We’re in the middle of a worldwide struggle to keep as much coal, oil and other fossil fuels in the ground as possible. Some of us urge institutions to divest from fossil fuels – some of us make street art visualising what a world driven by renewable energy could look like – some of us push petitions to stop building destructive pipelines and other infrastructure – and some of us climb oil rigs to stop dangerous oil drilling in the Arctic.

2We are many doing all we can to enable the transition to a more just society, powered by renewable energy sources.

In this moment, we turn our eyes towards the Pacific ocean and the 6 brave activists who recently boarded Shell’s oil rig on its way to drill in the Arctic, and stayed there for 123 hours. Not all of us could be on the spot helping out – but we support your every step and we are grateful to these 6 people and everyone doing fantastic work behind the scenes.

From the global fossil fuel divestment movement, voices are raised every day against investments made in companies like Shell. These companies are drilling for oil in incredibly sensitive parts of the world, and putting our entire society at stake in their hunt for more dirty fuels and more high-risk profit. For Shell to continue exploiting resources that must be left in the ground, and for investors to continue to profit from this business, is unacceptable.

Karl Andreasson, fossil fuel divestment campaigner at Uppsala University, Sweden, highlights the climate science:uu

From a purely scientific standpoint, drilling for oil in the Arctic is inconsistent with the physical restraints of global 2C warming targets that require 80% of already proven CO2 reserves to remain in the ground. Further exploration by Shell in highly sensitive ecosystems is both locally devastating and globally counterproductive.

There are divestment campaigns in over 500 places all over the world – and many of them are targeting Shell investors. Karl’s university is one of those investors.

Uppsala University has the potential to continue to lead in sustainable development by divesting the 1,6 million SEK worth of bonds they own in Shell and help stigmatise these sorts of unscientific and short-sighted ventures.

stockholms uniAnother Swedish divestment campaigner is Ruben Brundell at Stockholm University. He calls the rig climers of the Esperanza “true heroes”, sending them a message of solidarity: “There are no words to express my gratitude for your courageous actions.” Like many other citizens calling for fossil fuel divestment, Ruben emphasizes the link to the funding of and investments in companies like Shell:

The fact that Stockholm University won’t divest is outrageous. It is their moral and economical obligation to stop funding the destruction of our common future, and to start funding renewable energy sources. Shell should not be invested in by anyone, because they are ruining the world for everyone. We will not stop until every single krona is divested from fossil fuels.

Another climate campaigner is Ellie Roberts from Operation Noah’s “Bright Now” campaign, campaigning for churches in the UK to divest from fossil fuel companies. In 2013, the Church of England Church Commissioners alone had over £50 million invested in Shell. Ellie and Operation Noah say divestment from fossil fuel companies should happen as a matter of faith:coe

We believe it makes no sense for the Church to call for a solution to climate change while continuing to finance, and profit from, companies that base their business strategies on ever increasing fossil fuel exploration and extraction. By continuing with Arctic drilling at a time when we need to be working towards leaving the majority of the world’s fossil fuel reserves underground, Shell is endangering the future of our planet and its people, and needlessly despoiling one of the world’s few remaining pristine ecosystems. How much more could we achieve by directing the technical expertise and financial resources towards developing clean energy alternatives to fossil fuels?

As the Greenpeace climbers have now left the oil rig due to severe weather conditions, the fight continues in other forms.

In a press release from Greenpeace, one of the six climbers Aliyah Field said:

I might be climbing off this oil rig, but this is merely a transition into the next step of saving the Arctic. (…) My voice cannot be silenced, and neither can the millions of others taking a stand against Shell.3

Make sure you’ve signed the Save the Arctic petition, and join the climate movement to build momentum around this issue where you live. Aliyah says the movement is growing stronger by the day:

This has been the single most proud, humbling, and inspiring experience of my life.  I am truly in awe of all the support and passion from around the world. A global movement has grown even stronger over the last days.

As Ruben, divestment campaigner at Stockholm University, said; “you are nothing less than heroes in the very truest sense of the word”. Now let us all make the most out of the inspiration and courage that many of us have found from the climbers’ actions this last week.