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Common Dreams

Climate Youth to Fossil Fuel Financiers: 'Fund Solutions, Not Pollution'

Demonstration of thousands caps four day Power Shift conference as youth-driven climate movement raises its voice

Lauren McCauley, staff writer

"Fund Solutions, Not Pollution" was the cry as thousands of anti-fracking activists and climate justice leaders swarmed the streets of downtown Pittsburgh Monday in a mass stand against corporate polluters and the growing fracking industry in Pennsylvania.

Culminating the four-day Power Shift 2013 summit of the youth-driven climate movement, the march was lead by residents of Dimock, Pennsylvania and other 'fracked' communities, whose water has proven to be contaminated by the gas drilling process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Sponsored by the Washington, D.C.-based Energy Action Coalition—as well as the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and—the summit is held annually as a launching pad for youth-led actions against the planetary climate crisis and the fossil fuel paradigm which fuels it.

"Together, our voices will unite in a drumbeat calling for change that will not be ignored," declared the conference organizers.

Beginning at 11:30 AM, the march stopped at the office headquarters of PNC Bank, criticized by the activists as "one of the biggest financiers of mountaintop removal and fracking."

As the birthplace of the oil and steel industries, Pittsburgh was chosen as the site of the biannual conference partly for symbolic reasons. "The city itself has banned fracking, yet the surrounding county recently signed a huge drilling lease for land under the Pittsburgh International Airport," notes the Associated Press.

AP reports that leaders from some of the nation's largest labor groups also partook in the summit.

“Global warming is here, and we can work and get it fixed together,” United Steel Workers president Leo Gerard said during his Friday night address.

Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune echoed the importance of this partnership saying that one of the goals of the environmental movement is to help build a new, green economy by decreasing pollution from existing fossil fuels while increasing clean energy production.

“We have to begin replacing old, outdated, dirty fossil fuel projects with energy efficiency and clean energy,” Brune said. “We’re talking about a massive transition, with millions of people who will be affected.”

On Saturday, many of the Power Shift sponsors took part in the Global Frackdown during which activists staged over 200 actions in 20 countries demanding that we "Ban Fracking Now."


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