After a week in Paris pushing for real solutions to climate change, I'm energized with new hope for our movement. At this critical moment, Food & Water Watch is committing to expand our work on renewable energy.
Climate change is arguably the most important issue of our time — it's also one of the most complicated, with deeply entrenched fossil fuel corporations at work against us. But while in Paris, I saw the inspiring resilience of our global community, and the incredible power of this movement.
Unfortunately, the agreement coming out of the Paris COP falls far short of what is needed to actually address our climate crisis. There was no mention of the words ‘oil’, ‘gas’ or ‘fossil fuels’ at all — all of which we must swiftly transition away from to avert climate crisis. As long as fracking exists, we still have work to do.
After Paris: Not All Climate Plans Are Created Equal
There’s no debating the fact that we need to limit carbon pollution. What is up for debate is the roadmap for how we will do that. Let me be clear about our position at Food & Water Watch: fracked gas will not put us on a path to a renewable future. Fracking contributes to climate change, threatens drinking water and the health of our families, and keeps us addicted to fossil fuels.
If we are serious about limiting carbon pollution, fracking CANNOT be a part of the solution. Switching from coal to gas won't stop climate change, and in fact, methane that leaks from fracking wells is a more potent greenhouse gas over the short term than carbon. We need to bypass fracking altogether, not use it as a crutch to continue relying on dirty, polluting sources of energy. Any serious climate plan must keep all fossil fuels in the ground, and that’s what we are fighting for.
What's Next: Plans to Expand Our Work on Renewable Energy
Earlier this year, we asked your opinion about launching a new effort, on a parallel track to our fracking work, to push for renewable energy — because it's not enough to fight against fracking. We need to bring solutions to the table. The results were clear, and an overwhelming majority of our members supported expanding our work on renewable energy. With your support, we will direct our strategic resources to the growing movement for renewable energy.
We must move to clean, renewable energy — and fast — to build the future that our children and grandchildren deserve.
Where to Start: New Report on Renewables
Right now, we're finishing an in-depth report that reviews the science and makes the case that we already have the technology for a 100% clean, renewable future. And that we can and must make this transition by 2035 — in 20 short years, not over the next century or longer. What we need is the political will to implement it and the people power to stand up to the oil and gas industry — and that's where we'll focus our efforts. In order to produce this report and maximize its impact, we’re gathering the resources to:
- Produce firsthand research, including a comprehensive look at what it will take to meet our energy needs with renewable sources
- Lay out and print copies of the report to use in lobby meetings and public education efforts
- Conduct media outreach to get news coverage
- Distribute the report to our field offices across the country and to key legislators.
Why I’m Hopeful: We Have the Tools and Know What It Takes to Win
It's easy to get discouraged with so much going wrong in our world right now. Every day that the shift to renewable energy is delayed, our climate becomes less stable and more families are hurt by fracking. But instead of getting discouraged, we need to act smarter and work harder. It's time to continue working together, harder than ever, to call for the solutions we need to address the dire state of our climate and our world. No compromises, no half-steps. We will win a ban on fracking, we will build a renewable future. Not 50 years from today — but starting right now.
Together, we've proven that when people come together to demand what's right, we can turn the tables and win against even the huge powers of Big Oil & Gas. We won a fracking ban in New York, and are continuing to keep fracking at bay in key fights across the country.
Fossil fuels are the energy of the past — and with your help, we'll make the transition to 100% clean, renewable energy for our future.