“This movement is powered by people fighting for places they love.” — Naomi Klein
This January, communities around the world are seeing victories in long, hard-fought struggles against fossil fuel companies. Congratulations to everyone involved, and good luck to everyone still working to protect their own home.
Here are 7 victories this month:
1. Carson, California, USA
The community fought for years, and this week California Resources Corp. decided to pull their proposed project of 200 oil wells. Here’s the story.
“We don’t have to worry about our water that we drink, we don’t have to worry about our air quality that we breathe.… We’re talking about a way of life for us.” – Dianne Thomas, Carson Coalition community group
Yup, you heard this right — Scotland just announced an indefinite ban on fracking. Scots understand there is no such thing as safe fracking — for people, the planet or the climate.
However, the move is not comprehensive as it does not include stopping underground coal gasification – this is where coal is set alight underground and gas collected at the surface. But still – this is a big win!
“The Government’s decision today is testament to the perseverance of people and communities around the country who have tirelessly fought this industry in recent years.” — Friends of the Earth Scotland. Congrats to them FOE Scotland, Frack Off Scotland and everyone who fought for this.
3. Chile’s Maule coast
The 750 megawatt coal-fired power plant was first proposed in 2007, and since then a diverse citizens’ movement, the Citizens Action for the Defense of the Maule Coast, has been fighting. They fought it long enough that the company, AES Gener, lost their permit and the project is dead. Here’s the story.
“The community was organised, was active and was emphatic in defining their own development path.”–Rodrigo de la O, convenor of the Maule Itata Coastkeeper and a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance
4. São Paulo, Brazil
A judge granted an injunction suspending the gas exploration process in west São Paulo, as well as halting plans for fracking. This is another amazing victory won by awesome community groups in Brazil. Read the story in Portuguese.
5. Marrickville, Australia
On January 27th the Marrickville Council, a city in New South Wales, voted to offload its investments in fossil fuels. As a first step, the council will be ensuring over $15 million dollars are no longer invested in fossil fuels, with an aim to increase this amount. Here’s the story.
“Marrickville Council has a strong commitment to combating climate change, with programs aimed at cutting emissions. By adopting this motion we will prefer financial institutions that avoid funding fossil fuels, such as coal ports on the Great Barrier Reef, or coal seam gas projects in Camden,” says Councillor Max Phillips, who moved the fossil free motion.
To see some other big divestment victories in January — from Maine to Sweden — go here.