Posted on September 22, 2020
How CREDO grantee Friends of the Earth is fighting for climate justice
Friends of the Earth
Friends of the Earth was founded in 1969 and since then has continued to be a champion to the planet while defending the environment. Our work to create a healthier and more just world is multifaceted, with campaigns ranging in focus from combating the climate crisis, protecting people from toxic and potentially harmful technologies, low-pollution alternatives, organics for all, and a healthy food system.
We continue to shine a light on the corrupt corporate system geared towards profit over people. Friends of the Earth fights for the rights of all people to create a safe and healthy living and working environment. The health of the planet and health of the people go hand in hand.
Fighting for Climate Justice
The horrific impacts of the climate emergency are already hitting home. Climate-change-driven wildfires burn in California and Oregon, while many environmental justice communities endure greater suffering and hardship due to COVID-19 because their health has been compromised by living near fossil fuel infrastructure. The climate crisis is already impacting the world’s most marginalized people. With just ten years left to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we know it’s past time for a rapid and just transition to clean energy.
One of the biggest obstacles to phasing out fossil fuels is corporate polluters — like BP, Shell, Chevron, Exxon, and Anadarko – that receive bailouts from Congress while they plunder our lands and water. We are fighting against these giveaways.
Big Oil is getting billions of dollars in COVID-19 relief money with the help of congressional Republicans. Taxpayer dollars are flowing to line their pockets, giving Big Oil a lifeline they were begging for long before the pandemic. So far, three primary COVID-19 mechanisms have included polluter bailouts, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and the Economic Security Act (CARES act). Additionally, the Federal Reserve is forcing American taxpayers to hold tens of millions of dollars of oil companies’ debts.
At the same time, frontline workers aren’t getting the help they need. Unemployment has been slashed. People are being evicted. But our leaders are more interested in lining the pockets of polluting companies. That’s why Friends of the Earth is leading the way to stop Congress from bailing out the fossil fuel industry.Steps in the Right Direction
To have a fighting chance, we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground. Fossil fuel projects – from extraction to transportation – must be halted.
Thanks to the power of grassroots activism, in July 2020 Duke and Dominion Energy scrapped their proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Over 156,000 Friends of the Earth activists spoke out to financial institutions, Congress, and elected officials in North Carolina calling for an end to this destructive project. Members of the Lumbee Nation joined other local communities and marched in North Carolina to stop the pipeline. Staff and activists from Friends of the Earth joined communities taking over the streets in front of the Supreme Court and attended shareholder meetings.
The risky, unnecessary pipeline was two years behind schedule and billions over budget. With pressure from the community, like-minded groups, and a former energy executive on call, the pipeline that only benefited special interest while massively harming the environment and communities was stopped.
Local communities in North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia celebrate this victory– and the victory for the climate and our environment. But other pipeline projects throughout the country continue to threaten the health and safety of residents, wildlife, and the environment.
Projects like the Robeson Liquified Natural Gas Pipeline in North Carolina, the Suncor refinery in Colorado and many others disproportionately impact Native American and African American communities throughout the Southeast. In the midst of a global pandemic, Friends of the Earth is working to stop these and other projects and the harm they cause to communities.
How You Can Help Friends of the Earth
To help, join Friends of the Earth as they work to stop another polluting fossil fuel project. Sign the petition to stop the shale gas LNG pipeline here.
People power can evoke change. We saw it play out with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline! Friends of the Earth would love to help amplify your voice to put an end to other polluting projects.
CREDO is proud to be a long-time ally of Friends of the Earth. Over the years, our members have helped us donate more than $1.1 million to help the organization fight for climate justice. To learn more about our donations program and vote for this month’s grantees, please visit CREDODonations.com.