Spotlight on indigenous leadership and more Fossil Free News

Fossil Free Digest

Indigenous women march at Brazil’s annual National Indigenous Mobilization in 2018. Photo: 350 Brasil

Dear Ed,

We got official word earlier this week: July was the hottest month ever recorded on this planet. That’s not long after July 2016, which holds the previous record.

The climate crisis is an emergency – and we have to start acting like it and treating our one and only planet with respect.

Friday marks World Indigenous People’s Day. In this Fossil Free News, we celebrate the vital importance of indigenous leadership and knowledge in protecting land and shaping our collective response to the climate crisis.

Being indigenous means being born with a great responsibility, with an important fight. It means being the resistance” says Andreia Takua from Brazil.

All too often indigenous people are the frontline environmental defenders against fossil fuel extraction, deforestation and land degradation -- something underlined in the IPCC Land and Climate Change report, which came out just this morning.



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In Case You Missed It

Climate Defenders: A new report by Global Witness found that 164 ‘environmental defenders’ were killed last year for protecting the planet and standing up for justice. Researchers found the Philippines is currently the most dangerous country in the world for activists. More

Built to Spill: 40,000 liters of diesel poured into a pristine part of Chilean Patagonia, where the Kawésqar indigenous community has taken care of the sea and islands for thousands of years. Read more

People in West Berkeley, California hold a ceremony for Mauna Kea. Photo: Scott Braley

Solidarity with Mauna Kea: The Kanaka ‘Ōiwi Indigenous people of Hawai‘i are fighting to protect the deeply sacred site – and the tallest mountain in the world measured from its base below sea level. Construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope Project (TMT) would damage sacred lands and threaten the main aquifer on Hawai‘i. More

Pacific Climate Crisis: Leaders of 10 Pacific island nations declared a climate emergency at the annual Pacific Development Forum. They were clear: ending fossil fuel use is the only way to ensure their survival. Read more

Curse of Coal: Muğla, Turkey is supposed to be a paradise. But it’s a village on the front lines of government-supported coal expansion. Now the local community is fighting back – activists released a 14-minute film showing how this beautiful region is confronting its own looming climate catastrophe. More

Meanwhile in northwest Turkey, iconic Mount Ida, referenced in the Illiad for its cultural significance, is under new threat from plans to mine for gold. Local people have launched a campaign to defend their land and heritage. Help bring international attention to their struggle and learn more here.

Photo: Syed Saiful Alam

Transgender Rally for Climate: In Bangladesh – where millions were affected by deadly flooding just one week earlier – people from all over South Asia and the Middle East stood with transgender people at a climate rally in Dhaka. More

Fossil Free EIB! The EU bank released its latest energy lending policy, and it’s a game-changer. If adopted in September, the bank will no longer lend money to fossil fuels after 2020. Read more

#ClimateStrike Update

Major climate strikes are expected this Friday at the end of a weeklong gathering of hundreds of youth strikers in Switzerland, giving us a taste of what’s to come this September. Follow all the action live on #ClimateStrike and #FridaysforFuture.

Already the largest trade unions in France and Germany have pledged to climate strike on September 20, and everyone from large NGOs to grassroots groups to the UN Secretary General is preparing for this to be a turning point. You can see updates from the last two weeks here – and keep an eye out for a new roundup next week by visiting or following on social media.

One to Watch

In this beautiful 3-minute film marking World Indigenous Peoples Day, three indigenous leaders from Brazil and Colombia speak about their connection to land and how it feels to live in communities under constant threat from extraction. The shots are truly stunning – don’t miss this one. Watch

Use Your Power

This week, the world’s leading scientists released a landmark report highlighting the interplay between land degradation and the climate crisis. It signals the need for a rapid phase out of fossil fuels to avoid worsening food insecurity, poverty and climate impacts for the world’s most vulnerable people.

You can help the world understand what this report means: we need to put people and the planet before profit. Share the video so more people hear the message.

Watch and Share


That's it for now. We'll be back in two weeks with more climate movement news from around the world. 

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