Yesterday’s People’s Climate Mobilization was transformative. The climate movement took New York by storm — along with Rio, London, Jakarta, Brisbane, and thousands of other cities and towns around the world. The divestment movement was out in force too!
Of the 50,000 students from 400 campuses at yesterday’s march, many of them were fighting for divestment from fossil fuels. Of the hundreds of faith groups, state contingents, and groups carrying banners representing cities or towns, many also wore orange squares representing fossil fuel divestment.
This morning, thousands of protestors descended on Wall Street to call corporate profiteers to account. As I write this, divestment activists are risking arrest as part of the #FloodWallStreet action.
According to the Arabella report, 181 institutions and local governments and 656 individuals representing over $50 billion dollars have pledged to divest to-date. That number includes the $860 million Rockefeller Brothers Fund, which was built on the Standard Oil fortune — a sign of the times? All told, the report indicates that divestment commitments have doubled since January 2014.
Following on yesterday’s mobilization, this new divestment announcement makes one thing crystal clear: civil society knows that climate change is both an urgent crisis and a moral imperative. As one of yesterday’s huge banners proclaimed: We know who is responsible. The fossil fuel industry is driving this destruction, and we refuse to invest in it.
The Divest-Invest coalition plans to announce these new divestment commitments at tomorrow’s U.N. Climate Summit. The message to summit attendees, including 125 heads of state: the climate is changing, yes, but the world is also waking up. It’s time for world leaders to get on board.
Big mobilizations like the People’s Climate March don’t happen in a day — they’re made up of thousands of smaller groups, campaigns, and causes, plus a lot of hard organizing work back at home. That is, they happen because of you.
Both yesterday’s march and today’s $50 billion announcement are YOUR victories. Thank you.