If you’re busy and wondering if this blog post is worth the read, let me help you decide: it’s not an urgent call to action. There isn’t quick petition we need you to sign. But, if you’re wondering what we’ve been doing in 2023 so far across Europe and what’s coming up next in the fight for climate justice – then this is for you!
In the UK, we’re continuing to work with the Warm This Winter coalition demanding urgent action from the Government on the energy crisis and the climate crisis. Together, we’ve sent thousands of letters to our MPs, and handed in our petition to Downing Street – with almost half a million signatures!
On April 1st, many in-person meetings with MPs took place across the country while hundreds of us sent tweets to them at the same time. Huge thanks to everyone who supported this! We’ve definitely got their attention now, and we’ll use that over the next few months as we continue urging them to support mass investment in green, cheap energy for all – and an end to dirty, expensive oil and gas.
Meetings taking place across the UK as part of the April 1st Mass Lobby
Just recently, we joined partners to push the UK Government to leave the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT): an extremely dangerous international treaty. It basically allows fossil fuel giants to sue countries for taking climate action. The UK alone could be liable for £12 billion on the path to net zero carbon emissions. This is absolutely unacceptable and risks being a major obstacle on our path to a just and green transition. Over 7,000 350 supporters in the UK signed the petition, which was delivered to the UK government last week.
Our work with partners at the EU level on the ECT has already helped ensure several countries left or will leave the climate-wrecking treaty, including Germany, Spain, France and the Netherlands!
In Germany, our team has continued to push the country’s biggest bank – Deutsche Bank – towards a fossil free future. After our major win last year when the bank said they wouldn’t support the EACOP oil pipeline , they’re still continuing to pump billions into climate-wrecking fossil fuel projects. On Valentine’s Day, we urged people to #BreakUpWithDeutscheBank and groups across Germany delivered heart-shaped boxes of coal to their local Deutsche Bank branches!
Breaking up with Deutsche Bank on Valentine’s Day
And on April 1st the bank took the brave step of announcing publicly that they’d halt ALL fossil fuel funding with immediate effect… or did they? Sadly, the news was just an April Fools prank by our team in Germany, complete with AI newsreader video and a fake press release. However, it clearly demonstrated what needs to happen!
Continuing the tongue- in-cheek spirit, our French team has been making trouble for fossil fuel companies and their funders alongside StopTotal volunteers. In Paris, Brussels and 7 other cities, we had the honour of celebrating the wedding of two big polluters: Amundi and TotalEnergies!
Amundi is the biggest shareholder of TotalEnergies and alongside its parent company, Crédit Agricole, they finance the French oil giant with billions and play a big role in the development of destructive projects like the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline.
Fossielvrij NL, our sister organisation in the Netherlands, are laser focused on getting their largest national bank – ING to stop their fossil fuel funding for good. One of their many actions targeting ING over the past months was creating a new, improved voice-over for an ING advert, which made sure that everyone could see right through ING’s greenwashing. Check out the video below!
Fossielvrij NL also ran a full-page ad in a national newspaper where 26 of the bank’s major corporate clients – including emergency relief organisations and the largest Dutch trade union – called on ING to “Quit oil and gas!”. Next up: the team is mobilising for a large manifestation at ING’s headquarters on April 23.
We are also continuing to make exciting plans for the rest of the year, as we make our shift to focus towards campaigning for energy democracy and climate justice. Stay tuned for more!
We recently finished up our Earth Month fundraising campaign and we saw amazing results, with generous donations from across the globe! Donating is an amazing way to support 350.org’s work but we know not everyone is able to donate right now. There are lots of other ways to support the work that we’re doing in Europe and across the world – and one of them is spreading the message about what we’re up to here at 350.org Europe. So if you want, please share this blog post with friends and family!
Matilda, Lisa, Soraya, Bernadette, Marianna and the whole 350 Europe and Fossielvrij NL teams
1: “Deutsche Bank not financing controversial African oil pipeline, source says” [Reuters article]