The Power Of Community In The Climate Crisis

Across the climate movement, it’s dawned on us that unless we work together, the issues that we work on will be much harder, if not impossible to address.

Almost all scientific data exploring climate change, and the effect it has on our planet, confirms that human greenhouse gas emissions are one of the greatest contributors to this global problem. The science has shown the potential impacts, what we stand to lose, and how much worse droughts, flood and cyclones can get. Despite the worldwide outcry and regular demonstrations, the political will to make these changes has lacked sorely, and the reality that we are all part of an intricate ecosystem where humans and nature rely on each other to thrive, has been lost.  

As well as the devasting global impact, reports have also shown the shocking case of human rights abuses by thousands of fossil fuel companies around the world. From the forced removal of communities from their indigenous land, restrictions on the right to protest and contamination of fresh water supplies. Fossil fuel extraction endangers local people and their ways of life. 

Artwork: Jan Berger of Paperhand Puppet Intervention. Source: 350.org

Ultimately, as with most things, the key to the climate crisis and bringing an end to fossil fuels is money – money props up the fossil fuel industry and lines the pockets of the CEOs and politicians that advocate in its favour. By targeting the powers that enable the fossil fuel industry, we can pull the big players out the game and finally hold them accountable for years of ignoring the will of the people and damage caused to the planet.  

The start of 2020 witnessed a huge global shift in money being pulled out of the fossil fuel industry. After years of pressure, major banks, pension funds and investors are finally turning their backs on companies that make their profits from fuelling the climate crisis. 350 Japan, through the support of their volunteers, campaigned against financing fossil fuels, seeing 3 Japanese megabanks bringing their coal financing to an end – a crucial turning point in the global transition towards renewable energy. Activism has made funding oil, coal and gas projects bad business.  

For many years, people have been encouraged to recycle more, consume less and think twice about their choices. The responsibility to bring climate change to a halt had been tactically placed upon society, while huge corporations and NGOs carried on business as usual. People everywhere have come together, pushed their local institutions to cut ties with toxic industries, organised local resistance to fossil projects, protested in the streets and spent the time and money they could spare in taking on the persistent polluters, which has all helped tip the scale towards the end of the fossil fuel era. Finally, some good news.  

350.org as a global grassroots climate movement, is working to build a future that’s fair, prosperous, equitable and safe from the effects of the climate crisis. Recognising that it is those who are hit the hardest who have most often contributed the least, this international network campaigns against new coal, oil and gas projects and advocates for clean energy and community led developments. It works with the communities on the very front line of the climate crisis. It is by adopting a collaborative nature, that 350.org is well on its path towards transformational change. The climate crisis is on people’s minds like never before. Together, the communities of 350.org have brought a holt to numerous fossil fuel projects in their attempts to cause further harm and they continue to work in the fight against climate change.