This issue of Fossil Free News was first published as an email on November 17. Sign up here for future editions.
I’ve got a lot of feelings right now. If you’ve followed Fossil Free News for a while, you know I live in Paris – but I’m from southern California. My friends and family have been evacuated and personally affected by what’s now the deadliest fire in state history – a fire that’s fueled by record temperatures, drought, and the fossil fuel industry.
Scientists, high-profile energy think tank heads – it seems like these days EVERYONE is agreeing we have to go Fossil Free right now. I’ve got hope we’ll get there. From strategically timed marches all over the world, to the young people in the US pushing for a Green New Deal, to people in the Philippines bringing renewable solutions to natural disasters straight to communities – there’s so much happening in our global movement right now to stop this.
And now, you can watch all the highlights! Today we’re introducing video versions of Fossil Free News. Share this new video on social media to get more people looped in to the climate movement. And sign up to keep receiving if you haven’t already
In Taiwan, a series of 3 marches is underway across the country ahead of elections. Protesters were contesting the placement of a new gas import terminal, and symbolically showing that upcoming votes hinge on where politicians land on the energy transition and air pollution. Keep an eye out for the last one in Taiwan on Saturday, November 18. You can also meet some young leaders of the climate movement in East Asia, who got together for a climate leadership camp in Thailand.
It’s been a big two weeks for youth climate leadership. Inspired by the actions of 15 year-old Greta Thunberg from Sweden, students in tens of cities across Australia have organized a School Strike 4 Climate to send a message that their present and future is at stake – and since they can’t vote, they’ll strike instead. And they weren’t alone. In the United States, just a week after contested mid-term elections, youth from the Sunrise Movement occupied Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s office, demanding she take a genuine hard line on climate as the country’s most populous state burned. They were joined by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, now the youngest-ever woman in the US Congress. With new climate hawks taking office around the country, real pressure is building for a Green New Deal.
November 8 was the fifth anniversary of the worst storm to ever hit the Philippines, Typhoon Haiyan. In a country still reeling from Typhoon Manghkut back in September, brave individuals are putting forward positive solutions. Watch this video showing how TekPak solar-powered technology is helping meet the country’s energy needs and providing a resilient solution to disaster relief.
Days of action for the climate don’t seem to be slowing down. In Dhaka, London, Toronto, and other cities, people stood in coordinated solidarity with the Sundarbans, a giant wetland region in Bangladesh that is home to half a million people and directly threatened by a planned coal-burning power station, Rampal. Also last weekend, Montreal saw its biggest climate march, 50,000 people(!), since the historic march on Earth Day in 2012. And in Barcelona a climate march brought colorful and inspiring imagery to demand the end of fossil fuels. Just days later, Spain’s social democratic government set out a new plan to go 100% renewable by 2050, support a just transition for fossil fuel workers, and ban new fossil fuel permits.
Ever wondered how to shift your campaign into another gear when you hit a wall with your demands? This great case study from European Changemakers follows the experiences of Guy from Fossil Free Upssala in Sweden. He tells the story of how the group escalated their campaign and used a combination of creative and digital tactics to get major attention at a prestigious annual gala event. You can browse their site for more videos and loads of other useful campaigning tools and resources.
It’s been a while since we put a podcast in the corner. But I couldn’t resist this one from Fossil Free Glasgow. Glasgow University was the first university in Europe to divest and inspired over 60 other UK universities to follow suit. After their historic win, Glasgow students decided to go after the city’s large pension fund. My favorite part was hearing how everyone got involved in the movement – including via Tinder in one person’s case!
What do you think about Spain’s plan to go 100% RE by 2050? Join the conversation that’s already started on the comments in this Facebook post. Or, if you’re not on Facebook, you can send me a voice memo with your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @gofossilfree.