Expanding Progressive Movement Partnerships in the U.S.
Given the current U.S. administration’s continued attacks on the most vulnerable populations, its climate denial, and collusion with fossil fuel corporations, 350.org has embarked on a process of prioritizing two areas of cross movement work: Climate & Migration and Economic Justice.
We developed major cross movement partnerships, including with the Poor People’s Campaign and Keep Families Together Coalition. We also continued to support frontline communities impacted by climate change and fossil fuel extraction through the Frontline Fund. This year we funded initiatives such as:
A regional mobilization on the impact of oil and gas infrastructure on murdered and missing Indigenous women in the Dakotas;
A gathering in Canada of Secwe̓pemc Indigenous nations to move forward with plans to stop the Kinder Morgan Pipeline;
The first Protect Mother Earth gathering of Indigenous Peoples struggling against climate change and fighting fossil fuels in US & Canada;
The 6th annual Historical Black Colleges & Universities Climate Change Conference and the United We Dream Congress on immigrant rights.
These are just some of the many projects we’ve been supporting in an effort to ensure that our partnerships are making connections to the broader issues of justice. Our Frontline Fund will also continue to support innovative efforts that work towards keeping fossil fuels in the ground, work towards a 100% just transition to renewable energy and highlight the efforts of those working at the intersections of climate, racial, gender and economic inequalities.
350 Local Groups in the U.S.
One of the key strengths of 350.org is our local group affiliate network active in 38 US states. These grassroots groups create profound change in their communities and achieve significant victories. We learn from their successes and help other groups replicate their success in other parts of the country.
In 2018, we launched an Innovation Fund to support groups to experiment and document their learnings, and this is already generating exciting outcomes. The first round of projects included: organizing in rural areas; creating statewide grassroots lobbying networks; and, documenting effective volunteer engagement and leadership structures.
We’re also learning how to better support groups that are excited to take their organizing to the next level. We’ve carefully selected 10 groups for a year-long leadership program that we call Heart & Muscle. We held a kick-off meeting in October, and subsequent monthly webinars covered topics such as building equitable organizations and effective coalition building.
Lastly, we’re piloting a series of trainings we call PowerUp to teach the basics of organizing, how to start a group, and most importantly to provide the direct support and mentorship to keep going with their organizing.
East Asia Climate Leadership Camp
We organized the East Asia Climate Leadership Camp to train 40 young climate leaders from 9 Asian countries. Participants came from Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, and South Korea.
We helped support and amplify a grassroots movement to save the 12,000-year-old Hambach Forest in Germany from coal conglomerate RWE. We launched a petition that garnered over 18,000 signatures to protect the forest, supported 50,000 grassroots activists with international press amplification, video production, spread the #HambiBleibt (Hambi Stays) message on social media, and organized messages of solidarity from the global 350 community.
The resistance movement won the latest battle to save the forest: a court in Münster ordered RWE to stop it’s planned development. It may take months or even years for the court to decide whether RWE has the right to pursue its plans to get to the coal below the forest, and much needed time for the movement to save the forest permanently.
Supporting Coal Resistance in South Asia
We continued to support the six year-long popular resistance movement to stop the development of the Rampal coal plant in the Sundarbans forest in Bangladesh. In November, we supported the Global Day of Protests to Save Sundarbans held across the world in major international cities and joined by hundreds who showed their solidarity.
We additionally brought 20 members of the Bangladeshi diaspora community together with activists in Paris last October for a series of strategy meetings with allies to stop the coal plant. Lastly, we trained 30 grassroots activists living in the Sundarbans on digital storytelling and security to ensure their safety and that their message is heard globally.
We supported activists opposing the development of the Phulbari coal mine in Bangladesh. If the mine is built, it would lead to the forced displacement of up to 230,000 people and it will have a devastating impact on the environment. In December, we supported the diaspora community’s protest outside of Global Coal Mining in London, which is developing the mine, and amplified their message online and in the global press.
The trainings.350.org website continues to be a resource for the movement around the world. In 2018, website traffic increased by 371% — 48,000 different sessions with nearly 120,000 resources downloaded in 11 languages. We also released 8 new online skill-ups in five languages. These lessons are more interactive than academic courses and allow anyone to participate at anytime anywhere.
We also are sharing learnings. We have a number of storytelling labs available on the website so anyone can learn from experienced campaigners.
Innovative Digital Organizing
350.org continued to develop and create open-sourced resources for the global climate movement. We re-launched gofossilfree.org, which has had 507,716 hits in just one year and serves as a resource for all divestment and fossil free campaigning worldwide. In addition, we developed the Rise for Climate website, the central hub for the massive day of action that inspired over 250,000 to call for climate action on September 8th during Rise for Climate.