We’re fast closing in on the end of an unforgettable year. From the hope-giving highs of the recent Dakota Access Pipeline victory, to the sobering rise of right-wing populism across Europe and elsewhere — 2016 has had some incredible highs and some terrible lows.
But today, there are still many reasons to feel hopeful as we head into 2017. As I prepare to sign off for the year, here’s some hopeful news to hold onto:
What a difference a year makes
Today marks the anniversary of D12 – the day my three-month old daughter and I joined 10,000s of people in the streets of Paris and drew red lines for the climate that we won’t allow the fossil fuel industry to cross. That promise still stands.
Since then, thousands of us came together for bold Break Free actions on all 6 continents to keep fossil fuels in the ground. This year our climate movement demonstrated: Unwavering resistance. Fierce solidarity. Courage by the gigaton.
You only need to rewatch this video to feel that strength:
Our movement has doubled in size in 12 months
A new report on the State of the Divestment Movement out today reveals the incredible results we’ve achieved with our Fossil Free campaigns: 688 institutions spanning 76 countries representing well over $5trillion of assets have committed to divest from fossil fuels.
Wow! Let those stats sink in for a moment.
The fossil fuel industry is on the backfoot more than ever before —
- sponsorship deals being challenged and rejected
- a quarter of all UK universities divesting
- 5 European capitals pledged to divest
- Big banks’ financing for projects like DAPL and fracking under intense pressure.
- Huge pension funds wising up to stranded assets, creating a domino effect.
- Politicians being lobbied to divest in order to keep their Paris promises.
Divestment is creating a new normal where big oil, coal and gas are the baddies — synonymous with climate change, human rights abuses and reckless behaviour.
We have a new target in our sights for 2017
One year after Break Free we’re going to mobilise again around the world in May 2017 to shine a spotlight on the impacts caused by the fossil fuel industry. We’re going to escalate the call for governments and institutions to divest.
Put 5 – 13 May in your diaries right now for a Global Divestment Mobilisation on a whole new level.
With climate impacts ravaging parts of the planet and the CEO of the world’s largest fossil fuel company ExxonMobil nominated to be US Secretary of State, this is the moment that we need to bring the moral urgency of divesting from fossil fuels back into the spotlight in a huge way.
There’ll be more information to follow. For now I just want to congratulate every single one of you that’s been involved in this effort so far. Whether you’ve been owning a local fight for years, or simply sharing the news with networks, it’s being part of this movement with you that keeps my hope alive.
Campaigning can be hard. It can be boring, it can be difficult, it can feel like you’re getting nowhere. But it can also be hugely rewarding. Today is one of those moments, and I hope you can enjoy this victory. The road is long, but it’s also easier if you feel like you’re winning.
Thank you for all that you’ve done this year. Despite the hard times and new challenges that lie ahead, I’m feeling more confident than ever in our power to come together and get stuff done in 2017!
Best wishes for the winter break,
Louise for the whole 350.org Europe team.