For hundreds of millions of people around the world, climate change has moved from being a future distant threat, to one that is impacting them now. From the big picture impacts of catastrophic flooding, withering drought, out of control wildfires, to unprecedented coral bleaching. Then there’s the small and local: trees dying outside kitchen windows as the seasons change, potholed roads left in potholes because repairs only get washed out again by heavy rains, to the flooding and resulting rotting of root crops, climate change is visibly and painfully here. If you haven’t experienced or know someone who is being affected by climate change, count yourself lucky.
Extreme heat, the strongest signal of climate change, is causing droughts on all continents, and is contributing to what the UN has called the biggest humanitarian crisis since World War II. Much of Eastern Africa is either in or on the cusp of famine, with an estimated 20 million in need of food aid.
Despite these impacts and the scale of the crisis unfolding, 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. In USA people, lots of people, are angry with Trump’s backsliding on climate change. Over the weekend, 300,000 people took to the streets in Washington DC and across the USA for the People’s Climate March. This beautiful video captures what it was like — click here to watch:
It’s not just in the USA that people are mobilising against the causes of climate change. Starting 5 May, the Global Divestment Mobilisation will build on this momentum as a global wave of events lasting ten days, across 39 countries on six continents, challenging and disrupting the power of the fossil fuel industry.
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.
We’re clear: the pathway to achieving ambitious action on climate change doesn’t just hinge on political leaders, but on all those institutions that surround and give power to politics. Divestment is changing the game when it comes to keeping fossil fuels in the ground, and citizens from all walks of life across the globe are stepping up and into the climate leadership void that their governments have created. We’re building the biggest divestment movement the world has ever seen. Join us.