It’s not a coincidence that so many places around the world are preparing to mobilize this May as part of Break Free. People on every continent are realizing that we have a historic opportunity to make a major change in how the planet uses energy and in how power operates in our communities.
Communities across the world are stepping up to Break Free because they’re ready to challenge the power of the fossil fuel industry which has turned climate change into a profitable enterprise.
We are standing up to demand justice for Indigenous peoples and communities in the Global South which have been disproportionately impacted by climate change and fossil fuel extraction.
It’s time to take power away from big polluters and put it back in the hands of the people. It’s time to break free.
Here are the 5 reasons that now is the time to Break Free from fossil fuels:
1. In Canada, from Indigenous communities to workers in the fossil fuel sector, people are ready for an end to the fossil fuel era. But just last month, the Prime Minister publicly announced that we need tar sands pipelines to make the transition to renewable energy. That seems pretty counter intuitive! New fossil fuel infrastructure would lock us into decades of oil-dependence — having catastrophic impacts on the climate. Not to mention, more pipelines would mean expanding Canada’s tar sands which have had devastating downstream impacts on Indigenous communities. Let’s send a clear message to the Prime Minister: we need a commitment to supporting clean technology and Indigenous rights. What better time to send that message than right as the National Energy Board announces its recommendation for the Kinder Morgan pipeline?
2. Last year, 193 world governments agreed for the first time to limit global carbon pollution and fight climate change. The deal they struck is inadequate in many ways, but it sends a signal that the age of fossil fuels is coming to an end. Even as they agreed to limit warming below 2 degrees Celsius — and aim for 1.5 degrees — they are supporting and building new fossil fuel projects that are inconsistent with those goals. Break Free will push governments around the world to do what it takes to keep their word, and go even further.
3. Renewable energy is being deployed at a speed that no one thought would be possible. It’s already outpacing fossil fuels for two years running, and becoming price-competitive with fossil fuels the world over. This gives communities the opportunity to affordably reclaim their power systems for themselves and deploy energy that works for the planet and for their local needs. Big coal and friends are beginning to feel the heat. Which brings us to the 4th reason…
4. Coal, oil and gas companies are in a massive financial crisis right now. Thanks to global reduction in demand for their products, combined with risky financial dealings and over-zealous production, prices for fossil fuels have collapsed. Companies of all sizes are facing enormous losses, causing them to cancel projects and in some cases go into bankruptcy.
5. But the biggest reason that we need to Break Free is that the planet is heating up faster than anyone expected. February 2016 was the most abnormally hot month in history, by a heart-stopping margin.
Scientists didn’t expect this kind of temperature increase for decades. Parts of the Arctic were 16 degrees Celsius warmer than they should be. The fossil fuel industry is pushing our climate to the brink faster than anyone expected.
That’s why people on every continent have been making plans for a wave of action from May 4 to 15. By the thousand, we will show the world that now is the time we need to Break Free from fossil fuels.