WORLDWIDE — Starting 5 May, a global wave of activities lasting ten days will take place across 39 countries on six continents, with thousands of people participating in the Global Divestment Mobilisation. Campaigners, faith groups, academics and impacted local communities will build on the fossil fuel divestment movement, which is now spreading in Asia, Latin America and Africa. The divestment movement saw its beginnings in North America, Europe and Australia and has since become the fastest growing divestment movement in history.
Global commitments to divest have already reached 710 institutions across 76 countries, representing well over US$5.5 trillion in assets under management. In the current vacuum of global climate leadership, the divestment movement has proven to be the most effective way to undermine the power of the fossil fuel industry politically, financially and by damaging its reputation. Citizens and respected institutions across the world are able to enact an immediate and a much needed transformational form of climate leadership. The movement is stepping up at a time when governments are failing their people and climate impacts are taking us into uncharted territory in terms of floods, forest fires, heatwaves, storms and drought.
The rise of radical right wing politics in different parts of the world is creating a slowdown in climate action, which we can’t afford. The truth is that the fossil fuel industry is floundering, and is no longer profitable. Despite this it has found a lifeline in places like Germany, Russia, South Africa, Brazil, the UK and the US and together they’re planning a full out assault on our climate and our lives.
However, the March for Science on Earth Day followed by the People’s Climate Mobilisation have just showcased strong resistance to plans aimed at destroying our communities, our climate and our future. Over 200,000 marched in Washington, D.C last weekend for the People’s Climate Mobilisation and tens of thousands more took part at over 370 sister marches across the country and the world.
The Global Divestment Mobilisation will build on this momentum while clearing the way for ambitious action by pushing our institutions to divest from climate disaster and to reinvest in building a renewable and just future for everyone. Citizens from all walks of life across the globe are stepping up and into the climate leadership void that their governments have created by building the biggest divestment movement the world has ever seen.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM EVENTS PLANNED WORLDWIDE INCLUDE:
Students and academics in Africa will be pushing for divestment. In South Africa both Fossil Free Stellenbosch and Fossil Free University Cape Town will seize the moment to step up their demands for their universities to divest from fossil fuels. In Cape Town, a petition with hundreds of signatures will be hand delivered to the City Council with a clear message for the city to divest. At the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, in Nigeria there will also be a one-day seminar on divestment. Local events will also be held in Accra Ga-South, Ghana, in Douala, Cameroon and Chad.
Hundreds of people will come together in the four main centres (Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington) of New Zealand and communities across Australia to rally against Malcolm Turnbull’s government and their support for the disastrous Adani coal mine in Carmichael, Queensland. The mine will be the biggest coal mine in Australasia’s history, so we are coming together to #StopAdani.
Large events are being organised in major cities across the region including a mass action in Palawan, Philippines and the Clean, Safe, Renewable. Why Not? event in Jakarta. In Tokyo, Japan there will be a two day event to push for personal divestment from fossil fuels.
Dozens of groups are organising local events all over Europe targeting cities, universities, pension funds and religious institutions requesting that they divest. A series of 14 rolling rallies across London’s Town Halls will push for divestment. Cultural institutions will also be put under pressure; the Liberate Louvre campaign will ramp up its demand that the Louvre Museum break its partnership with Total in Paris. While in Amsterdam a visual action will push the Van Gogh Museum to end its sponsorship relationship with Shell.
Academic institutes across the region will be organising seminars on what divestment and a clean energy future could look like. This includes events at the Universidad de San Martín, Argentina and the Universidad Católica Boliviana. In Brazil the Coritiba football fans will take a stand by opening a huge banner during a Brazilian championship game. Vigils in name of climate refugees and for divestment will also be held in various locations in the state of Paraná. In Rio, activists will protest against the auction held by the National Oil and Gas Agency.
A series of events around divestment will be held in New York City including a creative activity at the Trump Tower on Divestment, a Public forum on climate impacts, renewables and divestment, a lobby day in the State Capitol, activities around divestment of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, as well as a business panel on divestment – #DivestNY.
Lidy Nacpil, Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD): “Divestment has shown the world that stopping fossil fuel financing can be done and must be done. The battle to safeguard people and planet is linked worldwide, the money in one part of the world is linked to infrastructure projects being built elsewhere. Divestment is a powerful act of solidarity and justice for the world’s most vulnerable people, a defense of nature and our planet. We urgently need a transformation in the global energy system, away from the fossil fuel dependence that drives climate change, and challenge fossil fuel corporations that oppose progress in climate action and prioritize profits over people and planet. Divestment has proven to be one of the most effective ways to push for this much needed transformation.”
Bill McKibben, Author and co-founder of 350.org: “There is no question we are currently in a state of emergency on climate change. Day in day out people are dying from the effects of climate change. There are many ways to confront this emergency and divestment allows us to get in the way of the money financing the fossil fuel projects behind this crisis. The fact that the fossil fuel divestment movement has grown exponentially in the last few years is the best news ever. From the Pacific Islands to South Africa, from the United States to Germany, people are standing up and challenging the power of the fossil fuel industry.”
Melina Laboucan-Massimo, Founder of Lubicon Solar, Lubicon Cree First Nation in Alberta, Canada: “Not only is divestment proven to be an effective way to undermine the power of the fossil fuel industry, it also provides the means to enact a just transition by reinvesting into renewable energy systems. Our future is in the reinvestment that supports the communities most impacted by climate change and the dirty energy based economy. The divestment movement is modeling what governments need to be doing: withdrawing funds from the problem and investing in solution. That’s the best way to ensure a brighter future for both people and planet.”
Kumi Naidoo, Director of The African Civil Society Centre: “Communities across the globe are taking the power back through divestment. They are divesting from fossil fuels and sending a loud message to politicians and corporates alike: the end of fossil fuels is happening; achieving 100% renewable energy for all is inevitable. Those betting on a future based on fossil fuels will continue to lose, citizens globally are demanding a just transition to a green future.”
Hoda Baraka, Global Communications Director 350.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, +20-1001840990
NOTES TO EDITORS:
You will find additional information including answers to frequently asked questions and media contacts for each of the actions in the GDM media pack.
Detailed overview of divestment commitments to date can be found here.
PHOTO AND VIDEO (to be updated throughout the duration of GDM):
Photos available here.
Video footage available here.