Green Cities

It’s Me and It’s You. Let’s Break up With Fossil Fuels.

CEO’s of major oil companies admit that climate change is a threat to our society. Who are they? We don’t know. But six CEO’s admitted this back in 2004 to Ross Gelbspan, author of “Boiling Point”. In these anonymous interviews, the CEO’s said they felt powerless to switch the focus of their companies from oil to renewables.  As one CEO noted, “we need the governments of the world to regulate us so we can transition [to clean energy] in lockstep. If we are regulated to make these changes simultaneously, we can do it without any one company losing market share to the competition.” If energy companies are waiting for governments to regulate them, it’s simply not happening. The oil industry is supported by $400 billion in subsidies annually from governments worldwide. The US government alone subsidizes oil companies to the tune of $10-52 billion per year. And the government isn’t the only source of support for big oil. Private and public groups supply money, lobbying efforts, and human resources to ensure that the oil industry can expand. All of this financial and human capital being invested into fossil fuels allows new infrastructure—like pipelines and refineries— to be built, and new drilling projects to be taken up. Why can’t all that money go into clean energy? We need to break up with fossil fuels first. The Global Day of Divestment could not come at a more appropriate time. At the end of this year, the UN Climate Change Conference will take place in Paris. Previous UN climate summits have proven to be vague and ineffective. Individuals and organizations have the power to set the tone for this conference by making their voices heard today. Rallies are taking place all over the world at universities, churches, cities, and financial capitals. Protesters will call for governments, public and private investors to rescind their investment in the oil industry. The aim is to halt the exploration of fossil fuels and stop fossil fuel lobbying. The divestment movement already has the support of over 181 local governments and institutions. Since 2012, over 656 individuals with over $50 billion in assets collectively have pledged to divest their capital and resources from the fossil fuel industry.  Millions more will join the movement this year.   Sarah Miles, Intern