Ever since 350.org started, we looked to 2015 as a crucial year. That was the year global emissions were supposed to peak, and as such, it took on special significance as a milestone for our work. After the first major attempt at a global climate treaty collapsed in Copenhagen, 2015 was established as the new deadline.
The good news is that in many ways, 2015 actually exceeded our expectations, which rarely happens. There was a period of about two weeks where I saw the word "Victory!" in more emails, Facebook posts, and tweets than I ever had before.
You all know the list: Keystone XL and countless other fossil fuel projects stopped; divestment impact measured in the trillions; clean energy surging everywhere, and much, much, more.
In this report you can read more about these victories, the people and the network of partners who make them happen, and the ways we use our resources to support the work. We have always strived to be bold and ambitious in our aims, and as we've grown, thanks to your generosity, that means we can be bold on a much larger scale. In these stories you will see how 2015 was not only a year of victories in campaigns, but also a year of focus, experimentation, and shifting the ways we work internally.
We get lots of questions about "symbolic victories," and with good reason: climate change is so serious, and getting worse, not better. So how can we justify celebrating victories when we know so much work remains to be done? We each have our own answer, but mine goes something like this: 350.org is and always has been dedicated to movement building. Only an ever-increasing movement of people, everywhere on Earth, is capable of changing a status quo as entrenched as the traditional fossil fuel economy. And the only way a movement can grow in power is when it also grows in spirit: in hope, in optimism, and in the courage to keep going. Victories propel all of us to believe that despite the setbacks, we can still be successful, and we can continue the hard work.
With continued gratitude for being part of this vision,
May Boeve, Executive Director
COP 21: Paris
U.N. Climate Conference in Paris
On December 12th, 2015, world governments meeting in Paris produced a landmark climate agreement — it doesn’t get us anywhere close to where the world needs to be, but we have a deal, and that itself is extraordinary.
Although our plans for marches had to be altered following the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris in November, the climate movement still came together around the UN climate summit to push for change.
Many of the events we held throughout the year were geared toward building momentum for Paris.
785,000People participating in the November 28-29 Global Climate March
2,300Locations around the world hosting a Global Climate March
10,000People in the streets in Paris after the talks, despite the government declaring a State of Emergency
Photos from Global Climate March and D12 actions (from top left): Paris, France: Collin Rees. Dagny, Senegal: unknown. Tokyo, Japan: Hiroshi Okamoto. Wellington, New Zealand: 350NZ. Johannesburg, South Africa: unknown. Warsaw, Poland: Konrad Konstantynowicz.
Power through Paris workshop. Photo: Kevin Leecaster.
In September, we held our Off & On event in Brooklyn, NY to chart a course for our energy future that moves our economy off fossil fuels, towards one powered 100% by renewable energy sources. Later that month, we held our Power through Paris workshops around the world to train local activists on organizing tools they could use in their community, before they descended on Paris to hold world leaders accountable to the scale of ambition that scientists say we need. There were approximately 300 workshops in 83 countries, with over 6,000 people in attendance.
Global Climate March, London. Photo: Dominic Lipinski, AP
The Global Climate March on November 28th and 29th brought 785,000 people into the streets in over 2,300 places around the world, and over 10,000 people attended the mobilization in Paris at the end of the talks. Every day, it’s clear our movement is growing and gaining strength — and that’s what gives us hope about actually solving this crisis.
Our social media team amplified indigenous voices and mobilized the public to push for a strong and just agreement during the conference. Our live blog had 115,000 active readers, we reached 27.6 million people on Facebook, and made 269.8 million impressions on Twitter, during just that week and a half of conference negotiations.
Fossil Fuel Divestment + Reinvestment
$3,400,000,000,000(3.4 trillion, USD) Total assets under management that have committed to a level of divestment at end of 2015
6800%Percentage increase in divestment commitments from 2014
$1 TrillionThe entire sovereign wealth fund of Norway, divested
In 2015, it became clearer than ever that the divestment movement had grown far beyond its humble origins on the campus of Swarthmore College to become something else entirely: an unprecedented global force for climate action, moving markets and shaping public opinion across the entire world.
From Oxford University to Columbia, our movement continues to be led by passionate students who will live with the long-term impacts of the climate crisis, and many institutions are taking notice: the two largest pension funds in California divested from coal, as did Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, which together totaled $1.5 trillion dollars in assets.
Photo: Fossil Free UK
We generated media and divestment commitments with Global Divestment Day in February 2015. People around the world declared, at over 450 events in 60 countries, that if it’s wrong to wreck the climate, it’s wrong to profit from that wreckage.
Our campaign with The Guardian garnered 300,000 signatures calling for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust to divest. But here’s the number that knocked our socks off: divestment commitments went from $50 billion in 2014 to $3.4 trillion in managed assets (assets managed by an investment manager on behalf of a client) at the end of 2015! Yes that’s trillion with a "t", and counting.
We also helped convene a Reinvestment Network in the United States to drive divested funds away from fossil fuels towards reinvestment in communities on the frontlines of the extractive, exploitative economy. We convened local organizers to create a translocal network of peers building alternative investment structures (think co-ops, solar farms, community-owned businesses, etc.) in climate-impacted communities. In partnership with the divestment student network, we trained dozens of students and fostered relationships between campus divestment leaders and organizations in climate-impacted communities to build power together, driving divestment and advocating for reinvestment in community-owned alternatives to the fossil fuel economy.
Fossil Fuel Industry
Keep it in the Ground
Everywhere the fossil fuel industry looked in 2015, our movement cropped up to deliver the simple message that our climate simply can’t afford the construction of new fossil fuel infrastructure.
Whether it was Energy East in Canada, the Alberta Clipper in Minnesota, or any number of dirty energy projects across the world, our movement has stood up to fight new pipelines, coal developments and fracked gas export facilities that lock our society into developing and paying for fossil fuels for years to come.
Major Victory — 7 November 2015
Keystone XL Pipeline Rejected!
Photo: Shadia Fayne Wood
Years of organizing and thousands of actions across North America took the Keystone pipeline from "a done deal" to politically toxic — and set a global precedent for rejecting major fossil fuel infrastructure projects on climate grounds.
Years of organizing pays off with the rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline, indigenous communities lead the way on fights against new pipelines, and Canada gives Prime Minister Trudeau a Climate Welcome.
2015 was the year President Obama finally rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, specifically citing climate change in his reasoning. That’s entirely the product of our movement’s work over the past four years, holding more than 750 actions and bird-dogging President Obama and Secretary Kerry at over 100 events.
Map of Keystone XL actions over the past 4 years.
But we knew stopping Keystone wasn’t enough to halt the expansion of the tar sands. So we held a series of Climate Welcome actions for incoming Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, where 300 people risked arrest over four days of sit-ins to hold him accountable to his promises on climate change. Led by indigenous elders and women, people gathered from every corner of the country and delivered welcome gifts, including solar panels, for the new Prime Minister.
Photo: Robert Van Waarden/Survival Media
Earlier in the year, our team in Canada worked with partners to organize two massive days of action in July to send the message that We > Tar Sands. These actions were capped by a huge march led by frontline and indigenous communities in Toronto of over 10,000 people demanding real action on jobs, justice, and the climate.
In the upper Midwest of the US, we helped organize 5,000 people for the Midwest Tar Sands Resistance March, which added momentum to the fight to stop the Alberta Clipper pipeline and other proposed Enbridge tar sands projects. That action brought together Native, frontline, and environmental communities from across the Midwest to demonstrate growing tar sands opposition. Since the march, the activists have been targeting statewide decision makers, and building a louder drumbeat for stopping tar sands pipelines throughout the Midwest.
Photo: Oriana Eliçabe
Brazil United States
Cities and municipalities throughout Brazil ban and put moratoriums on fracking, and California holds the largest anti-fracking demonstration ever in the United States.
In Brazil, the anti-fracking campaign is racking up victories: 51 municipalities have passed fracking bans. The campaign had another big victory in July 2015 when the environment commission of the National House of Representatives approved a five-year moratorium on fracking in National territories. On October 4, 2015, we organized a Day of Action in solidarity with the Brazilian fight against fracking. In total, there were 23 countries and 39 Brazilian cities that symbolically said no to fracking during the day of action. At an oil and gas auction to lease public lands, 350.org supported an action organized by COESUS - No Fracking Brazil Coalition, where indigenous peoples and activists protested against fracking. Of the 266 blocks being auctioned, only 37 were sold.
Photo: Kelly Johnson
In the US, we played integral roles in two national fracking coalitions and helped organize the March for Real Climate Leadership, which drew over 8,000 people to a march in Oakland, CA to call for a ban on fracking — the largest anti-fracking march in U.S. history. We’ve also worked with community members to photograph, document, and collect stories in California about how fracking is impacting their lives. We garnered media attention and countered the narrative that fracking is "safe."
Photo: Paul Wagner
Philippines Germany Australia
The Philippines ban all new coal power plants in Palawan, Ende Gelände occupies one of the largest coal mines in Europe, and Australia pressures banks to stop funding fossil fuels.
350.org Australia, an independent entity and 350.org partner, drew attention to and built resistance against the Galilee Basin coal development, which would be Australia's largest coal development, and one of the largest in the entire world. Following months of sustained pressure from 350.org Australia’s #RaiseTheHeat campaign, 12 international and two domestic banks — including two of Australia’s four largest banks — have publicly ruled out funding the project due to the financial and environmental risks.
Photo: Therene Quijano
In the Philippines, our team connected with the community in Palawan, who were facing the construction of a coal-fired power plant. In April 2015, 350.org Philippines launched a petition against the power plant and the mine: delivering over 6,000 petitions to the government.
Our team held multiple trainings in June to build the capacity of the local organising team in Palawan and elsewhere in the Philippines, and pressured authorities to not permit the plant. In February 2016, due to grassroots activism, the government ruled that no new coal plants would be built in Palawan!
In Germany, from August 14-16 2015, our team supported a grassroots-led mass action to stop the world’s largest coal diggers in their tracks for a day. The mass action was called Ende Gelände, which translates as “This far, and no further.” Over 1,500 people participated directly in the action, and we estimate that 350–400 people traveled from outside of Germany to take part. Many of the 1,500 people who participated in this epic act of civil disobedience had never done anything like it before.
Ende Gelände, 2015. Photo: Paul Wagner
Global Organizing and Leadership Development
Young activists with 350 East Asia participate in a Power Through Paris training. Photo: 350 East Asia.
We have a brand-new Global Training Program to facilitate workshops and trainings around the world and enhance the capacity of our regional organizers to support more activists engaging in bigger and bolder campaigns.
Our new program fosters local leadership and local traditions to yield powerful activism — such as the Pacific Warrior Training Program, which has mobilized hundreds of indigenous activists across many Pacific islands to engage in mass actions confronting the coal industry in Australia.
We worked with Global Greengrants Fund to advise on the distribution of 55 grants to grassroots climate leaders in 34 countries. These grants enabled groups to organize activities and ensure their voices were heard by UN decision makers in Paris, and enabled us to grow our partnership with these groups. We amplified the grantees’ activities with video production and communications.
As we’ve grown our budget over the years, we continue to be aware of partners who have not benefitted in that same way. We can try new things, take risks, and grow our team in a way many of our partners would love to — and without that ability, the movement doesn’t reach its full potential and our impact is constrained. We are passionate about being part of a movement where more partners, particularly grassroots partners, grow and accomplish their highest goals too. To that end, partnerships like the one with Global Greengrants was very important to us, and we will pursue more in the future.
Collaborated with Global Greengrants Fund to distribute:
in 34 Countries
Profile: Kreta Kaygang
Kreta Kaygang. Photo: Itamar Crispim.
Partnerships are the bedrock of our work at 350.org. We cannot do this crucial work to fight climate change without hundreds of partner organizations and thousands of volunteer activists around the world. We work closely with our partners on the ground, and support their work to maximize their impact for progress. Here is just one example:
Kreta Kaygang is a representative of APIB (the National Articulation of Indigenous Peoples), he speaks on behalf of the indigenous peoples in Brazil. His father was also a known activist for indigenous peoples' rights who was killed during the indigenous genocide by the military dictatorship.
Now, as fracking threatens the territories and livelihoods of Amazonian indigenous peoples' groups, Kreta is leading the fight of the Kaygang people, aware of this danger and organizing to resist it.
Kreta’s involvement in this struggle began during the workshops organized by 350 Brazil, and partners including COESUS-Coalizão Não Fracking Brasil (No Fracking Brazil Coalition), to explain the risks of fracking. He recalls, “the No Fracking coalition was essential to raise our attention to a matter that was unknown to us before [fracking]; showing us the way to raise our opposition, and helping indigenous peoples to understand better this issue, through workshops. Most Brazilians, not only indigenous peoples, don't know what fracking is, we all should know...”
Posters from the Não Fracking Brasil campaign.
“The interests of the colossal fossil and mining projects all over Brazil, and the entire planet can no longer be put ahead of those of human and indigenous rights.”
The involvement of Kreta and other indigenous leaders, along with the support from our local partners including the Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI) and Fundação Cooperlivre Arayara were key to engage the Federal District Attorney and local authorities in legal actions that led to the courts ruling bans on fracking across seven Brazilian states. For Nicole Oliveira, 350.org's Brazil team leader, “it's been a long fight but we are determined to continue; I feel confident to say we are winning and we will defeat the fossil fuel industry.”
Kreta is aware that a future court ruling could overturn this decision, but he has a clear vision for his plight: “We will continue fighting. Let's continue fighting in our countries, but let's also make an international union to collaborate on the struggle against fracking. Let's continue fighting, not only for a Brazil without fracking, but for a better planet for future generations. We indigenous peoples don't fight for today. We fight for the next generations, so everyone must unite to fight for their rights.”
It's thanks to Kreta and people like him — from Brazil to South Africa and from Great Britain to the South Pacific and hundreds of places in between — that we can achieve so much in such a short amount of time.
“The interests of the colossal fossil and mining projects all over Brazil, and the entire planet can no longer be put ahead of those of human and indigenous rights”, Kreta pointed out in a recent op-ed.
350.org worked with Kreta to write this profile and publishes it with his permission. Our heartfelt thanks goes out to Kreta and all our volunteer activists, partners, and supporters all around the world!
FY15 Expenses: $8,954,000
Campaigns — $7,601,000 (85%)
Field Work — $5,298,780
Communications — $836,110
Digital — $836,110
Management and General Operations — $1,132,000 (13%)
Fundraising —$221,000 (2%)
FY15 Income: $11,338,000
Foundations — $7,795,000 (69%)
Individuals — $3,368,000 (30%)
Other Sources — $175,000 (1%)
In addition to individual donations, 350.org’s work in Fiscal Year 2015 was supported by the following foundations:
The Alper Foundation
Angel Fund of Whatcom Community Foundation
Anne Cox Chambers Foundation
The Arete Foundation
Arntz Family Foundation
The Beim Foundation
The Betty Millard Foundation
The Blum Family Foundation
The Boston Foundation
Brenda Richardson Fund of the Baltimore Community Foundation
The Charles and Kaaren Family Foundation
Christina Heroy Foundation
Clif Bar Family Foundation
Community Foundation of Louisville
Cultural Vision Fund
Davis/Dauray Family Fund
The DeLong Family Trust
Denison Family Foundation
The Douglass Family Foundation
The Dudley Foundation
Elphaba Fund at the Boston Foundation
The Emanuel and Anna Weinstein Foundation
Emmons-Bradlee Family Foundation
European Climate Foundation
The Fair Share Fund at the Community Foundation Santa Cruz County
Fast Tempos & Odd Time Signatures Fund
Fellows Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation
Frahn Family Fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Franciscan Sisters of Mary
Frankel Family Foundation
Franklin Philanthropic Foundation
Frederick Mulder Foundation
The Frost Foundation
The Grace Jones Richardson Trust
The Gratch Family Fund, Evanston Community Foundation
Good Hand Foundation
Gould Family Foundation
Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment
Gregg and Cynthia Alex Family Charitable Fund
Hirshan Family Foundation
Holzer Family Foundation
James and Marcene Sonneborn Fund
The Jelks Family Foundation
John and Marianne Gerhart Fund of Tides Foundation
Jonathan C.S. Cox Family Foundation
The K Foundation
Kane Family Foundation
The Kendeda Fund
Lear Family Foundation
Lenfestey Family Foundation
The Libra Foundation
Lockhart Vaughan Foundation
Louis and Anne Abrons Foundation
Louise B. and J. Ashley Cadwell Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation
The Lumpkin Family Foundation
The Lutz Fund
Malcolm Cravens Foundation
The Mad Rose Foundation
The Madwoman Project in the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation
The Marcus R. and Regina M. Magnuson Family Donor Advised Fund of Renaissance Charitable Foundation
Marquis George McDonald Foundation
Mason-Brown Fund at the Boston Foundation
The Mendell Family Fund
The Mennonite Foundation
Mertz Gilmore Foundation
The Michels Family Foundation
Michl Fund of the Community Foundation of Boulder County
Mize Family Foundation
Morse Hill Trust
The Namaste Foundation
New Belgium Family Foundation
New Venture Fund
The New York Community Trust
The Oregon Community Foundation
The Overbrook Foundation
Paul and Edith Babson Foundation
Phalarope Fund of Community Foundation Sonoma County
The Pill Maharam Family Fund
The Reis Foundation
Richard and Rachel Fund, New Mexico Community Foundation
Robert Scripps Family Foundation
Robert Sterling Clark Foundation
Robinhood Cove Fund of the Essex County Community Foundation
Rockefeller Brothers Fund
Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment
RSF Social Finance as recommended by Jennifer Ladd
The Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts
Samuel and Elizabeth Smith Fund
Schaar & Whelpton Foundation
Schaffner Family Foundation
Schlingerman-Christensen Family Foundation
The Seattle Foundation
Second Anonymous Fund, Santa Fe Community Foundation
Seth MacFarlane Foundation
Shlenker Block Fund at the Houston Jewish Community Foundation
The Shifting Foundation
The Shimkin Foundation
The Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Sitxty-Nine Roses Charitable Foundation at the Boston Foundation
South Mountain Company Foundation
Stanley Family Fund of the Community Foundation of New Jersey
The Stanny Foundation
The Streisand Foundation
Stuart and Joanna Brown Charitable Fund
Sudhanshu, Lori & Anand Family Fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation