Young climate leaders from the Philippines meet in Manila to prepare for upcoming school strikes on May 24. Photo: Kathleen Lei Limayo
It feels like things are changing, and fast.
With the recent news that we’ve hit 415 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere – that change is sorely needed.
We know from the past that change doesn’t come out of nowhere. So this week we’re zooming in on some of the groups building local power and real change through their local organizing.
We hope you find inspiration in this issue, and if you do, we invite you to take one of our online skill-up courses. They're interactive and use multimedia to teach organizing skills for all levels. I like "Introduction to Campaigning" and "How Social Movements Win," but other topics are on offer too:
In Case You Missed It
Photo: Kathleen Lei Limayo
Mark your calendars: In the Philippines, student climate organizers from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao gathered in Manila for a day of joint skill-sharing and planning for the upcoming global school strikes on May 24. Similar preparations are underway across Asia, Latin America, North America, Africa and Europe for over 700 school strikes in 94 countries next Friday. Parents around the world are stepping up their shows of support, like this open letter in the Guardian and big International Mothers Day marches last Sunday.
Photo: 350 Aotearoa
The race is on: In Dunedin (above), Wellington, and five other cities, organizers staged local ‘races’ where New Zealand’s top banks competed to become the first to go fully Fossil Free. They're urging the banks’ real-life counterparts to do the same and stop funding fossil fuels. Read more
Photo: Fossil Free Heidelberg
Divestment win: Local group ‘Fossil Free Heidelberg” secured a win last Friday. The German city committed to never invest in coal, oil, or gas. Now the group is pressuring the university to follow suit, and developing plans to demand the local savings bank commit to not market funds that don’t comply with sustainability targets.
Photo: Twitter, @Flame_Over_
'Flame over’ for gas: On Monday, activists blocked the 25th annual Flame gas conference in Amsterdam, which brought together over 500 companies in the fossil gas industry. Using a range of creative tactics, activists (aka gastivists) successfully shut down the reception on the first day: “flame over” for the gas executives.
No Williams Pipeline: New Yorkers in the heat of a three-year campaign temporarily stopped a controversial fracked gas pipeline, as regulators issued a rejection "without prejudice" yesterday. Days earlier, Mayor Bill de Blasio – who was a big advocate for the city’s staggering divestment from fossil fuels in 2018 – came out in strong opposition. But their fight is not over: activists are pressing on to ensure it never gets built, and demanding a state-wide ban on all fossil fuel projects. Read more
Feeling inspired and want to get more active yourself at the local level? Find a local group and try one of our organizer online skill-up courses.
Sunrise Movement has been an inspiring people-powered force for the Green New Deal in the United States. Mikala, who grew up in Paradise, California – the town razed by the Camp Fire last November – tells the story of how losing her town led her to get involved in the movement. Watch
One to Watch
Torres Strait Islanders launched the first climate litigation of its kind against the federal government of Australia. These low-lying islands to the north of the continent – most of which are part of Australia – are at serious risk due to the climate crisis: watch.
Use Your Power
The “potentially groundbreaking” Torres Strait case is based on human rights: Australia has an obligation to protect its people and their home by providing adaptation funds, and drastically reducing emissions by putting an end to coal. Read more about the case, and sign GBK’s petition to support the campaign:
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