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Freeze Fossil Fuel Extraction To Stop Climate Crimes

Tuesday 6 October 2015

We are at a crossroads. We do not want to be compelled to survive in a world that has been made barely livable for us. From South Pacific Islands to the shores of Louisiana, from the Maldives to the Sahel, from Greenland to the Alps, the daily lives of millions of us are already being disrupted by the consequences of climate change. Through ocean acidification, the submersion of South Pacific Islands, forced migration in the Indian Subcontinent and Africa, frequent storms and hurricanes, the current ecocide affects all species and ecosystems, threatening the rights of future generations. And we are not equally impacted by climate change: Indigenous and peasant communities, poor communities in the global South and in the global North are at the frontlines and most affected by these and other impacts of climate disruption.

We are not under any illusions. For more than 20 years, governments have been meeting, yet greenhouse gas emissions have not decreased and the climate keeps changing. The forces of inertia and obstruction prevail, even as scientific warnings become ever more dire.

This comes as no surprise. Decades of liberalization of trade and investments have undermined the capacity of states to confront the climate crisis. At every stage powerful forces – fossil fuel corporations, agro-business companies, financial institutions, dogmatic economists, skeptics and deniers, and governments in the thrall of these interests – stand in the way or promote false solutions. Ninety companies are responsible for two-thirds of recorded greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Genuine responses to climate change threatens their power and wealth, threatens free market ideology, and threatens the structures and subsidies that support and underwrite them.

We know that global corporations and governments will not give up the profits they reap through the extraction of coal, gas and oil reserves; and through global fossil fuel-based industrial agriculture. Our continuing ability to act, think, love, care, work, create, produce, contemplate, struggle, however, demands that we force them to. To be able to continue to thrive as communities, individuals and citizens, we all must strive for change. Our common humanity and the Earth demand it.

We are confident in our capacity to stop climate crimes. In the past, determined women and men have resisted and overcome the crimes of slavery, totalitarianism, colonialism or apartheid. They decided to fight for justice and solidarity and knew no one would do it for them. Climate change is a similar challenge, and we are nurturing a similar uprising.

We are working to change everything. We can open the way to a more livable future, and our actions are much more powerful than we think. Around the world, our communities are fighting against the real drivers of the climate crisis, protecting territories, working to reduce their emissions, building their resilience, achieving food autonomy through small scale ecological farming, etc.

On the eve of the UN Climate Conference to be held in Paris-Le Bourget, we declare our determination to keep fossil fuels in the ground. This is the only way forward.

Concretely, governments have to end subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, and to freeze fossil fuel extraction by leaving untouched 80% of all existing fossil fuel reserves.

We know that this implies a great historical shift. We will not wait for states to make it happen. Slavery and apartheid did not end because states decided to abolish them. Mass mobilisations left political leaders no other choice.

The situation today is precarious. We have, however, a unique opportunity to reinvigorate democracy, to dismantle the dominance of corporate political power, to transform radically our modes of production and consumption. Ending the era of fossil fuels is one important step towards the fair and sustainable society we need.

We will not waste this opportunity, in Paris or elsewhere, today or tomorrow.


Adolfo Pérez Esquivel (Nobel Peace Prize, 1980), Agnès Sinaï (Institut Momentum), Alberto Acosta (economist), Alberto Zoratti (Fairwatch Italy), Alex Randall (Climate Outreach), Amy Dahan (science historian), Anabela Lemos (Justica Ambiental, Mozambique), Asad Rehman (Friends of the Earth, UK), Ben Lefetey (ecologist activist, France), Bernard Guri (Centre for Indigenous Knowledge & Organisational Development), Bernard Salamand (chair of the CRID), Beverly Keene (coordinator Diálogo 2000-Jubileo Sur, Argentina), Bill McKibben (co-funder of, Boaventura de Sousa Santos (sociologist), Brid Brennan (co-founder of the European Solidarity Centre for the Philippines & Transnational Institute), Bruno Latour (sociologist, anthropologist et science philosopher), Casey (hip hop artist, France), Catherine Larrère (philosopher), Christophe Bonneuil (historian), Cindy Wiesner (Coordinator of Grassroots, Global Justice Alliance, USA), Claire Fehrenbach (director of Oxfam France), Claire Nouvian (Bloom), Claude Lorius (glaciologist), Clive Hamilton (philosopher), David Graeber (anthropologist), Denez L’Hostis (Chair of France Nature Environnement), Desmond Tutu (archibishop emeritus), Dominique Bourg (philosopher), Dominique Méda (sociologist), Edgardo Lander (sociologist), Eduardo Viveiros de Castro (anthropologist), Emem J. Okon (Kebetkache Women Development & Resource Centre, Nigeria), Emmanuel Poilane (Fondation France Libertés), Emilie Hache (philosopher), Eric Guilyardi (climatologist), Erri de Luca (writer), Esperanza Martinez (former public health minister, Paraguay), Esther Vivas (researcher and global justice activist), Faikham Harnnarong (Coordinator, Thai Climate Justice Working Group, Thailand), Fiona Dove (director of the Transnational Institute), François Gemenne (politist), Frank Murazumi (Friends of the Earth, Uganda), Frédéric Ferrer (director), Gaël Giraud (economist), Geneviève Azam (economist), George Monbiot (journalist), Gerry Arrances (anti-coal activist), Gilles Boeuf (chair of the french Museum of natural history), Gilles Clément (landscape architect), Gilles-Éric Séralini (scientist), Godwin Ojo (Friend of the Earth, Nigeria), Gus Massiah (Cedetim), Guy Aurenche (chair of the CCFD), Isabelle Frémeaux (The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination), Isabelle Stengers (philosopher), Jacques Testart (biologist), Jagoda Munic (Friends of the Earth, Croatia), Jean-Baptiste Fressoz (historian), Jean-Pierre Dupuy (philosopher), Jean Gadrey (economist), Jean Merckaert (Revue Projet), Jeanne Planche (Attac France), John Holloway (sociologist and philosopher), Joan Martinez Alier (economist), John Jordan (The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination), Jon Palais (Bizi !), Josie Riffaud (Confédération paysanne), Juan Tortosa (Coordination Climat et Justice Social, Suisse), Julien Rivoire (FSU), Jutta Kill (ecologist activist), Kaddour Hadadi (muscian and singer, HK et les Saltimbanks), Kevin Smith (Liberate Tate), Kumi Naidoo (Greenpeace International), Larry Lohmann (The Corner House), Lech Kowalski (movie director), Leonardo Boff (theologian), Lidy Nacpil (Jubilee South), Mamadou Goïta (Institut de recherche et de promotion des alternatives au développement, Mali), Louise Hazan (, Lyda Fernanda, (Economist, Colombia, Transnational Institute), Marc Dufumier (agronomist), Marc Luyckx Ghisi (writer), Marc Robert (chemist), Marie-Monique Robin (journalist), Martin Vilela (Bolivian Plateform against climate change), Matthieu Orphelin (spokesperson of the Fondation Nicolas Hulot pour la nature et l’Homme), Matthieu Ricard (Buddhist monk), Maude Barlow (Food & Water Watch), Maxime Combes (economist, Attac), Naomi Klein (writer), Michael Hardt (philosopher), Michael Löwy (sociologist), Mike Davis (historian and sociologist), Nicolas Haeringer (, Nicolas Hulot (chair of the Fondation Nicolas Hulot pour la nature et l’Homme), Nick Dearden (Global Justice Now), Nnimmo Bassey (Oil Watch International), Noam Chomsky (philosopher), Nick Hildyard (The Corner House), Noble Wadzah (Oil Watch Afrique), Olivier Bétourné (publisher), Olivier de Schutter (lawyer), Pablo Servigne (collapsologist), Pablo Solon (former Bolivian ambassador), Pascoe Sabido (Corporate Europe Observatory), Pat Mooney (ETC Group), Patrick Chamoiseau (writer), Patrick Viveret (philosopher), Paul Lannoye (former European MP), Philippe Bihouix (engineer), Philippe Desbrosses (Intelligence Verte), Philippe Descola (anthropologist), Pierre Perbos (chair of CAN-France), Pierre Rabhi (agronomist), Pierre-Henri Gouyon (ecologist), Priscilla Achakpa (Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, Nigeria), Razmig Keucheyan (sociologist), Rebecca Foon (musician), Richard Girard (Polaris Institute), Roger Cox (lawyer), Saskia Sassen (sociologist), Serge Latouche (economist), Soumya Dutta (National Alliance of anti-nuclear movements, India), Stefan C. Aykut (politist), Susan George (political scientist), Swoon (street artist), Thomas Coutrot (economist, spokesperson of Attac France), Tom Kucharz (Ecologistas en Accion, Spain), Tony Clarke (International Forum on Globalization), Txetx Etcheverry (Alternatiba), Valérie Cabannes (End Ecocide), Valérie Masson-Delmotte (climatologist), Vandana Shiva (physcian and ecologist, Vincent Devictor (ecologist), Vivienne Westwood (stylist), Yeb Saño (former climate ambassador, Philippines), Yvonne Yanez (Oil Watch).