Janet Redman, Emira Woods and John Cavanagh,, FPIF, May 9, 2014
This week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve the Electrify Africa Act. This bill directs the president to draw up a multi-year strategy to strengthen the ability of countries in sub-Saharan Africa to “develop an appropriate mix of power solutions” to provide electricity, fight poverty, and “drive economic growth.”
Fossil fuel divestment campaigners have released a hit list of 200 companies from which investors should remove their money. The new Fossil Free Index identifies the 200 largest public fossil fuel companies, based upon the potential CO2 emissions embedded in their reserves. These reserves are growing, as companies continue to explore for new sources of fossil fuels. The list ranks oil and gas companies separately from coal. Gazprom and Coal India top the lists respectively.
One of the country’s most prestigious universities, with one of the world’s largest endowments, has joined the student-led movement to divest from the fossil fuel industry. Stanford University’s Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to stop investing in coal-mining companies because of climate change concerns. The board said it acted in accordance with guidelines that let them consider whether "corporate policies or practices create substantial social injury" when choosing investments. Stanford’s endowment is valued at $18.7 billion.
Some Indian bands have signed agreements regarding the Pacific Trail Pipeline, but the Wet’suwet’en hereditary clans claim jurisdiction over their territories, where they demand the right to free, prior and informed consent and the right to say “no” to pipelines. Below is a new video explaining the importance of front line defense against fracked gas and tarsands bitumen featuring Togestiy, an organizer of the Unist’ot’en camp in north central British Columbia.
Anthropocene is the name given by scientists to the new era in geology caused by human intervention, primarily the burning of fossil fuels. It is only 250 years old, a mote in the eye of geological time, which can barely register the ephemeral 10,000 years of the preceding Holocene, whose unusually stable climatic conditions made human agriculture and civilization possible.
Footage posted to Youtube on Thursday shows police brutalizing a youth at a "Beat the Pipelines" May Day gathering in Vancouver, BC.
The incident occured during a protest against pipelines carrying tar sands oil from Alberta into export hubs in BC. Witnesses say the teenager was photographing the protest from atop a bicycle when members of the Vancouver Police Department forced him off his bike and pinned him down on the sidewalk.
Demonstrators in Turkey defied a standing government ban on protests this International Workers Day to voice opposition to Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan's decade-plus rule. There were confrontations between crowds and police on the streets of Istanbul. (See footage of police retreating from protesters below.)
Professors at the University of Victoria (UVic) are demanding the school’s administration freeze all new investment in fossil fuels and initiate a three-year divestment of all fossil fuel holdings. The university endowment fund has approximately $21 million currently invested in fossil fuels.
Southeast Side Chicago residents and their supporters from around the city gathered in a park next to the Chicago Skyway at 106th and State Line Road last Saturday. They were there to protest the storage of mountains of petroleum coke or “petcoke”, a substance created by petroleum processing which is being dumped near the already badly polluted Calumet River, in their immigrant and working class neighborhood.
UPDATED: As part of a #BeyondEarthDay set of direct actions, students at Harvard University launched a sit-in at their president's office at 6 am this morning and have since been joined by hundreds of supporters. They are demanding the Ivy League school divest from its fossil fuel holdings.