition of groups has been mobilizing and resisting fracking in the country since 2012. One of their tactics has been protesting national auctions, where the government facilitates the sale of land to major oil companies so they can extract oil and gas. At the opening of the most recent auction, activists from states across Brazil passionately spoke about the threat that burning more fossil fuels poses to their communities, and the added risk of dangerous extraction techniques like hydraulic fracturing (fracking). Afterwards, no on-land blocks were sold, meaning 3.2 billion barrels equivalent and 1.1 billion tons of carbon dioxide stayed in the ground. The next auction, this time only for offshore blocks, is in June, where they’ll turn up again to keep it in the ground.

The groups are collaborating with indigenous leaders, who in their effort to protect their rights and territories are resisting fracking on their lands. Across Brazil, 380 municipalities have already banned the practice. But the coalition is pushing for a national ban outright, as we see in many other countries around the world. The movement is also stretching into Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay – seeding hope that the practice will eventually banned throughout Latin America.

You can support their efforts by using the hashtag #LeilãoFóssilNão on June 7. International solidarity is an important part of the struggle – showing them the world is watching can make a huge impact.

#NoTAP

The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline, or TAP for short, is part of the Southern Gas Corridor, a mega gas pipeline spanning over 3,000 kilometers. It’d allow gas, a polluting fossil fuel mainly composed of methane, to flow from Azerbaijan into Europe.

Beyond the human rights abuses going on at the source of extraction, the pipeline would cut through seas and hundreds of communities along the route. Across Europe, activists have organized to voice their opposition to a pipeline that is already unnecessary even by current gas supply standards. Communities in Melendugno, San Foca, and Lecce in Italy are leading the resistance, despite heavy police repression. All the local and surrounding mayors have officially came out against the pipeline, but the national government has decided to go ahead with it anyway. In November the police conducted a nighttime raid to round up opponents of the pipeline and allow construction to begin, declaring the area a “red zone”.

What’s more, the European Union via its investment arm, the European Investment Bank, has decided to support the climate-wrecking project. After delaying decisions at several steps, in February they granted their largest ever loan, 1.5 billion euros in public funds. But resistance is by no means over. There are still plenty of other financiers involved to make the pipeline a reality, and opposition is stronger than ever. Here is a message from Elena, from san Foca, to one of the line’s funders, Intensa bank:

 

Stop Adani

The fight to #StopAdani has mobilized tens of thousands across Australia and the world. The proposed Carmichael mega coal mine in Queensland, in Australia’s far northeast, would be the largest in Australia and one of the largest in the world. It would pave the way for more mines to be developed in the currently undeveloped area of the Galilee Basin, with an export path right through the Great Barrier Reef, already irreparably damaged by warming ocean temperatures. The company that wants to build the mine, Indian firm Adani, has a global reputation for tax evasion, human rights abuses and ignoring environmental regulations. The company’s plans to push forward with the mine despite overwhelming public objection ignores efforts by the Wangan and Jagalingou indigenous people, on whose traditional land this mine would be developed. Australia’s major banks and another 24 of the world’s biggest financial institutions, including Bank of China, HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley, have refused to fund the Adani project.

Action at Bondi Beach in Sydney, NSW

 

The #StopAdani campaign has caught on across the country, with more than 160 local groups and everyday people stepping up to take part in the fight. You can help by hosting screenings of a recent documentary about the Adani fight; contacting Australian politicians: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and head of the opposition Bill Shorten at Bill.Shorten.MP@aph.gov.au to demand the mine be stopped, supporting #StopAdani protests and calling on Adani to halt this coal project at Carmichael.project@adani.com.au.

 

Is there a local struggle where you live that’s missing from the list? Join or organize your own campaign by getting started at Go Fossil Free.

Categories: International News

Rise for Climate Action – Join the Webinar

May 4, 2018 - 1:04am

This September, cities, states, businesses and civil society from around the world will be gathering in California for the Global Climate Action Summit.

The Summit has invited every mayor, governor and leader in the world to make a bold climate commitment to help the world reach the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

On May 15, join our web workshop to hear about our plans.

We know what those commitments need to achieve: a fast and fair transition to 100% renewable energy and an immediate end to new fossil fuel projects.

But will they?

On September 8, just before the summit, we’re planning a massive day of action in cities and neighbourhoods around the world to demand our local leaders commit to building a fossil free world that works for all of us.

Rise For Climate Action will be the climate movement’s big moment in 2018. Together we will raise the bar for climate leadership for all our leaders.

On May 15, join our web workshop to find out more about what we have planned and how you can be a part of it.

What: Rise For Climate Action Web Workshop
When: May 15 — 9am GMT, or 8pm GMT
RSVP: At the riseforclimateaction.org website

During the workshop you’ll hear about the inspiring plans for thousands of local events in cities and neighbourhoods worldwide that are already in motion. You’ll learn more about the opportunities this moment presents for our movement and your group’s local campaigning efforts.

Register now to join the Rise For Climate Action web workshop on May 15 and find out how you can be involved.

By acting together, we can end the era of fossil fuels and save the climate we all depend on.

P.S. You don’t need to wait for the web workshop to register your events. You can find out more about this moment and register your action at 350.org/rise.

Categories: International News

Today we celebrate: solidarity to workers around the world on International Labour Day

May 1, 2018 - 7:22am

Today, 1st May, is International Workers’ Day – a celebration of labourers and the working classes. Thanks to trade union and working class resistance – and people putting their bodies on the line – rights such as the 8-hour working day (or less!) have been won in many countries across the world. As people from different corners of the globe take the day off and go to the streets to festively commemorate, today is also the perfect day to learn more about the history of working class movements; how workers have been fighting for a just transition in the face of the climate crisis and continue to do so; and how climate and labour rights are connected. Below we’ve begun collecting a few resources to kick start a learning list, and we’d love to hear your contributions and ideas too. Tweet .@350europe for other resource suggestions, examples from other places of what the just transition looks like, and ideas for how movements and issues can and do connect.

What is a ‘just transition’?

‘Core to a just transition is deep democracy in which workers and communities have control over the decisions that affect their daily lives.’ – Climate Justice Alliance

Check out this explainer from Carbon Brief for more information:

 

What does it mean for communities and workers?

Check out this story from the Black Mesa Water Coalition:

Trade Unions for Energy Democracy also just released their latest working paper discussing how worker focused concerns can be integrated into a broad programme for social change that addresses the need for socio-ecological transformation.

Who is working for a Just Transition?

If you’re interested in working more in partnership with trade unions in your campaign, check out this guide from UK-based Campaign Against Climate Change. Please share other links and information you might have yourselves by tweeting .@350europe. And if you’re not yet part of a campaign, join one or start your own! 

Categories: International News

I have 600 grandchildren – and I marched for them in Albany

April 27, 2018 - 8:32pm

I have 600 grandchildren. Well, they’re not exactly related to me (although I have plenty who are!) – but I grew up in Brownsville, Brooklyn, and continued working in the Marcus Garvey houses for 33 years. A lot of the young people I lived with there ended up calling me “Grandpa” and I consider them my family.

On Monday, April 23, I was thinking about my family when I marched with over 1,500 New Yorkers from all over the state to call on Governor Andrew Cuomo to walk the talk on climate action. Will you watch the inspiring video below and sign up to demand the same of your local elected officials on May 14?

This powerful day of action was organized by Food & Water WatchSane Energy ProjectNY Renews, and more than 100 endorsing organizations.

We marched to demand that Governor Cuomo go beyond lip service and commit to a Fossil Free world through three steps:

  1. Stop all fracking infrastructure.
  2. Move New York to 100% renewable energy.
  3. Make polluters pay for their damage.  

Norman Frasier, pictured center, at the #CuomoWalkTheTalk rally in Albany on April 23.

 

I thought about my family in Red Hook, Brooklyn, who were forced to leave their homes during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and returned – only to find out that repairing public housing wasn’t really a priority for those in charge. The damage, like black mold, has made plenty of people sick.

My family’s story shows climate change is a housing issue and an issue of economic and racial justice. I have family all over the city who were affected by Sandy, and everywhere the story is the same – six years later, we haven’t been able to fully recover. Six years! Can you believe it? That was just one storm, and climate change tells us we have more storms coming.

Fossil fuel companies make billions of dollars, yet our Governor keeps their interests in mind while people are dying in his own state. If I met Governor Cuomo, I would want to ask him, “Will you stand for life? Can I live? Can my kids live?” This is how serious this is. And that’s why it’s up to all of us, everywhere, to act now and demand change from our elected officials.

On May 14th, communities across America are rising together to demand real climate action in the Spring Forward to #FossilFree day of action. Find a Spring Forward action in your hometown, or sign-up to host one!

 

These times are sad and scary, but on Monday, the passion of the people encouraged me to think that one day we’ll have clean air, clean water, and clean food.

When we were marching, I felt so energized as a grandfather and great-grandfather. That’s why I’m 66 but getting myself on the bus at 5AM and marching around the New York Capitol. I yelled at the top of my lungs, “Stop fossil fuels!” and I felt great.

That’s why it’s important to me and NYCC that we’re part of NY Renews, a statewide coalition of over 140 organizations building power to win a transition to 100% renewable energy and hold big polluters accountable. I truly believe that chant – “The people united will never be defeated.”

This story is embedded in my heart, and it’s why I will continue to march to end fossil fuel pollution ‘til the day I die. I hope you’ll join me.

Norman Frasier

Member, New York Communities for Change

Categories: International News

Marching for Free Lands

April 27, 2018 - 4:11pm

More than 3,000 indigenous people marched through the Esplanade of Ministries (Photo: MNI).

The camp smelled like smoke and urucum (a plant used for body paintings). The atmosphere pulsed with the energy of fight. Chants, ritual mantras and even cerimonial crying could be heard. The place was full with the voices of the more than 3,000 indigenous of more than 100 different peoples from all over Brazil who were united during five days in the Brazilian capital city, Brasilia, for the 2018 Indigenous National Mobilization.

“The fight is the legacy we leave for our children,” said Kretã Kaingang, indigenous leadership from the state of Paraná, member of the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB, in the acronym in Portuguese) and coordinator of the indigenous program of 350.org Brasil.

The scenario of political setbacks and the strategies needed to resist the withdrawal of rights are the main thrust of the movement. The government’s reluctance on making the demarcation of indigenous lands and the criminalization of leaderships were also points of debate.

Kretã recalled the persecutions he has been suffering and the forced removal from his native territory. “I was imprisoned for a time, accused of crimes that were not proven and I have been prevented by a judge from approaching the land where I was born. For four years I couldn’t step on the place where my navel is buried,” he said.

Indigenous leaders in vigil in front of the AGU building (Photo: MNI).

On the third day, the indigenous leaders went to protest in front of the Federal Attorney General’s Office, demanding the repeal of a law known as the ‘Genocide Opinion’, which in practice prevents all new processes for land demarcations. The night fell, and they remained there in vigil. Candles lit in fist, the diverse crowd stopped everything they were doing to listen to the song of lament sung by one of the indigenous woman present. It was a mourning ceremony.

The next day dawned and the Esplanade of Ministries, the main route which concentrates all the federal government buildings, was taken by the same tireless leaderships, that went down in march to the National Congress.

With paintings and adornments, dancing and singing war cries, indigenous Kaingang, Guarani, Guarani-Kaiowá, Guarani-Mbya, Xucuru, Pataxó, Munduruku, Awá-Guajá, Guajajara, Marubo, Xerente, Xavante, Kayapó, Tenetehara, Tembé, Tucano, Krahô, Kanela and many others demanded the resumption of the demarcation processes of their lands and respect for their rights hard won in the Constitution of 1988.

On the banners, messages to the authorities: “Demarcation Now!”, “Fracking in our lands, No!” and “Guarani resists”. Other signs also denounced the destruction of territories, rivers and natural resources by energy and infrastructure projects.

Banner with the message “Fracking in our lands, No!”, from 350.org Brazil and COESUS, carried by the Kaingang people (Photo: Melissa Teixeira / 350.org / COESUS).

“We have only one objective here: to resume the process of demarcation of our lands. We came to represent our communities, but many could not come along with us. And we can not leave our relatives dying on the ground,” said Kretã Kaingang.

During the demonstration, the street was stained in red, symbolizing the blood of the leaderships shed in so many acts of barbarism that have been committed, in a true historical genocide against these traditional populations.

“The trail of ‘blood’ we leave represents the violence and attacks imposed by the state to the original peoples of this country. Several invasions, threats and assassinations have been occurring in Brazil, in addition to a cruel process of criminalization of the leaderships. But despite this problematic conjuncture, we will always resist and fight, as we learned from our ancestral warriors,” said chief Marcos Xukuru of Pernambuco.

Joênia Wapichana, the first female indigenous lawyer to stand up in the Federal Supreme Court, recalled what is really at play: “The fact that the Executive Branch has an instrument to restrict the right to demarcation puts the lives of all indigenous peoples at risk, whose subsistence depends directly on the land and everything it gives.”

“The demarcation of our lands is their preservation. We have heard reports from our relatives from all regions about invasions pursued by loggers, prospectors, grabbers and state enterprises. What we want is to ensure the lives of future generations. We fight here not only for us indigenous peoples, but for the Brazilian society as a whole,” said Tupã Guarani Mbya, from the Indigenous Land Tenondé Porã, in São Paulo.

For the chief Juarez Munduruku, indigenous peoples are like trees. “There’s life in the trees just as there is in us. If you kill them, they die and never come back. If a logger kills a ‘cacique’, a story ends.” He recalled that in the middle of the Tapajós River, in the Amazon, where his territory is located, there are projects to 43 hydroelectric plants (two already carried out) and 30 soybean ports, in addition to mining and illegal logging.

The National Indigenous Mobilization – also known as the ‘Free Land Camp’ – is carried out by the Articulation of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil and counts with the support of several indigenist, socio-environmental and climate organizations, such as 350.org Brasil and the No Fracking Brasil Coalition (COESUS).

See more pictures of the Mobilization:

Categories: International News

I have 600 grandchildren – and I marched for them in Albany

April 25, 2018 - 10:47pm

I have 600 grandchildren. Well, they’re not exactly related to me (although I have plenty who are!) – but I grew up in Brownsville, Brooklyn, and continued working in the Marcus Garvey houses for 33 years. A lot of the young people I lived with there ended up calling me “Grandpa” and I consider them my family.

On Monday, April 23, I was thinking about my family when I marched with over 1,500 New Yorkers from all over the state to call on Governor Andrew Cuomo to walk the talk on climate action. Will you watch the inspiring video below and sign up to demand the same of your local elected officials on May 14?

This powerful day of action was organized by Food & Water WatchSane Energy ProjectNY Renews, and more than 100 endorsing organizations.

We marched to demand that Governor Cuomo go beyond lip service and commit to a Fossil Free world through three steps:

  1. Stop all fracking infrastructure.
  2. Move New York to 100% renewable energy.
  3. Make polluters pay for their damage.  

Norman Frasier, pictured center, at the #CuomoWalkTheTalk rally in Albany on April 23.

 

I thought about my family in Red Hook, Brooklyn, who were forced to leave their homes during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and returned – only to find out that repairing public housing wasn’t really a priority for those in charge. The damage, like black mold, has made plenty of people sick.

My family’s story shows climate change is a housing issue and an issue of economic and racial justice. I have family all over the city who were affected by Sandy, and everywhere the story is the same – six years later, we haven’t been able to fully recover. Six years! Can you believe it? That was just one storm, and climate change tells us we have more storms coming.

Fossil fuel companies make billions of dollars, yet our Governor keeps their interests in mind while people are dying in his own state. If I met Governor Cuomo, I would want to ask him, “Will you stand for life? Can I live? Can my kids live?” This is how serious this is. And that’s why it’s up to all of us, everywhere, to act now and demand change from our elected officials.

On May 14th, communities across America are rising together to demand real climate action in the Spring Forward to #FossilFree day of action. Find a Spring Forward action in your hometown, or sign-up to host one!

 

These times are sad and scary, but on Monday, the passion of the people encouraged me to think that one day we’ll have clean air, clean water, and clean food.

When we were marching, I felt so energized as a grandfather and great-grandfather. That’s why I’m 66 but getting myself on the bus at 5AM and marching around the New York Capitol. I yelled at the top of my lungs, “Stop fossil fuels!” and I felt great.

That’s why it’s important to me and NYCC that we’re part of NY Renews, a statewide coalition of over 140 organizations building power to win a transition to 100% renewable energy and hold big polluters accountable. I truly believe that chant – “The people united will never be defeated.”

This story is embedded in my heart, and it’s why I will continue to march to end fossil fuel pollution ‘til the day I die. I hope you’ll join me.

Norman Frasier

Member, New York Communities for Change

Categories: International News

Milieudefensie is taking Shell to court in the Netherlands

April 25, 2018 - 11:26am

Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth Netherlands) has put in motion a groundbreaking climate court case against Shell, to force the company to bring its policy in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.

We are completely behind them, and if you are too, here are two ways you can support the case:

  • If you’re a Dutch citizen, you can become a co-plaintiff, which means that Milieudefensie would be bringing the case to court in your name (plus 7000+ others)
  • If you’re not a citizen of the Netherlands, you can add your voice by signing this petition

The next years will be decisive in terms of keeping the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement – and the 1.5 degree warming limit that climate justice demands – within reach. Yet Shell keeps extracting more and more fossil fuels. Only 1% of Shell’s investments go to renewable energy. Milieudefensie demands that if Shell doesn’t stop causing catastrophic climate change, it must be held accountable in court.

The Greenwash Team during the Unmask Shell Parade in The Hague. Photo: Fossielvrij NL

Predictions

Through recently released internal memos, reports and even a video it’s clear that Shell has been aware of the risks of climate change and its own role for more than thirty years. And they did nothing. In a report released in 1998, Shell already showed concerns about the legal consequences of its actions. Another Shell report from that same year predicted that in 2010, after a series of devastating storms on the West Coast of the USA, citizen-led campaigns and actions against fossil companies would escalate. Public opinion, according to the report, would turn against the fossil industry in a similar way as had happened to the tobacco industry.

The document, discovered by journalist Jelmer Mommers of De Correspondent, also predicted that several NGOs would start a lawsuit against the company and the US government because they “ignore what scientists (including their own researchers) have been saying for years: that something needs to be done.”

Shell, get your head out of the sand! (Action by The Hague Fossil Free during the Global Divestment Mobilization in May 2017)

Global lawsuits

Their prediction was accurate. In 2017, climate court cases were started against governments or companies in 24 different countries, with 654 cases in America and 230 cases in the rest of the world (you can find a recent overview of global climate court cases here). For example, the American cities of San Francisco and Oakland demanded financial compensation from oil companies for damages due to the rising sea levels. The city of New York has filed a lawsuit against various fossil companies because of climate damage, and Paris is also exploring possibilities to start a climate court case.

With this global wave of climate litigation, people are making it clear that they are simply not willing to stand by and let the irresponsible, climate-wrecking behaviour we’ve seen from fossil fuel companies in the past few decades continue unchecked. Institutions and corporations must be held accountable for the decisions they make causing irreversible climate impacts, and we’ve got the power to make sure it happens.

The Netherlands

In the Netherlands Milieudefensie announced at the beginning of April that it is starting a lawsuit against Shell. This particular climate court case is unique in the world because Milieudefensie is not asking for financial compensation, but instead for a change in policy. The organization demands that Shell stops causing disastrous climate change, and bring its policy in line with the goals of the Paris climate agreement.

Why did Milieudefensie start a lawsuit against Shell?

Despite being aware of the risks for more than thirty years, Shell decided to mislead the public and actively counteract climate policy. The company emits twice as much greenhouse gas as the whole of the Netherlands!

“Given the urgency of the climate crisis, we should try all ways to stop the fossil fuel industry, including by going to court. Our government, city councils, research institutions and even schools still value a good relationship with Shell over a livable future. Hopefully this court case will open their eyes. We are proud to be co-plaintiffs!”

Fossil Free The Hague with Anne and Femke, second and third from the left

To become a co-plaintiff, you’ll need to leave your details and pay €1, so Milieudefensie can check your identity. This way, you can show that Milieudefensie is starting this case on your behalf.

Join Fossil Free The Hague, and more than 7000 others co-plaintiffs in this court case

On Saturday 28 April, Milieudefensie is organizing an interactive day of trainings in Amsterdam. On this day you can participate in workshops on how to effective outreach. You can get more details about the event here.

Categories: International News