2018 was the year of local action
It all kicked off last January with the big bold announcement that New York City was divesting from Big Oil and going on the offensive with a lawsuit over climate damages. This massive win was thanks to years of strong organising from a coalition of groups in the city.
We knew coming out of COP21, COP22 and the Pacific COP23 — which was held in Germany on the edge of the giant Rhineland coal mines — that we needed to organise in all of our local communities to keep fossil fuels in the ground. We can’t leave it up to politicians.
In October scientists warned us that if we keep burning fossil fuels at this rate, in 10 years time we won’t be able to stop the planet from warming over 1.5°C, with potentially catastrophic consequences. We need to start transitioning our economy off fossil fuels and to 100% renewable energy now.
You know what? We can do this.
As a planet, we’ve faced a year-long onslaught of devastating political and climate crises impacting millions. 2018 was a year of ill-conceived trade wars, worsening famine in places like war-torn Yemen, widespread wildfires, typhoons and hurricanes, and a scary rise in populist nationalism and racial tensions all around the world. And yet throughout 2018, we also witnessed a seismic resurgence of local, popular resistance.
From kids marching for their lives and striking for the climate, to anti-coal activists in Kenya, Bangladesh and Turkey. From Brazilians fighting fracking to massive resistance against pipelines in Canada, U.S. and Europe.
Our collective determination to protect our communities, our democracies, our one blue planet is reaching a pivotal moment as we round out 2018. Right across the planet, people are using their collective power and their individual voices. 2019 has the potential to be a pivotal year for people power everywhere.
It has to be.
Looking forward to 2020!
We invite you to cast your mind forward with us for one moment … to the 31st of December, 2019.
Where will you be on the New Year’s Eve of 2020, a little over one year from today? Who will you be with? What will you be celebrating and mourning? What will our world be like by then?
Here’s our vision for where we can get to by the start of 2020:
- The tide has turned. People everywhere have found their collective power and individual voices — popular momentum and numbers are on the side of justice. Enough people – 3.5% of us – are taking the sustained action that’s needed to change the world.
- The age of fossil fuels is over, even though its effects are only just beginning and its engines are still spewing out mass climate pollution. But the fossil industry’s reputation lies in tatters and its extractive business model is irreparably broken — once iconic projects are slowly going bankrupt as remaining investors abandon a sinking ship. Fossil fuels has become a dirty word.
- In its place, a vibrant wave of innovative, community-scale renewable initiatives are inspiring communities around the world to reimagine how their economies can work for the many, not the few. There’s a newfound spirit of local and international cooperation.
- After decades of delay and obstruction, popular movements have risen up everywhere, unable to turn away from the climate breakdown we are witnessing. An active majority of the planet is now voting and acting in step with the demands of climate science and social, racial and environmental justice.
- Any politician unwilling to act in step with the scale of the crisis is gradually being voted or shamed out of office by people power and replaced with a new generation of ambitious young leaders drawn directly from the 3.5% of people actively participating in these popular movements.
- Communities everywhere are experiencing the impacts of climate inaction more than ever, but emissions are finally trending downwards and international cooperation is helping communities everywhere to build resilience, to adapt and to protect themselves from extreme damage we’ll experience even at 1.5C of global warming
- We’re not there yet, there’s hardship and hard work ahead for so many of us, but tomorrow morning the sun will continue to rise on a Fossil Free future. Happy New Year!
We’re so grateful for everyone who has contributed to the climate movement this year. Every city, every action matters.
If you can, consider making a small donation to help this work continue.