Every year on April 22nd the world celebrates “Earth Day”. It’s a moment to appreciate our planet’s beauty and diversity, but also – and foremost – to reflect about the need to preserve our collective home.
This year, here at 350.org we took the whole month as an opportunity to spotlight the powerful work the climate movement is doing worldwide. We are fighting for climate justice and real solutions to the climate crisis, we are demanding governments and financial institutions to prioritise a future where everyone can thrive, we are calling decision makers everywhere to #InvestInOurCommunities.
Come with me on this journey to learn more about all the different actions and activities we got up during this precious month.
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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Real climate solutions
We know global heating and its impacts are getting worse every day. We know the climate crisis affects our planet, and our people heavily. And we also know we have the tools and solutions to stop all this. The last IPCC report, released in March, made this all crystal clear. What we may not know, or not always realise, is that our movement is already putting these solutions in practice all around the globe!
Everywhere, people are leading powerful campaigns for uprooting the energy system, building community-centered alternatives and imagining the world we want to build – a world where fossil fuels are a thing of the past, and where communities thrive.
We selected some highlights from our comrades from Ghana, Canada, South Africa and Türkiye to inspire you and bring you hope – and they are just a few examples of the amazing solutions-oriented activism that is sprouting and flourishing all around!
|350 Ghana’s fight to reduce carbon emissions – by Portia Adu-Mensah, director of the group 350 Ghana Reduce our Carbon, also known as 350 GROC
In 2021, 350GROC started the campaign “Renewable Energy for Communities” (RE4C). Their current goal is to make sure that Ghana’s government sticks to their promise of having at least 10% of renewables in the energy mix by 2030 (it’s only at 3% now) – by increasing local, decentralised solar and wind projects and promoting the integration of renewable energy in district development policies.
|Canada fighting for a Just Transition – by Amara Possian, 350.org’s Canada Team Lead
One of our most important collective efforts is the campaign to ensure that the federal government keeps its promise to deliver a just transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy. In the 3 years since Prime Minister Trudeau first promised a just transition, we kept the pressure up – and in February 2023 the government finally delivered the Sustainable Jobs Plan.
|Climate and Social Justice in South Africa – by Alex Lenferna, co-founder and general secretary of the Climate Justice Coalition
In South Africa, rolling scheduled blackouts have been a recurrent reality for years under our so-called “loadshedding” policy. This reality leaves millions of people without energy for several hours a day on a regular basis. The darkness deepens poverty, inequality and unemployment. South Africa has the opportunity to transform our energy system and create a more socially and ecologically just future, if it takes the right decisions now.
|Coal Free Milas in Türkiye – by Nejla Işık, president of the Karadam Karacahisar Association for the Protection, Improvement, and Solidarity towards Nature and Wildlife (KARDOK) in in İkizköy
Our goal is to refocus the local economy and build a future that is based on a Just Transition, away from coal and towards renewable energy and regenerative industries. We are about to launch our second report about our region’s options for sustainable climate solutions!
Uniting to build a greener and sustainable future
Under the hashtag #FossilFreePUP, the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) and 350 Pilipinas held a one day workshop with a unified focus on climate action and renewable energy campaigns.
Before we get into details, how cool would it be to build a solar power system? Pretty cool right? The workshop brought in students, youth organizations, NGOs and academia and they all worked on building a Tekpak – a solar power backpack developed by Typhoon Yolanda Survivors.
This workshop brought communities together for meaningful change and real impact, filled with light and hope for a world where there are brighter and greener solutions without fossil fuels. Doesn’t that just have a ring to it 💡
World Bank vs World Problems
Do you remember the petition we asked you to sign in this newsletter’s last edition? It got almost 35,000 signatures and was delivered on April 14 with a powerful action in Washington, DC. Activists mobilised at the headquarters and called for clean energy and just finance, during the World Bank Spring meetings. And our fight for proper climate finance and more equitable financial systems continues!
The World Bank holds the power to influence actual reform for clean and affordable energy. With their new leadership, we will continue to put pressure on the global financier because according to the UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP’s), ‘adapting to the climate crisis could cost developing countries anywhere from US$160-US$340 billion annually by 2030’. And what we do know is the World Bank Group has spent US $14.8 billion supporting fossil fuel projects and policies since the Paris Agreement was made.
It is time to serve the people and not the profits.
ONE TO WATCH
Celebrating Earth month gives us all an opportunity to really explore and work on our relationship with the Earth. And what better way to do that than with an inspiring video reminding us all that the solutions are there. They are in place. And they are very much attainable. Through them is where our strength lies.
Our movement is truly growing, and we are positive and hopeful that we will continue powering up climate solutions as a collective. Enjoy the video.
USE YOUR POWER
The international Group of Seven, well known as the G7 is an intergovernmental political forum that addresses global issues and consists of seven countries of the biggest economies in the world. Basically the richest of them all, bringing money to the table, and with it the power too, wielding a lot of global political influence.
As we all know, the climate crisis is at our doorstep, some more than others. Yet, the host of this years’ summit, Japan, continues to support fossil fuel projects. Not only that, they are in fact looking at investments locally and abroad.
Help us demand Japan to lead by example and set a clear-timeline for coal phase-out and ban investments in all fossil fuels!
IN OTHER NEWS
Quote of the month
“And when we Indigenous people say ‘our territory’ we are talking about earth, water, forests, seas and oceans.
This territory is the range of everything that guarantees life on the planet. This is why on this Earth day it is very important that everyone listen to this call, the call from the Earth.
Because one who is not capable of listening to this Earth’s call, will not be able to listen to anyone’s call.”
Sonia Guajajara, Minister of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil