On indigenous peoples day — a holiday that reclaims the memory of this continent and how it was colonized, not discovered, by Europeans — it’s important to also remember that the climate crisis didn’t “just happen”; Like Columbus, this crisis didn’t arrive at random, nor are its impacts felt equitably by all.
So, how did we really get here? For decades fossil fuel giants like Chevron, Exxon and Saudi Aramco made billions in profits, and spent millions funding denial and inaction. In fact, a new report in the Guardian shows clearly that 20 fossil fuel companies are responsible for more than one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the modern era.
And despite what their greenwashing advertising says, they’re still doing it. Last year the top five oil companies raked in more than $80 billion in profit, while fossil fuels spent more than $125 million lobbying (in the U.S. alone), and invested just 1% in renewables.
We are simply not going to fix the climate crisis by reforming or relying on the fossil fuel industry. There’s only one thing they can do to help – pay up. Add your name to demand that fossil fuel companies like Exxon, Shell, and others pay for the climate crisis.
Last month’s global climate strikes were a moment to behold as millions of people worldwide took to the streets to demand urgent action on the climate crisis in the largest public demonstration in global history.
Our actions proved that we have the real, just solutions we need to address the climate crisis are within reach, many of them are already working in communities on the front lines of the climate crisis. What we’re lacking is political will to enact those solutions on the scale and timetable required. Fossil fuel companies and their dirty money is what’s holding us back.
Big Polluters can afford to pay for the damage they knowingly caused and are still causing. But they won’t do it unless we make them. Communities around the globe are taking action toward holding polluting industries liable for the damage they have caused. From constitutional amendments that recognize the rights of nature, to US cities like Baltimore that are suing to hold fossil fuel corporations accountable for the climate crisis; or
New York Attorney General Letitia James is suing Exxon for deceiving its shareholders.
The impact of these investigations and lawsuits can be profound. Like the legal actions that exposed Big Tobacco’s abuses and forced the industry to pay billions of dollars for the epidemic it caused and lied about.
But taking down the biggest, most profitable industry on the planet and making them pay for the damage they’ve caused won’t be easy. It will require a global movement to hold fossil fuels liable for the damage they cause. Add your name to the petition and urge decision makers around the globe to hold the fossil fuel industry liable so that we can advance climate justice globally.