This issue of Fossil Free News was first published as an email on October 10. Sign up here for future editions.
A month on from the mass #RiseforClimate mobilizations around the world, we’re seeing public discourse turn back to climate change this week. A new United Nations report, detailing the dangers of a world above 1.5˚C of warming, has just been published – and it’s a tough wake up call.
All over, people are speaking out about what the new report on 1.5 means – that science itself necessitates an end to fossil fuels as fast as we possibly can.
This has the potential to be a turning point. People everywhere are waking up to the fact that a livable world is a Fossil Free world. You can follow all the news from the Fossil Free movement, by signing up to receive updates like this one below twice a month:
For now, catch up on what’s been happening in the Fossil Free movement globally the past two weeks – and see you next time in your inbox.
– Nicole from Fossil Free News
In Incheon, South Korea last week, scientists and politicians gathered to hammer out a Summary of the new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. It details the differences between 1.5˚C and 2˚C of warming – and how we’re currently not on track to hit either. As serious as our situation is, scientists insist it’s still technically possible to limit warming to 1.5˚C, but it’ll require an unprecedented scale of change.
The news is sparking groups everywhere to organize report deliveries to local targets and other actions to relay the urgent need to get off fossil fuels. Some have already happened in places like Japan (top of the page) and Brazil, where activists in Rio de Janiero protested outside an oil and gas auction on September 28 (watch this simple dispatch from the ground). But expect many more 1.5˚C actions coming this week, especially on 13 October.
Across Asia, we’ve seen commitments piling up to get rid of coal once and for all. First, Japan’s Marubeni, one of the world’s biggest power plant developers, announced they won’t invest in any new coal-fired power plants. Then Standard Chartered, one of the biggest coal investors globally, said goodbye. And late last week, 2 government-run pension funds in South Korea committed to end coal investment. All this is thanks to work from the movement – like those putting out the Cool Bank awards in Japan. It represents huge progress as Asia is the region where the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel is expanding fastest. This testimony from a community suffering pollution from a nearby coal plant in Bataan, the Philippines shows just what’s at stake.
In Germany, forced evacuations have spurred powerful acts of international solidarity supporting the movement to save Hambach, a beautiful 12,000 year-old forest which is threatened by the expansion of one of Europe’s biggest source of CO2 emissions: Hambach lignite coal mine. After a court finally ordered an injunction to stop the evacuation of the Forest Protectors on Friday, 50,000 people turned up Saturday to march in support. It’s a big win – but now Germany needs to take the next step and end coal for good.
Meanwhile in England, the years-long fight against fracking has reached a turning point. A week after a shocking prison sentence for three anti-fracking activists was delivered, the company Cuadrilla got the greenlight to go ahead and begin fracking for the first time in seven years. Activists considered this a devastating blow, but are holding their breaths as a court injunction was issued last minute and put drilling on pause until Wednesday. Stay tuned for more and this week you can show your support to a week of distributed actions across the UK to Let Communities Decide.
Last Saturday, just ahead of the Nobel Prize announcements, activists outside the Nobel museum in Stockholm, Sweden reminded the Nobel Foundation that it’s time to clean up their act and divest. The Foundation, which delivers the famous annual prize, still invests in fossil fuels – despite the fact that over 115,000 people from around the world have signed on to the group’s petition to Divest Nobel (you can too!)
THE INSIDE STORY
“When there is a Pacific rugby test, why is it that we can fill the seats with 19,000 supporters? How do we figure how to gather that same support for the work that the Pacific Climate Warriors do?”
The Pacific Climate warriors have been visiting Australia to share their realities in the Pacific dealing with the impacts of climate change right now. In Sydney, they visited the Cronulla Sharks Rugby club to try to connect their work to a much wider audience. It’s part of their Pacific Pawa Frontline Truths storytelling tour that’s wrapping up this week.
THE ONE TO WATCH
Watch this inspiring video from the communities leading a wave of renewable energy resistance. SolarXL puts solar arrays along the path of the proposed route of Keystone XL pipeline. They recently finished the third solar installation in Naper, Nebraska. As a participating landowner along the route exclaims, “Five years later we’re still here and the pipeline isn’t!”
HAVE YOUR SAY
The IPCC report on how we stay below 1.5˚C is creating an important shift in public debate right now. It’s a key time to help push forward the Fossil Free movement’s demands and make sure those in power understand what the science is really saying: that we need to get off fossil fuels, right now. Watch and share this video, and if you have not found your local action to deliver the report yet, find or register one here, it’s easy to do.
In Fossil Free News, we bring together these stories from the movement, with videos, photos, podcasts and more. By signing up, you can keep up to date with all the latest news – delivered every 2 weeks.