The public view of the fossil fuel industry has been deteriorating for quite some time now. This week, a series of powerful actions is showing disapproval is at a serious high.
It was foreshadowed by Norwegian oil and gas giant Statoil’s rebranding last week, announcing they’d be called Equinor from here on out. Why?:
Statoil will rebrand itself Equinor because “a name with ‘oil’ as a component is a disadvantage" in recruiting young talent. Who knows, it might be even more effective to stop drilling in Arctic, Great Australian Bighthttps://t.co/j9o02KyRPB
— Bill McKibben (@billmckibben) May 15, 2018
From streets in Benin and Nigeria, to outside shareholders’ meetings in Europe – people made it clear this week: we won’t tolerate fossil fuel projects any longer. It’s 2018, and a climate crisis is unfolding all around us. We want a 100% renewable future that works for everyone, we’re already building it, and more and more people around the world are getting on board to make it happen.
On Monday in Manchester, outside BP’s annual general meeting (AGM) protestors stood in solidarity with Patagonians resisting a massive BP-sponsored fracking project in Argentina. It’s just the start of a powerful showing of solidarity between Latin America and Europe around gas: on Thursday, the United Beyond Gas Tour kicked off in Barcelona. It’ll stretch into June, making stops in France, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy.
— Chloé Farand (@ChloeFarand) May 21, 2018
Then on Tuesday, Shell’s own shareholders put forward a resolution that’d lay out a genuine plan to adhere to the Paris Climate Agreement to keep warming under 2 degrees C. Shell directors advised against the proposal, and it didn’t pass. But that didn’t stop people from turning up outside. A busload of Groningen inhabitants delivered bricks from their houses that have been damaged by Shell and Exxon’s gas fracturing in the area.
More of this kind of organizing – between neighbors and friends from their towns and cities – appears to be on its way. A huge global mobilization was announced for later this year, on September 8. Communities around the world from Japan to South Africa are gearing up to Rise for Climate Action and a Fossil Free world, by joining or organizing actions near them for the big day (you can too!).
We had a full house in Oakland at the first planning meeting for the Sept. 8th #RiseForClimate global day of action. We're marching for real #climate leadership from @JerryBrownGov and beyond. https://t.co/UXeMMvV589 pic.twitter.com/qAG0f8P46y
— 350 dot org (@350) May 25, 2018
In case all this wasn’t enough, on Wednesday a Harvard University board member made headlines when she symbolically resigned over the university’s failure to divest its multi-billion dollar endowment fund. And on Thursday, families from 8 countries in Europe, including the Sami indigenous community of Sweden, launched a People’s Climate lawsuit against the European Union.
A Harvard overseer — part of one of the university's governing bodies — resigned in protest of the school's endowment and fossil fuel investments. https://t.co/7sBfe1ixPQ
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) May 23, 2018
— CAN EUROPE (@CANEurope) May 24, 2018
And just to round the week off, Friday was a massive day of more than 20 coordinated actions across the African continent. People there are pushing to #BreakFree from fossil fuels – they know that we must leapfrog ahead with renewables as the way forward to power Africa. At a peaceful protest in Lamu, Kenya, 2 activists were arrested – but overall the spirit was a mixture of celebration and empowerment. You can find all the amazing live coverage here.
#DeCOALonise is about people across Africa standing for a #FossilFree world of renewable energy for all. Amazing #BreakFree actions coming in from all over today. Photos from Benin, DRC, Kenya. For live coverage: https://t.co/Roymu4ZdUu pic.twitter.com/aJYh9Rfhh3
— Fossil Free (@GoFossilFree) May 25, 2018