Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Moving Beyond Coal: Major Global Grassroots Fights of 2015

Energy
Moving Beyond Coal: Major Global Grassroots Fights of 2015

For the first time in history, the global community has committed to action on climate change. Momentum for the Paris climate agreement has been building with a range of major events signaling that the world is ready to act on climate.

Such events include the historic 2014 People’s Climate March in New York City, landmark climate cooperation agreements between the U.S. and China, Pope Francis’ groundbreaking encyclical and the U.K.’s recent announcement that they will phase out the use of coal in their energy mix within a decade.

Andin community in Myanmar rallies against coal. Photo credit: Hong Sar Ramonya

Thursday, the Sierra Club released its fifth annual report on some of the world’s major, ongoing grassroots coal fights around the world. Wherever there are coal mines, coal shipping ports and power plants around the globe, local communities are fighting back against deadly pollution and economic destruction. Pitted against unimaginable wealth and power and too often facing violence and intimidation, these are the people that refuse to be silent.

This year, we witnessed an ever-changing landscape of communities, governments and companies, committed to transitioning the world from dirty, expensive, dangerous coal to affordable, clean energy. Grassroots communities from around the world have dramatically grown and continued to prove they are a force to be reckoned with. Thanks to their resistance, the false inevitability of coal expansion the coal industry has sought to promote is far from a reality.

This report highlights the following narratives:

  • In Australia, the success of community movement against the Carmichael Mine in Australia’s Galilee basin and the expansion of the Abbot Point terminal on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef.

  • In Bangladesh, the continuation of several protests against the Rampal coal-fired power plant that would devastate the Sundarbans region and more than 500,000 people.

  • In Chile, people’s solidarity against mega mining and the gigantic mega-dam HidroAysen project, to save Patagonia.

  • In Kenya, communities and organizations advocate for solar and against the proposed coal fired power plant in Lamu.

  • In Myanmar, villagers of Andin organize against coal to protect their livelihoods.

  • In Thailand, local people organize a hunger strike and several actions against coal.

  • In the U.S., grassroots organizing has led to the shutdown of more than 200 coal-fired power plants.

These communities are proving that all the wealth and power of the coal industry is still not enough to silence the dedicated people who are standing up for their right to breathe clean air, drink clean water and live on safe land. They will not give up and every year more people from around the world join in the fight. If anything has become clear, it’s that the growing resistance to dirty energy is demanding—and succeeding—in protecting their air, water, health and way of life from the rampant.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

No to Coal Exports in Oakland

Lifting Crude Oil Export Ban Locks in Fossil Fuel Dependency for Decades to Come

Busted: Academics-for-Hire Exposed for Failing to Disclose Fossil Fuel Funding

Hillary Clinton Opposes Offshore Drilling, Vows to Look Into Fossil Fuel Industry Donations

A deadly tornado touched down near the city of Fultondale, Alabama on Jan. 25, 2021. Justin1569 / Wikipedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

A tornado tore through a city north of Birmingham, Alabama, Monday night, killing one person and injuring at least 30.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

An empty school bus by a field of chemical plants in "Cancer Alley," one of the most polluted areas of the U.S. that stretches from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, where oil refineries and petrochemical plants reside alongside suburban homes. Giles Clarke / Getty Images

By David Konisky

On his first day in office President Joe Biden started signing executive orders to reverse Trump administration policies. One sweeping directive calls for stronger action to protect public health and the environment and hold polluters accountable, including those who "disproportionately harm communities of color and low-income communities."

Read More Show Less

Trending

Pixabay

By Katherine Kornei

Clear-cutting a forest is relatively easy—just pick a tree and start chopping. But there are benefits to more sophisticated forest management. One technique—which involves repeatedly harvesting smaller trees every 30 or so years but leaving an upper story of larger trees for longer periods (60, 90, or 120 years)—ensures a steady supply of both firewood and construction timber.

Read More Show Less
Icebergs near Ilulissat, Greenland on Oct. 13, 2020. Climate change is having a profound effect with glaciers and the Greenland ice cap retreating. Ulrik Pedersen / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Earth's ice is melting 57 percent faster than in the 1990s and the world has lost more than 28 trillion tons of ice since 1994, research published Monday in The Cryosphere shows.

Read More Show Less
Caribbean islands such as Trinidad have plenty of water for swimming, but locals face water shortages for basic needs. Marc Guitard / Getty Images

By Jewel Fraser

Noreen Nunez lives in a middle-class neighborhood that rises up a hillside in Trinidad's Tunapuna-Piarco region.

Read More Show Less