We are united because we’re living in the beginning of the climate crisis. Together, we are in a collective darkening moment because we’ve operated by the rules that we were given. But now it’s time for a change: corporations, consumers, and decision makers need to define new rules that provide the framework that we all operate in.
Lip service won’t cut it
Public pressure and gatherings around the world are helping to change the conversation around the climate crisis, focusing it on what the new rules should be. Lip service by politicians, corporations and societal leaders saying “we’re against climate change” or “we can adapt” doesn’t suffice any longer. It’s time for action.
We must transition away from new oil and gas exploration, and move away from burning fossil fuels.
We also need our governments to be onside because their current ‘support’ (direct and indirect) undermines the efforts and initiatives of our work to reduce our emissions. Locally, we’re subsidizing fracking and tar sands development, while globally we’re closing our eyes, remaining silent about the costs of climate adaptation. Ultimately, this supports the profits of groups like Chevron and Exxon at the expense of our communities.
We can do something, now
I’m dedicated to taking on the biggest fossil fuel companies.
These corporations know the impacts of their products. They knew there would be long-term consequences, but they sold us these products anyways. They lobbied for subsidies for their operations and to spread misinformation. They prioritized short-term benefits and their immediate profits and they tried to convince us that the science wasn’t real, and that even if it were that we’re locked into life with fossil fuels.
We can do something real and tangible, right now. We are asking the largest global fossil fuel companies to share the climate change costs they’re downloading to our communities. They are making enviously healthy profits, while the use of their products are harming our communities and taxpayers are bearing the burden.
So far more than 20 municipalities in B.C. have agreed to ask the Province for legislation to pave the way for a class-action lawsuit. This legal action is what took the wind out of the sails of big tobacco, by re-focusing our attention on public health. The result was a widespread shift in policy, and in society’s understanding and behaviour. In the wake of these lawsuits, corporations had to incorporate the risk of legal action onto their books, they had to acknowledge the true and complete cost of their products to the public, their investors, and themselves—and that changed everything.
Asking Big Oil to pitch in to cover the costs, potentially even suing them, may be the only way to get them to stop. Our planet needs them to stop. In the meantime, Exxon, Shell, Saudi Aramco, Chevron are collectively investing hundreds of billions of dollars in expanding oil and gas exploration and development. Here at home, British Columbians have recently invested $1 billion in our new climate plan, while also giving $5 billion in subsidies to liquefied fracked gas.
Now, cities are ready to take the next step
Residents are asking for meetings, showing up at city hall, and emailing their elected representatives. The idea of taking on the major fossil fuel corporations has gained traction. City councils are engaging with the issue, they’re sending climate damages letters, and we hope that they’ll soon be going to court to recover their climate-related damages. Winning may take years, even decades, but we have already started to succeed by starting this conversation, we just have to see it through.
I want you on my side because this matters. Social movements often don’t receive the credit they deserve for spurring the change that they do. Most corporations don’t want people to know they can change the world—but what we’re doing is working.
We’re focused on a moral imperative to tackle a change that’s totally possible. The result is that more and more communities are onside, fired up and ready to drive change.
Let’s keep it up. I invite you to get involved—find out the ways you can take action in our Climate Action Centre.