Climate justice and energy explained
The world is facing two related challenges that threaten the lives and livelihoods of billions of people: climate change and the global energy crisis.
The main cause of these challenges is our unsustainable level of consumption, which uses large quantities of energy for production and transportation. Fossil fuels like oil and coal take millions of years to form and are being used far faster than they are being replaced. The burning of fossil fuels also releases billions of tons of carbon dioxide in to the atmosphere, creating climate change. Climate change is already creating dangerous weather patterns such as unexpected droughts, cyclones, and sudden snowstorms.
Oil is now running out, but the world is not ready to make the shift to sustainable renewable energy production and consumption. At the same time, over a billion impoverished people in the world have no access to energy. They are also the ones who will be hit the hardest by climate change impacts.
Key to the solution is energy sovereignty: the right of communities to choose their sustainable energy sources and to develop healthy consumption patterns that will lead to sustainable societies. This, combined with the need for greenhouse gas emissions reduction and for all people to share an equitable amount of resources within ecological limits, is essential to achieving climate justice.
We must also change the dominant, corporate-driven political policies that drive both the global competition for energy and climate change.
What we’re doing
Friends of the Earth International is working towards the realization of energy sovereignty through proactive, grassroots community based campaigns and projects. We continue to resist the false energy solutions such as oil, coal and gas, uranium mining and nuclear power, agrofuels and large hydropower.
We challenge the influence of the World Bank, free trade agreements and transnational corporations such as Exxon and Shell in the climate change debate.
We campaign for recognition of “climate debt” - the North's historical responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions. We pressure governments in the North to commit to the necessary emissions cuts, as well as the necessary financial transfers for mitigation, technology and adaptation in developing countries, that lead to an atmospheric CO2 concentration below dangerous levels.
Friends of the Earth International works in solidarity with communities affected by climate change, mobilizes citizens to stand up for their rights, and challenges policy makers, institutions and corporations to achieve climate justice and energy sovereignty.
- Find out about our achievements in 2009
- Find out about our achievements in 2010 in our annual report
- Read frequently asked questions on climate change