Dec 10, 2015
As the United Nations climate talks in Paris near their end, global activists on Thursday said people power needs to step in where governments are failing while announcing plans for upcoming mass mobilizations that aim to "keep fossil fuels in the ground and accelerate a just transition to 100% renewable energy."
Acts of civil disobedience scheduled for May 2016, slated to occur in at least a dozen countries across the globe from the U.S. to Nigeria to Australia, are necessary, the organizers write on the breakfree2016.org website. "Our actions must reflect the scale and urgency of this crisis in a way that governments can no longer ignore."
Among the groups organizing the Break Free from Fossil Fuels mobilization are 350.org, Attac, Greenpeace International, and the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice.
From their statement:
We now have a unique opportunity to end the use of destructive fossil fuels and choose a clean energy future.
This May we hope to see more people than ever commit to joining actions that disrupt the industry's power by targeting the world's most dangerous fossil fuel projects, and supporting the most ambitious climate solutions.
Imagine: tens of thousands of people around the world rising up to take back control of their own destinies. Walking arm-in-arm into coal fields. Sitting down to block the business of governments and industry that threaten our future. Marching in peaceful defense of our right to clean energy.
We are close to a historic, global shift in our energy system. The way we get there is by action that names those who are responsible for climate change, takes power back for the people, and forces governments to act.
This is the moment we've been waiting for, let's seize it.
Among those speaking at a press conference announcing the Break Free actions were Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo, environmental justice activist Nnimmo Bassey, and 350.org's Payal Parekh. Some of their remarks were highlighted on Twitter:
\u201c\u201cTalking about solving global warming without talking about getting off fossil fuels is hypocrisy,\u201d @NnimmoB #COP21 #BreakFree\u201d— Jamie Henn (@Jamie Henn) 1449744493
\u201c\u201cWe are not the radicals, the fossil fuel industry and governments that support them are the outlaws,\u201d Payal Parekh, @350 #BreakFree #COP21\u201d— Jamie Henn (@Jamie Henn) 1449744880
\u201c"I see the horrors of oil extraction daily in Nigeria. It's time to #BreakFree & bring it to a halt." @oilwatchafrica1's @NnimmoB at #COP21\u201d— Collin Rees (@Collin Rees) 1449744627
\u201c"We must remember - Slavery was legal, but that did not make it okay. It took #PeoplePower to stop it." @kuminaidoo on #BreakFree at #COP21\u201d— Collin Rees (@Collin Rees) 1449744983
\u201c"We know that civil disobedience helps get our leaders to listen," @kuminaidoo #BreakFree #keepitintheground\u201d— Jamie Henn (@Jamie Henn) 1449744179
Climate activists are also gearing up for a mobilization on Saturday in Paris--in defiance of a protest ban--at the end of the climate talks.
"Negotiators are avoiding making the real commitments that are required to meet their stated goals of keeping warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius," organizers write. "On December 12, we will honor the victims of climate change with beautiful things to see and build, and make plans with the global movement that has gathered in Paris for the coming years. We will lay down red lines of climate safety that must not be crossed, and collectively pledge to act so that they are not."
"This will be our demonstration of hope, power and strength that we will hold as we bring the fight back to the fossil fuel industry in 2016," the statement continues.
Author and activist Naomi Klein spoke Monday in Paris of the need for the Dec. 12 action, and said that people must recognize the urgency of climate crisis and must also say "yes to the world we want."
"We have run out of time. This is our historical moment.
"Let us not disappoint. The stakes are simply too high.
"Now is not the time for small steps.
"Now is the time for boldness," Klein said.
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