This week, the global climate justice organization 350.org announced plans for worldwide days of action – 3rd and 4th of November 2023 – demanding the urgent acceleration of the transition to a renewable-powered world. This announcement coincides with fossil fuel companies reporting yet another quarter of exorbitant and obscene profits amid the devastating impacts of the climate crisis and soaring energy prices.
May Boeve, Chief Executive of 350.org, emphasized the need for global unity in addressing the urgent climate crisis. Boeve stated, “Around the world, people are uniting to wrest power and resources away from reckless fossil fuel companies to propel the global renewable energy revolution forward. We stand at a pivotal moment, as the undeniable impacts of the climate crisis are ravaging our world. The window to act is short – but there is still time to create enormous positive changes.”
Boeve further highlighted the urgency of transitioning to just and sustainable energy systems. As scorching heatwaves, devastating storms, prolonged droughts, catastrophic floods, and soaring energy bills burden communities worldwide, the fossil fuel industry continues to prioritize profit over people’s lives, obstructing real climate action. Boeve asserted, “This intolerable state of affairs must change, and it must change now.”
The following topline facts illustrate the current injustice in our energy systems and the potential for a positive transition to renewables that underpin the Power Up movement and upcoming days of action:
- Every dollar invested in clean energy generates nearly three times as many jobs compared to investment in fossil fuel projects.
- Just four oil giants, Exxon, Shell, Total, and Chevron, collectively earned a staggering $33.2 billion in profit in the first quarter of 2023 alone. The same amount of money could fully electrify an estimated 55 million rural households without energy and grid access.
- The excessive profits made by the West’s five largest oil and gas companies totalled $134 billion in 2022. These exorbitant profits, made at the expense of ordinary households, underscore the urgent need for global energy justice and a transition to renewable energy.
350.org’s Global Day of Action aims to galvanize individuals and communities worldwide to demand immediate action towards a renewable-powered future. “By joining forces, people can challenge the dominance of fossil fuel companies and drive the necessary changes to combat the climate crisis”, From powering down coal to power up solar in Australia, to demanding energy access for communities affected by Petrobras in Brazil, from shaming the greed of fossil fuel companies like TOTAL in Europe and Africa,” concluded Boeve.
Charity Migwi, Africa Regional Campaigner, 350Africa.org says:
“There is no justification for the continued reliance and exploration of fossil fuels, especially in the global south, where it has led to severe devastation in climate-vulnerable areas. This is why communities across the continent and beyond are rising up to reiterate that we have the solutions to the energy and climate crises. African nations have great renewable energy potential – 39% of the world’s renewable energy potential – that could see the continent play a pivotal role in the global green energy transition. We need greater ambition by governments and substantial investment to power up decentralised renewable energy, ensure a safe, sustainable energy future for all, while preserving our precious environment and uplifting communities across the continent.”
Norly Mercado, Asia Regional Director at 350.org said:
“The obscene profits announced today are a mockery, not only of the millions that suffer at the hands of the fossil fuel industry, but of the 150 million people in Asia who lack energy access to begin with. We deserve a better world than the one that fossil fuel CEOs have burdened us with. Decentralized renewable energy, founded on justice and equity, is the least costly way to provide energy to those who need it most. Communities across Asia have the solutions to the energy and climate crisis. From solar energy projects in the Philippines to the Just Energy Transition Partnership in Indonesia, Asia’s future will be powered by the people and their demand for accessible renewable energy.”
Joseph Sikulu, Pacific Managing Director at 350.org says:
“If we phase out fossil fuels at the rate necessary to stay below 1.5 degrees, the Pacific Islands have the chance to survive. But if we do that, as well as rapidly scale up community-centered renewable energy in the region, Pacific Islands have the chance to thrive. Global North countries have a historical responsibility to lead the clean energy transition, and to assist those least responsible for this crisis with their own transition plans. When we say “climate justice”, we also mean energy justice, and just as the Pacific has fought to keep fossil fuels in the ground, we will fight for communities to keep their lights on and their families fed. We will build the future our people deserve on justice, equity, and community-centered renewable energy.”
Nicolò Wojewoda, Europe Regional Director at 350.org says:
“Europe has been suffering with shocking and deadly climate impacts in recent weeks, along with every other continent on the planet. You would think that those most responsible for the hottest month in recorded human history are being held accountable. Think again – fossil fuel companies, instead of facing consequences, continue being rewarded with record-breaking annual profits, having cashed in more than $200 billion in 2022 alone.
Fossil fuel industry profits are soaring alongside the rise in global temperatures they’re responsible for. This must end now. We must hold them accountable for the damage they’ve inflicted, making them pay for it, and phasing their dangerous influence out of existence. The money we need for our communities to transition to an alternative energy system powered by renewables – that centers people rather than corporate profits – is in the coffers of these exploitative companies. It is ours to seize and use, to power up the solutions we know are needed and are within reach.”
Ilan Zugman, Latin America Director, 350.org says:
“Whenever oil and gas companies announce their outrageous profits, we need to remember that these sums are only possible because of fossil fuel subsidies, which exceeded 1 trillion dollars in 2022. It works as if every citizen had to deliver a portion of their money, every quarter, to the filthy rich shareholders and executives of these companies, receiving in return the destruction of the global climate”.
“In Latin America, where a portion of the population does not even have access to energy permanently and struggles to survive, subsidies to oil, gas and coal are particularly perverse. To end this injustice, governments urgently need to redirect these resources to the expansion of renewable energies and the scaling of community-centered solutions”.
Jeff Ordower, North America Director, 350.org says:
“This summer has been a stark wake-up call to many areas of North America that are often more protected from climate impacts: Canada broke wildfire records for hectares burned before the wildfire season normally would have begun, and much of the US has now faced dangerous air quality due to the wildfire smoke. So many US states are facing unrelenting, deadly heat. Vermont is still recovering from extreme flooding.
The US is the top producing country of oil and gas in the world, and yet instead of taking real accountability, US fossil fuel companies continue to reap profits and the government continues to approve new projects that will only hasten climate catastrophe. It is time to hold these corporations and their backers accountable for the damage they’ve inflicted and make them pay for the swift and just transition to renewable energy that we urgently need. We have the technology, and the funds needed are right in front of us: just look at the fossil fuel companies’ profit statements. It is time to make them pay up—and for our leaders to stop enabling them and choosing short-term profit over human rights—so we can power up a world that works better for both people and planet.”
Notes for Editors
350.org is an international movement of ordinary people working to end the age of fossil fuels and build a world of community-centred renewable energy for all. We are calling for a deeper transition, one which places energy justice at the beating heart of its values. We are moving forward into the world we want to see, leaving no one behind. And we are doing this with the urgency the climate crisis demands of us.
350.org has previously organised global mobilisations, including Rise for Climate, People’s Climate March, Global Work Party, Break Free, as well as several ongoing global and regional campaigns. 350.org has also co-organised many other international days of action, including the 2019 Climate Strikes.