PERREAULT Magazine January 2014 - Page 27

A simple numerical understanding further confirms the urgency behind this moral standing.

As it stands, we can emit roughly 500 more gigatons of carbon dioxide and still stay below 2°C of global warming as highlighted in the UN IPCC's latest report — anything more than that adds up to catastrophe for all life on earth. Burning the fossil fuel that corporations now have in their reserves would result in emitting 2795 gigatons of carbon dioxide — five times the so-called safe amount. But the fossil fuel companies are planning to burn it all and our governments are going to let them, they are even going to help them– that is, unless we rise up to stop them.

The world is quickly reaching a Point of No Return for preventing the worst impacts of climate change. With total disregard for this unfolding global disaster, the global fossil fuel industry is planning 14 massive coal, oil and gas projects that would produce as much new carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2020 as the entire US, and delay in taking action on climate change of at least a decade. One of these 14 projects is in the Arctic.

While the Arctic is melting, courageous people are putting their liberty on the line to confront the fossil fuel companies leading the charge — as in the case of the Arctic 30. Thirty people are still behind bars in Russia following a peaceful protest against oil drilling in the Arctic in September. They took action because they know it is wrong to exploit melting ice to drill for more of the oil that is warming our world. They were first charged with piracy, an absurd accusation. Now the Russian authorities say that accusation is being replaced with a charge of hooliganism – a charge that is just as absurd and carries up to 7 years in jail.

Some are taking direct action, while others are forming massive movements telling Big Oil that enough is enough. We want people everywhere to help undermine the credibility and influence of those companies where it hurts the most for them — their reputational and financial capital.

The fossil fuel divestment movement is growing fast. Since its launch in the US, 100 cities, states, religious institutions and universities, have made a commitment to divest. Now it's Europe's turn.

The fossil fuel divestment movement is growing fast. Since its launch in the US, 100 cities, states, religious institutions and universities, have made a commitment to divest. Now it's Europe's turn.

Earlier this month, the University of Oxford released a study concluding that the current effort is the fastest growing divestment campaign in history and poses a far-reaching and serious threat to the fossil fuel industry's bottom line. While the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are calling for an end to fossil fuel subsidies, PricewaterhouseCoopers warns of stranded investments should we not limit climate change.

The movement needs to reach climax soon.

We aim to inspire even more activism across the continent, as well as connect European efforts with the movement in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The fossil fuel industry is one of the most powerful industries on the planet. Now, a global movement is rising up to confront it.

Kumi Naidoo & Bill McKibben

Connect with Kumi on FaceBook or Twitter.

Divestment

Perreault Magazine / January, 2014 27