I always like to end the year with hope. This time last year, I wrote that 2015 had been such a banner year for us at 350.org that it seemed like we were “getting close to a sort of climate-action tipping point.” But here we are at the end of 2016, and the politics of climate action are in serious jeopardy. I was having a hard time finding that thread of hope — until I started to pull together this list.
Hope is a choice we make, and thankfully — if we look in the right places — reasons for hope are everywhere. The people in these photos are powerful. This is where our power as a movement has always come from, and that hasn’t changed a bit:
Earlier this month, we announced — along with an ever-growing list of partners and allies — that the fossil fuel divestment movement hit a new milestone. Yes, $5 trillion — that’s a doubling in divestment commitments over the past year.
Our team in Brazil has been working hard and seeing some incredible wins. Last month, the state of Paraná banned fracking — joining more than 200 municipalities that have already done so.
This summer, the Ende Gelände action in Germany (part of our global Break Free mobilization) shut down one one of Europe’s largest lignite coal mines for over 48 hours — massive coal diggers, coal trains, power plant and all. You can give directly to the Ende Gelände crew here.
At the same time in Turkey, the Break Free action in Aliağa was shining a light on the impacts of coal in a country that plans to build as many as 80 new coal-fired power plants in the next few years. Plans for the Aliağa plant were subsequently shelved this fall!
Activists + kayaks = kayaktivists. People were taking to the water everywhere this year, and no wonder. It’s amazing what you can blockade with a flotilla of little boats.
The courageous stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline electrified the world this year, and I’m including it here because it’s been such a deep source of hope. But it’s a fight that’s been led by Indigenous organizers and organizations from day one, and I hope you’ll support them too — click here to donate to the Indigenous Environmental Network and click here to donate to Honor the Earth. This fight isn’t over.
Thousands of people marched hundreds of kilometers from Dhaka to the Sundarbans — the home of the world’s largest mangrove forest and proposed site of a 1320 MW coal-fired power plant.
The Pacific region is gravely threatened by climate change, but these climate warriors aren’t giving up — they’re fighting for their homes by organizing their communities.
Art, music, and poetry are powerful movement tools, and these organizers in Africa are using them to spread awareness and build networks.
Young people from across East Asia came together this year to learn, exchange ideas, and strategize.
Yes, you. Our work at 350.org is powered by action and activists like you. You’re the one marching in the street, holding up your sign at the rally, reading this email on your laptop or phone and taking a minute to share your hope, energy and resolve with the movement. I see you, right now, and I want you to know that you inspire me.
You, me, all of us at 350.org, together with all of our allies — we’re going to make this next year a tough one for the fossil fuel industry. We’re building our power from one end of the globe to the other, despite reactionary politics and hostile governments.
This movement may be under attack, but we’re not in retreat. Far from it.