VICTORY! Seriously, G7 Says Goodbye to Fossil Fuels!

13/6 I had this email from Avaaz yesterday. Something to celebrate!

Many told us it was a pipe dream, but the G7 Summit of leading world powers just committed to getting the global economy off fossil fuels forever!!!

Even the normally cynical media is raving that this is a huge deal.

And it’s one giant step closer to a huge win at the Paris summit in December — where the entire world could unite behind the same goal of a world without fossil fuels — the only way to save us all from catastrophic climate change.

For 2 years our community has led global public mobilisation for this goal, including:

  • spearheading the gigantic, momentum-changing, 700,000 strong climate march last year
  • a 2.7 million person petition for 100% clean/0 carbon delivered to dozens of key leaders
  • scores of rallies, high-level lobbying meetings, opinion polls, and ad campaigns, all funded by our community
  • a 3 month all-out push for the G7 summit leadership, especially German Chancellor Angela Merkel, to put this on the agenda and agree to this goal

Our work is far from done, but it’s a day to celebrate — click here to read more and say congratulations to everyone else in this incredibly wonderful community!!

“TheWe spearheaded the largest climate march in history – nearly 700,000 strong and a game-changer for political momentum.

Just last year climate change seemed to many of us like a behemoth that was dooming our species to a significant probability of extinction due to our own stupidity and corruption.

But with hope, and good strategy, (the Avaaz effect:)), and the efforts of many leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Pope Francis, and organisations like our friends at 350 and the Guardian newspaper’s work on fossil fuel divestment, as well as killer research from groups like the World Resources Institute, most experts now believe the tide is turning, and momentum is building to get a global deal in Paris this year that will set the world on course to a solution. It will be a long fight, we cannot afford to drop our guard, but today, we celebrate a battle won!!!

With gratitude and joy,

Ricken, Alice, Emma, Iain, and the whole Avaaz team

PS: the G7 declaration is just a commitment, and we need to hold them accountable, but commitments matter – sending an immediate signal to dirty and clean energy investors that will help accelerate the clean-energy boom we desperately need. There’s more info on the summit and how we helped win this on our celebration page:

What is it that keeps us trapped in a world of greed and scarcity?

Any of us worrying about climate change will, at some point, find ourselves thinking, “Why can’t people take it all more seriously? Why can’t they (or more honestly, we,) simply adopt a different perspective that means we don’t need to grab more and more of the world’s resources? Why is it so difficult to accept the Earth and its riches as a gift to be shared?”

I believe we are caught in frameworks that are reinforced daily by our experience of economics. At its simplest level, economics is the relationship between human beings and the stuff that keeps them alive. But it has become infinitely complex and hard to understand and hard to see how the way we handle “stuff” and particularly that magic stuff, money, is giving us perverse messages, instructions and incentives. A single kind of debt-based, interest-bearing money has come to dominate the world — a money that tells its users that wealth is scarce, a money that creates obscure relationships between debtors and creditors, a money that drives us blindly and helplessly because we do not understand it.

If the planet is to be saved by new perspectives and new motivations, then better understanding of our pernicious, enslaving economics is the place to begin. There are other ways of doing it and other kinds of money.

Try looking up Charles Eisenstein, (especially Sacred Economics), David Graeber (Debt: the first 5000 years) or the Ubuntu movement for inspiration.

Lucy Faulkner-Gawlinski

Shell accused of strategy risking catastrophic climate change

Royal Dutch Shell has been accused of pursuing a strategy that would lead to potentially catastrophic climate change after an internal document acknowledged a global temperature rise of 4C, twice the level considered safe for the planet.

ShellA paper used for guiding future business planning at the Anglo-Dutch multinational assumes that carbon dioxide emissions will fail to limit temperature increases to 2C, the internationally agreed threshold to prevent widespread flooding, famine and desertification.

nstead, the New Lens Scenarios document refers to a forecast by the independent International Energy Agency (IEA) that points to a temperature rise of up to 4C in the short term, rising later to 6C.

The revelations come ahead of the annual general meeting of Shell shareholders in the Netherlands on Tuesday, where the group has accepted a shareholder resolution demanding more transparency about the group’s impact on climate change.

Read more here

Are the churches speaking out at all?

“Human-induced climate change is a scientific reality, and its decisive mitigation is a moral and religious imperative for humanity,” says the declaration at the end of the early May Vatican summit, The Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Development, . “In this core moral space, the world’s religions play a very vital role.”

Vatican watchers and climate experts say the meeting shows that Pope Francis is − in marked contrast to his predecessors − keen for the Catholic church to be more involved in the climate change issue, and is also urging other religions to become more actively engaged.

The papal encyclical on the environment is due to be published this summer. It is said to be complete and is in the process of translation. Pope Francis has said over the two years since his election that he believes climate change is caused by human action. So It is expected that the encyclical will call for much stronger environmental protection, including limits on greenhouse gas emissions. A poll carried out on behalf of CAFOD (the official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England/Wales) found that between 72 and 80 percent of Catholics feel that we should care for God’s creation and that we have a moral obligation to protect the world’s poorest people (many of whom are, or will be impacted by climate change). The papal encyclical will be published ahead of the December meeting in Paris of global leaders and hopefully will have an impact on the decisions agreed there.

Christopher Lindley


Is there any point? Please add your thoughts below….

This is a personal appeal for your help. We are planning to show a well-made 2014 fifty minute documentary DISRUPTION in June – on Tuesday 23rd at 7.30pm at Marriott’s Warehouse. The Community Cinema Club will advertise it but my experience is that people – especially new people – will only come if they receive personal invitations. I will send out flyers for it in the next couple of weeks. We have an hour’s planning meeting at 8pm this coming Monday (11.05.15) at The Friends Meeting House, Bridge Street and on June 17th there is a parliamentary Lobby and rally in London.

A bye-line of the film isWhen it comes to climate change, why do we do so little when we know so much?’

It’s easy to lose the impetus we had back in January when we showed The Age of Stupid. I meet  a lot of people who have no sense of the urgency of the situation and quite a few people who feel there is no point in trying to do anything.

I find myself having this sort of conversation :

  • Is there any point?

If we care about the world we will leave our children and grandchildren, we must act.

  • But mass action sometimes achieves nothing. What about the anti-Iraq War demo?

True – but there are many examples of effectiveness.

  • Mass movements tend to be simplistic…

True but you have to start somewhere. Time is very short to make a difference, but some real momentum is building through the ‘Keep it in the Ground’ Campaign championed by the Guardian, and at the end of this year there will be a vital meeting in Paris.

Please add your thoughts below!


This weekend in Germany plus urgent message to Sweden from

Wow. This weekend over 6,000 people formed a 7.5km-long human chain against coal extraction in Germany.  The Rhineland lignite open-pit mines are the largest source of CO2 in Europe.

Like you and me, these 6000 people understand that to secure a stable climate and just transition to 100% renewable energy, we have to start keeping fossil fuels in the ground — starting with the dirtiest fuels like lignite coal.

Yet we’ve learnt that Sweden’s national energy company, Vattenfall, plans to sell off its huge German coal operations to the highest bidder over the summer – they contain over a billion tonnes of CO2 that will be burnt if it’s sold.

HELP US STOP THE SALE —   Tell Sweden to lead the way by keeping Vattenfall’s coal reserves in the ground:  

An overwhelming majority of Swedes believe their government should halt the sale and instead set an example for other nations by transitioning Vattenfall into a sustainable, renewable energy company.

The campaigning group has teamed up with Greenpeace Sweden to help raise voices from all across Europe in opposition to the sale.

Carbon storage hopes rise again

Carbon capture and storage, if it proved possible, would help to make the main greenhouse gas harmless. American scientists say they are making progress.

LONDON, 20th April, 2015 — Two groups of US scientists are exploring new ways of capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. One technology mimics the tree by using artificial photosynthesis. The other exploits a membrane that is a thousand times more efficient than any tree.

Although the nations of the world agreed in 2009 to attempt to limit the global warming temperature rise this century to no more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, colossal quantities of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide are still being emitted into the atmosphere.

So some researchers have been exploring the technology of carbon capture and storage (CCS): ways of trapping CO2 as it leaves the power station chimney or machinery exhaust and storing it for burial or reuse. Others have proposed “artificial trees” that could remove the gas from the atmosphere.

Renewable resources

Nanotechnology — engineering at precisions of a millionth of a millimetre — exploits a “forest” of light-capturing “nanowire arrays” dosed with selected populations of a bacterium called Sporomusa ovala to filter the flue gases for carbon dioxide. This inventive double act of silicon and a carbon-based life form then performs a conjuring trick called photo-electrochemistry: from the captured gas it delivers acetic acid, and it can go on doing so for about 200 hours.

A second bacterium — genetically engineered Escherichia coli — can then get to work on the product and turn it into acetyl co-enzyme A as the starting point for a range of valuable chemical products. These could range from a precursor to the anti-malarial drug artemisinin to the fuel butanol.

Storage problem

Klaus Lackner of Arizona State University’s Centre for Negative Carbon Emissions and colleagues are testing a synthetic membrane that can capture carbon dioxide from the air that passes through it.

The technology is based on a resin that works in dry atmospheres (in humid environments it actually releases the carbon dioxide, so it wouldn’t work everywhere). Prototype collectors trap between 10% and 50% of all the carbon dioxide that blows through the membrane.

“I believe we have reached a point where it is really paramount for substantive public research and development of direct air capture,” he told the American Physical Society meeting in Maryland. “The Centre for Negative Carbon Emissions cannot do it alone.” — Climate News Network

Read the full story at