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Germany: Ende Gelände activists protest lignite mining in Lusatia

On October 11th, as part of Reclaim Power, a large number of Ende Gelände activists protested against EPH, a Czech investment group investing in Lusatian lignite coal mining.

EPH's advisory board met in Cottbus to elect a new board of directors. Ende Gelände entered one of the coal pits that day, leaving a banner stating: "Our Climate, not your business". In the afternoon, demonstrators gathered at the headquarters of Vatenfall, the previous owner, to protest against the new investor.

Insa Vries, from Ende Gelände, said “To us it’s perfectly clear: EPH’s only goal is short-term and is to make profits out of the lignite mining business. And the money will disappear into dubious offshore company constructions instead of reserve funds and renaturation. The ecological consequences for the global climate are catastrophic, as the rising COemissions fuel climate change and millions of people in the global South lose their livelihood.”

The protests against the climate-destroyer lignite follow on from the Ende Gelände action which took place over a weekend in May 2016. From 13th to 15th May nearly 4000 people from all over Europe blocked the Welzow opencast mine and the Schwarze Pumpe power plant in a mass action of civil disobedience. 

Philippines: movements mark National Day of Action Against Coal

On the 10th October, the National Day of Action Against Coal took place in the Philippines, as part of #ReclaimPower.

Members from different climate justice groups and communities across the country marched and took action at thirty sites to call for the phase-out of coal in the country. All these actions took place as part of the #CoalIsNotTheAnswer nationwide campaign.

Various organisations based in Davao City for example held a caravan rally from Puan to Binugao Toril, (where a 300 MW coal-plant is operated) to demand the Duterte administration move away from coal and fossil fuels and shift to renewable energy.  

The day of action was organized by the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice together with Freedom from Debt Coalition, Sanlakas, Alyansa Tigili Mina, Koalisyon Pabahay ng Pilipinas, AMA Pilipinas, Kilusan, Piglas Pilipinas, 350.org, Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development and others.

Australia: citizens drop banks over fossil fuel support

In Australia, Market Forces and other groups organised a National Divestment Day to #ReclaimPower.

On the 7th and 8th of October, customers of ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac publically closed their accounts in protest over their continuing support for fossil fuels. Since publicly announcing their support for the Paris agreement’s two degree limit, Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, NAB and Westpac have loaned a combined $5.6 billion to fossil fuel projects around the world.

From Adelaide to Brisbane to Cairns, customers stood up to the dirty lending practices of the richest banks in the country. The actions took place under the slogan: “If you choose fossil fuels, your customers will choose another bank!”

London: Record-Breaking Action Kicks Off Reclaim Power 2016

On the 31st of September, a group of demonstrators broke the world record for the greatest number of protests in one day, in an attempt to draw attention to the London’s role in global climate change. The group, calling themselves the 'Carbon Marathon,' held sixty-two protests at companies and institutions connected to the fossil fuel industry across the capital, breaking the previous record of twenty-two held by Amnesty International. Beginning as trading opened at Canary Wharf at 8am, the ‘race’ passed through the City of London, Mayfair, and Westminster, before finishing on the Southbank at 6pm.

Targets included extractive companies such as BP, but also many indirect and lesser-known participants in the fossil fuel industry. At HSBC’s Canary Wharf office, activists blocked one entrance in protest at the bank’s nearly £7 billion investment in coal between 2005 and 2014, causing a ‘code red’ to be declared by security. Another blockade occurred in Moorgate at Phillips 66, part owner of the Dakota Access Pipeline currently being fought by Indigenous Sioux communities in the USA. Further targets included industry associations, private equity firms, brokerages, consultancies, legal firms and public finance institutions. The marathon marked the beginning of Reclaim Power, a global month of action against dirty energy, for clean, community power.

Charlie Satow, an organiser of the protest, said: “Last year, the UK signed the Paris Agreement, committing to pursue efforts to keep global temperatures below a 1.5C limit. Dirty energy is the single largest contributor to climate change, and the science resoundingly states if we are to stand any chance of achieving our targets, we need to leave fossil fuels in the ground. Despite this, London continues to harbour a network of companies and institutions that benefit from the endurance of fossil fuels. Today we shine a light on this injustice, and ask whether it’s acceptable to Londoners, to have hundreds of companies in this city bankrolling and facilitating it.”

Daniel Macmillen Voskoboynik, another organiser of the marathon, added: “Through fires, floods, heat waves and droughts, the furious impacts of an altered climate are increasingly inescapable. Tackling climate violence means tackling one of the major obstacles in our way: a dirty energy industry intent on preserving its wealth at the expense of the safety and dignity of much of the world’s population. Today’s actions aim to expose those companies, institutions and political actors responsible for delaying our only hope: a swift, just transition to an energy and transport system that works for people and planet.”

Recent research shows that oil and gas fields and coal mines currently in operation contain enough carbon to push the world over the threshold for two degrees of global warming. London and the UK are particularly embedded within the global fossil fuel industry, with one third of the total value of the FTSE 100 being represented by fossil fuel and mining companies.

Uganda rally to kick polluters out of climate talks

The National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE), Oil Watch Uganda, African Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO) and several other environmental groups have rallied to demand delegates to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Parliamentarians and the global community to take urgent and meaningful action on climate change this week in Germany.

The action is part of a global day of action in more than 50 countries calling for a more just and sustainable energy system and for policymakers to end the undue influence and obstruction of climate policy by transnational fossil fuel corporations.

NAPE recognises the challenges associated with climate change adaptation in a poor country like Uganda and the lack of willingness for developed countries to play their role in assisting poor countries to adapt climate change. We have, therefore, decided to resort to empowering communities; through awareness raising, so that they can be able to demand for responsible behaviour from the worlds renowned polluters.

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