The Fossil Free campaign, which has spearheaded the movement to divest from fossil fuels since it began in 2012, will hold a Global Divestment Day spanning six continents on February 13-14.
Global Divestment Day will celebrate the incredible growth and increasingly international reach of the fossil fuel divestment movement. By 2014, 180 institutions had divested citing climate or carbon risk as their motivation. There are now over 500 active divestment campaigns underway at universities, cities, churches, banks, pension funds and other institutions.
“The divestment movement is already making a huge impact,” said May Boeve, Executive Director of 350.org, one of the organisations supporting the divestment effort. “In just two years, this campaign has grown from a few universities to hundreds of institutions around the world. Together, we’ve succeeded in challenging the social license of the fossil fuels industry, and begun to chip away at their political power. Global Divestment Day will celebrate this success, and help launch a new chapter of this growing movement.”
The divestment campaign highlights a conflict that most politicians are reluctant to address. If the world is to avoid catastrophic global warming, most known fossil fuel resources need to stay in the ground. As world leaders plan to gather in Paris later this year to attempt once again to secure a global deal to address the climate crisis, divestment provides the means to take back power from the fossil fuel industry and deliver a mandate for bold climate leadership before it is too late.
“On Global Divestment Day we will be sending a clear message to the world: now is the time to end the age of fossil fuels,” said Payal Parekh, Global Managing Director for 350.org. “Instead of funding the problem, we need to start funding solutions in the form of clean, renewable sources of energy. This is the only real solution to overcoming the climate crisis”.
On February 13-14 worldwide actions will include: individuals closing their accounts with banks and pension funds investing in climate chaos; university students holding flash-mobs, vigils, sit-ins and rallies calling upon their endowments to invest in a liveable future, faith leaders and people living on the frontline of climate change will band together to urge their communities to divest from climate destruction. In the financial capitals, people will gather for colourful rallies calling on investors to break up with the fossil fuel industry and sever their ties once and for all.
Hundreds of events are now planned worldwide for Global Divestment Day in 48 countries spanning six continents.
In South Africa a new campaign is underway targeting Nedbank with hundreds of people partaking in colorful actions including art and music.
Numerous events will span the African continent from Burkina Faso to Benin to Nigeria and Egypt.
Events will be held across Australia, with people moving their money from banks currently looking to finance plans to build the world’s largest coal port in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
Sydney will witness a huge rally in a colourful valentine’s/fossil fuel break-up themed day.
In Nepal a new campaign will launch with hundreds converging in an artistic action using umbrellas calling for the city of Kathmandu to divest from fossil fuels.
New divestment campaigns are launching in countries such as France, Vietnam, Ukraine and Japan to name a few.
Across the United States and the United Kingdom hundreds of students are planning sit-ins and “flash-mobs” on campus.
In London hundreds will be flooding City Hall calling on one of the world’s leading financial centers to show leadership and end its dangerous relationship with fossil fuels. Also, a prayer rally will be held at the General Synod of the Church of England calling on the church to divest from fossil fuels and stand alongside communities across the world that are affected by climate change.
The Pacific Islands will have events in Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea delivering one clear message: “Divestment is the means to secure the future of our children and help keep our islands above water.”
In the Vatican a light brigade event will be taking place bringing together hundreds of people to ask the Pope to lead on climate solutions by divesting from fossil fuels.
California will see a public demonstration on the doorstep of the largest pension fund in the country to launch a new campaign calling for California to become the first fossil free state in the US.
As Norway’s Parliament reviews the sovereign wealth fund’s investments in fossil fuels, hundreds will gather in Oslo to demand the fund breaks up with coal, oil and gas.
A bike parade with hundreds of cyclists will sound the alarm on Amsterdam‘s dirty energy finance.
In an artistic performance outside Stockholm City Hall, fossil fuels that have invaded the city council will be chased away by a mass of people and transform into a climate solution.