Quantcast

Global Twitterstorm to End Fossil Fuel Subsidies at Rio+20 Begins

Climate

350.org

A global 24-hour “Twitterstorm” kicked off on the social network this morning to increase pressure on world leaders to agree to cut nearly $1 trillion in fossil fuel subsidies at the Rio+20 Earth Summit.

“This world has a few problems where a trillion dollars might come in handy—and we'd have a few less problems if we weren't paying the fossil fuel industry to wreck the climate,” said 350.org founder Bill McKibben. “This is the public policy no-brainer of all time.”

The event began online at 08:00 GMT, as tens of thousands of people began to tweet the same hashtag: #EndFossilFuelSubsidies. At the same time, activists in Australia (18:00 local time) hit the switch on a projector that will broadcast tweets from around the world near the Sydney Opera House. Hours later the projection will continue in New Delhi, London and inside negotiating halls at Rio+20.

The Twitterstorm is part of a coordinated campaign by civil society groups to build momentum for ending fossil fuel subsidies at this week’s G20 and Rio+20 summits. On June 17, activists in Rio unfurled a giant $1 trillion bill on the beach in Copacabana. This morning, the global campaign Avaaz.org will deliver a petition to G20 leaders in Los Cabos with 750,000 signatures demanding action.

The current draft of the Rio+20 agreement released on June 16 includes a paragraph on ending fossil fuel subsidies, but negotiations now hang in the balance as oil exporting countries led by Saudi Arabia and Venezuela attempt to delete any references to the proposal. The final decision is likely to come down to Brazil, who hold sway as the host country.

“Leaders in Rio need to listen to this rising public call to action,” Natural Resources Defense Council President Frances Beinecke wrote in a blog post promoting the Twitterstorm. “We know we can energize our nations without propping up fossil fuel companies with taxpayer money.”

The Twitterstorm can be tracked at endfossilfuelsubsidies.org. Supporting organizations for endfossilfuelsubsidies.org include: 350.org, Avaaz, Climate Reality Project, Earth Day Network, Friends of the Earth International, Global Exchange, Green For All, Greenpeace International, Greenpeace New Zealand, Natural Resource Defense Council, Oil Change International, Quercus, SumOfUs, Wild Aid and World Wildlife Fund.

Visit EcoWatch's CLIMATE CHANGE page for more related news on this topic.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A new report spotlights a U.N. estimate that at least 275 million people rely on healthy coral reefs. A sea turtle near the Heron Island in the Great Barrier Reef is seen above. THE OCEAN AGENCY / XL CATLIN SEAVIEW SURVEY

By Jessica Corbett

In a new report about how the world's coral reefs face "the combined threats of climate change, pollution, and overfishing" — endangering the future of marine biodiversity — a London-based nonprofit calls for greater global efforts to end the climate crisis and ensure the survival of these vital underwater ecosystems.

Read More
Half of the extracted resources used were sand, clay, gravel and cement, seen above, for building, along with the other minerals that produce fertilizer. Cavan Images / Cavan / Getty Images

The world is using up more and more resources and global recycling is falling. That's the grim takeaway from a new report by the Circle Economy think tank, which found that the world used up more than 110 billion tons, or 100.6 billion metric tons, of natural resources, as Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.

Read More
Sponsored

By Gero Rueter

Heating with coal, oil and natural gas accounts for around a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. But that's something we can change, says Wolfgang Feist, founder of the Passive House Institute in the western German city of Darmstadt.

Read More
Researchers estimate that 142,000 people died due to drug use in 2016. Markus Spiske / Unsplash

By George Citroner

  • Recent research finds that official government figures may be underestimating drug deaths by half.
  • Researchers estimate that 142,000 people died due to drug use in 2016.
  • Drug use decreases life expectancy after age 15 by 1.4 years for men and by just under 1 year for women, on average.

Government records may be severely underreporting how many Americans die from drug use, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University.

Read More
Water coolers in front of shut-off water fountains at Center School in Stow, MA on Sept. 4, 2019 after elevated levels of PFAS were found in the water. David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe via Getty Images

In a new nationwide assessment of drinking water systems, the Environmental Working Group found that toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS are far more prevalent than previously thought.

Read More