Fossil fuel companies are driving the climate crisis and have successfully delayed action on climate change for decades. It’s time for our institutions to take a stand and cut their financial ties with fossil fuel companies. And it’s up to us to make sure they do.
Every time an institution pulls their funds out of fossil fuels and refuses to take donations and sponsorship from the companies fueling the climate crisis, we chip away at their power to carry out their immoral business plans. As the industry loses public acceptance, its political power to hold back action on climate change erodes.
No group near you? Consider hosting a Fossil Free gathering and bringing together a few people to talk about what a Fossil Free campaign could look like in your area. Check out the Gathering Guide to help you plan your event, and then invite some people over!
At the gatherings, as well as meeting and sharing ideas with people interested in local Fossil Free organising, you could:
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DIVEST: The aim of the divestment campaign is to weaken the political influence of the fossil fuel industry, which keeps holding back action on climate change. Divestment is the opposite of investment – it means getting rid of stocks, bonds or investment funds that are unethical. Which institutions in your local area could you call on to #divest? Check out the Divestment guide for ideas on possible campaign targets, and how to plan and run your local divestment campaign. Each Divestment campaign group is autonomous but is built from the same building blocks. And it’s working: in just a few years of divestment campaigning, 800+ institutions have already divested funds to the value of $6+ trillion, and rising!
DESPONSOR: Many companies try to greenwash their image by sponsoring art galleries, exhibitions, and museums. Another way to show that the fossil fuel industry has no social licence is to call on these public institutions to refuse sponsorship and funding from fossil fuel companies. Some pioneering desponsor campaigns in Europe include Fossil Free Culture NL, targeting Shell’s sponsorship of Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, Libérons le Louvre in Paris (the Louvre is sponsored by Total), and the Art not Oil coalition, targeting BP’s sponsorship of the British Museum and other institutions in London. In September last year, there were actions in all three cities in just one week!
Other Fossil Free campaign ideas: In Europe, we’re best placed to support your local organising on divestment and de-sponsorship right now. If you’re thinking of starting a new campaign, we think this would be the best place to start. But in other countries around the world, the Fossil Free campaign is starting to broaden its focus and adding some new campaign opportunities. If you’re keen to get an early look at these or test one of the new campaign ideas in your area, it’d be great to hear from you: visit gofossilfree.org or get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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