350.org is building a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis. Founded in 2008 by a group of college friends and environmental writer and activist Bill McKibben, we have coordinated over 20,000 climate demonstrations in more than 182 countries. In 2012, 350.org is helping lead the fight against the Keystone XL pipeline, pushing for fossil fuel divestment, and organizing Global Power Shift.
Daniel Kessler, 350.org Media Campaigner, firstname.lastname@example.org, 510-501-1779
May 16, 2013
Over 100 Protest Harper in New York Over Canada’s Dismal Climate Policies and Keystone XL
Academics use visit to launch new tar sands fact checking website
New York -- The Big Apple proved to be an unfriendly landing spot today for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, whose sales job for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline was interrupted by scores of climate activists who want President Obama to reject the pipeline and for Harper to re-commit Canada to confronting climate change.
An estimated 100 activists greeted Harper before his visit to the Council on Foreign Relations with a large banner that read “Harper: Tell the truth on climate change. Tar Sands = Climate Disaster.” On Tuesday, over 500 people met President Obama here to ask him to reject the Keystone.
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May 15, 2013
Scientists Warn Canada Won’t Hit Climate Target if Tar Sands Development Proceeds, Activists to Greet Prime Minister Harper in New York City
WASHINGTON (May 15, 2013) – With Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaking in New York City this week, leading scientists warned that his government’s vision for a huge development of tar sands oil would cause an environmental nightmare for Canada’s Boreal Forest and “significant threats to our changing climate.”
“The pace and scale of expansion of oil sands and a safe climate for all of us cannot co-exist,” they said in a letter sent today to the Council on Foreign Relations, where Harper is speaking on Thursday. “Unless the exploitation of the oil sands is brought under control, in a responsible manner, Canada and the world will have no hope of keeping global warming below the promised 2 degrees Celsius.”
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May 14, 2013
Green Mountain College Will Divest from Fossil Fuels
Green Mountain is the fifth college in the nation and second in Vermont to commit to fossil fuel divestment
Poultney, VT -- Green Mountain College (GMC) announced today that it is committing to divest its $3.1 million endowment from fossil fuels. It is the fifth college in the nation and the second in Vermont to commit to divestment as part of a nationwide campaign that has spread to over 300 colleges and universities and more than 100 cities and states across the country.
"We're pleased with the conversation that has occurred this semester between students and administration, resulting in the divestment from the list of the most destructive 200 fossil fuel companies," said a statement issued by Divest GMC, the student group on campus who led the divestment campaign. "As students of an environmental liberal arts college we look forward to continuing the dialogue of authentic sustainability, both environmentally and socially. In this way we are strengthening student voice in all aspects of institutional education."
The GMC Board of Trustees voted on Friday, May 10 to immediately divest from fossil fuels and establish a process for aligning future investments with social, environmental and governance goals. GMC has a $3.1 million endowment, 1% of which is currently invested in the 200 fossil fuel companies that own the vast majority of the world’s coal, oil and gas reserves.
May 10, 2013
Bill McKibben Comments on 400ppm CO2 Milestone
EARTH -- Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide passed the 400ppm threshold today, a historic and ominous marker of the effect that human beings are having on the planet. The international climate campaign 350.org, which is named after the goal of reducing atmospheric CO2 to below 350ppm, the safe upper limit according to leading climate scientists, marked the occasion by launching a website explaining the significance of the 400ppm threshold: 400.350.org.
350.org founder Bill McKibben released the following reaction to the news,
"We're in new territory for human beings--it's been millions of years since there's been this much carbon in the atmosphere. The only question now is whether the relentless rise in carbon can be matched by a relentless rise in the activism necessary to stop it."
May 5, 2013
Students send a message straight to President Obama on Keystone XL tar sands pipeline during the President’s commencement address
COLUMBUS -- A group of Ohio State graduates at their graduation today disrupted President Obama’s commencement speech to tell the president that they demand that he reject the permit for the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, among the most destructive fossil fuel projects on earth.
From the rafters, students displayed two banners during the ceremony that read: “OSU Says: No KXL.” About 20 students also stood up during the speech with the same message written on their t-shirts and their hats.
"My generation desires sustainable occupations, and energy infrastructure. The Keystone XL is no more than a short term remedy for our modern carbon-based economy. We have the responsibility and urgency to act ethically for the future not for short term gain,” said Bobby Jones, Sports & Leadership major.
President Obama is expected to decide Keystone's fate later this year. Opposition to the pipeline has continued to grow. Over 1,500 people have already been arrested to stop Keystone XL and on February 17 over 40,000 people came to Washington to tell President Obama to reject the pipeline. Credo Mobile and others have collected pledges from over 60,000 people who are willing to risk arrest to stop the pipeline.
“I work on a variety of justice based issues. I am proud to stand up in front of my friends and family at my graduation to ask President Obama to choose to protect our future instead of Big Oil's,” said Andrew Lin, Sociology Major. “My generation is leading the climate movement because we understand that if we keep on our current course, our climate and planet will be destroyed."
April 25, 2013
See below for contact information
Ten U.S. Cities Commit to Pursue Fossil Fuel Divestment
Cities add momentum a national movement that has spread to over 300 colleges and universities across the country
SEATTLE, WA -- The Mayor of Seattle, 350.org, and the Mayors Innovation Project announced today that nine mayors and city councils across the country are joining the Mayor of Seattle in urging their cities to divest from the top 200 fossil fuel companies because of the industry’s responsibility for the climate crisis.
“Divestment is just one of the steps we can take to address the climate crisis,” said Mayor Mike McGinn of Seattle, who this November urged the city’s pension fund to divest from the fossil fuel industry and is now encouraging other mayors to do the same. “Cities that do so will be leaders in creating a new model for quality of life, environmental sustainability and economic success. We’ve got a head start on that here in Seattle, but there’s a lot more work to do.”
The other cities who have agreed to pursue divestment include: Madison, WI, Bayfield, WI, Ithaca, NY, Boulder, CO, Rochester, MN, Eugene, OR, Richmond, CA, Berkeley, CA, and San Francisco, CA. In San Francisco, the city’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Tuesday to urge the cities $16 billion pension fund to divest over $583 million from the fossil fuel industry. Elsewhere, the mayors have agreed to pursue ways to keep their city funds out of fossil fuel companies and urge either their city or state pension fund to divest.
Today’s announcement marked the official launch of the city and state divestment campaign, which is led by the Mayors Innovation Project and 350.org, an international climate campaign.
"Cities are taking the lead on the issue of climate change" said Joel Rogers, Director of the Mayors Innovation Project. "In the face of federal and state inaction, cities know they have to protect themselves."
In Richmond, home to a Chevron oil refinery that is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in California and a major contributor to respiratory health problems in the city, the divestment campaign has particular resonance.
"Richmond is home to the 2nd largest oil refinery and largest point source of greenhouse gas emissions in California,” said Richmond, CA Mayor Gayle McLaughlin. "I am proud to join with other cities in this divestment campaign, as we divest from an industry that is wreaking havoc on our community and planet, and reinvest in a clean energy economy with new jobs for our residents."
In Ithaca, NY, 26-year old Mayor Svante Myrick, one of the youngest mayors and youngest African-Americans elected in US history, agreed to pursue divestment after meeting with a group of local high school students who urged him to act in order to protect their future.
“The City of Ithaca does not invest in fossil fuels and I can certainly commit, as long as I am Mayor, to not investing City funds in fossil fuels,” said Mayor Myrick earlier this week. “The commitment these young people have shown to safeguarding our environment should serve as an inspiration to us all.”
According to 350.org, divestment petitions are already up and running in 100 other cities and states across the country. Modeled on the anti-apartheid campaigns of the 1980s, the fossil fuel divestment campaign started last fall at colleges and universities and has now spread to over 300 campuses across the country. Four colleges, Unity, Hampshire, Sterling, and College of the Atlantic, have agreed to divestment. The new city commitments are a big boost for the campaign.
“It's so fitting that American cities are taking the lead in the fight to weaken the fossil fuel industry's political power,” said Bill McKibben, a prominent environmentalist and founder of 350.org. “Since every city public works department is already spending scads of cash to deal with the gathering storms and rising seas climate change is bringing, it's clear it makes no sense for them to also prop up the industries that make it necessary.”
For many, concerns about climate change are driving this new divestment effort. The campaign is specifically targeting the 200 companies that own the vast majority of the world’s coal, oil and gas reserves. Those reserves contain five times more carbon dioxide than scientists say society can emit and still keep global warming below 2°C, a limit that nearly every country on Earth, including the United States, has agreed to meet.
Fossil fuel divestment may prove to be a good financial move, as well. A recent study by the Aperio Group, a financial advisory firm, concluded that fossil fuel divestment would increase a portfolio’s risk by only around 0.01%. The report’s lead author, Patrick Geddes, a former CFO for MorningStar and former analyst for the oil company Amoco, told reporters on a recent webinar that, “Statistically, it’s basically noise.”
At the same time, many are raising concerns about the risks of staying invested in the fossil fuel industry. According to a new report by HSBC, if countries agree to meet the 2°C target and pass regulations strong enough to keep 75-80% of known fossil fuel reserves in the ground, the write off of those reserves could cause loss in market value of up to 60% for fossil fuel companies like BP, Shell, and Chevron. Earlier this year, Oxford University launched a new program to study the risk a “carbon bubble” could pose to the market.
Over the coming months, 350.org, the Mayors Innovation Project, and other partners will continue to spread the divestment to campaign to more cities and states across the country, with the goal of convincing some of the largest pension funds in the US to divest from the fossil fuel industry.
At 350.org: Jamie Henn, email@example.com, 415-601-9337
At Mayors Innovation Project: James Irwin, firstname.lastname@example.org, 608-262-6585
In Richmond, CA: Mayor Gail McLaughlin, Mayor@officeofthemayor.net, 510-620-6503
In Ithaca, NY: Julie Conley Holcomb, City Clerk, email@example.com, 607-274-6570
In Seattle, WA: Aaron Pickus, Aaron.Pickus@seattle.gov, 425-418-7606
In San Francisco, CA: Jeremy Pollock, Office of Supervisor John Avalos, firstname.lastname@example.org, 415-554-7910
April 22, 2013: Over a Million Comments Push President Obama and State Department to Reject Keystone XL
April 1, 2013: Bill McKiben Responds to Exxon Spill in Mayflower, AR
March 22, 2013: Bill McKibben on Senate KXL Vote
March 18, 2013: Activists Push Senate on Keystone XL
February 25, 2013: Call on Canada's Climate Bluff
February 17, 2013: Forward on Climate Brings 35,000+ to Washington DC
February 16, 2013: Forward on Climate Release
February 13, 2013: 48 Arrested in Keystone XL Protest at the White House
February 6, 2013: 60 Groups urge Kerry to continue strong leadership on climate change
January 22, 2013: 350.org Reacts to Nebraska Gov. Heineman's Approval of Keystone XL Route
January 15, 2013: Nation’s Top Climate Scientists Urge President Obama to Reject Keystone XL Pipeline
Click here for past 350.org press releases and media advisories.
Info for Media on our Key Campaigns:
350.org Overview: who we are and how we're using the internet to wire a global climate movement
Bill McKibben, 350.org Founder: recent articles, a bio, and hi-res photos of Bill
Global 350 Images
Pictures from 350 events across the planet are available for free download and use at our Flickr site, where you'll find hi-res images. For photos from the Tar Sands Action campaign against the Keystone XL pipeline, please click here.
Click here for 350.org logos.