We are bold, creative and strategic
The climate crisis is immense –– we must be daring and courageous in response. We embrace experiments and new solutions, recognizing that this crisis requires innovative ways of solving problems.
We work for justice
The fight against climate change is a fight for justice. People all over the world are feeling the impacts, but the people suffering most are the ones who have done the least to cause the problem.
The work we do — and the ways we do it — has to address that injustice. That means listening to the communities who are getting hit hardest, amplifying the voices that are being silenced, and following the leadership of the people on the frontlines of the crisis.
We care for and trust one another
We take care of ourselves and our communities, honor one another in our non-violent approach to this work, and share that spirit and learning with others.
No one has all the answers, so we value the experience and knowledge of our partners and our communities. That’s why we listen to them –– so we can learn and evolve together.
We are stronger when we collaborate
The climate crisis is not just an environmental issue, or a social justice issue, or an economic issue — it’s all of those things at once. The only way we will be strong enough to put pressure on governments and stand up to the fossil fuel industry is if we all work together.
That means bringing people together and building diverse coalitions — from students, to workers unions, human rights and social justice groups; from marginalized communities and faith groups, to universities, business owners and all those who believe in the need for transformational change.
We are transparent and accountable
To ensure the integrity of our work, we strive to be transparent and open, while respecting everyone’s right to privacy and ensuring people’s safety.
We are accountable to each other, to the people and groups we collaborate with, and to those impacted by our work. We strive to honor the relationships we build with each other.
The 350 in the name stands for 350 ppm (parts per million) of carbon dioxide, which has been identified as the safe upper limit to avoid a climate tipping point. As of 2019, the concentration was 415 ppm and rising.
Through online campaigns, grassroots organizing, mass public actions, and collaboration with an extensive network of partner groups and organizations, 350.org mobilized thousands of volunteer organizers in over 188 countries. It was one of the many organizers of the September 2019 Global Climate Strike, which evolved from the Fridays for Future movement.
350.org runs a variety of campaigns, from the local to the global scale.
Fossil fuel divestment
The fossil fuel divestment campaign, also known as "Fossil Free", borrows activist tactics from other social movements, notably the successful movement against apartheid in South Africa. Since its inception in 2012, over 1110 institutions with more than US$11 trillion in assets under management have committed to divest from fossil fuels.
350.org explains that the reasoning behind this campaign is simple: "If it is wrong to wreck the climate, then it is wrong to profit from that wreckage." 350.org states their demand as the following "We want institutions to immediately freeze any new investment in fossil fuel companies, and divest from direct ownership and any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds.”
The campaign has grown from colleges and universities around the United States to now include other kinds of public and private institutions, such as the City of New York, major Japanese banks, development banks, religious institutions and more. Campaigns for divestment are active and growing around the world.
Keystone XL pipeline
350.org has named the Keystone XL pipeline as a critical issue and turning point for the environmental movement, as well as for President Obama's legacy. NASA climatologist James Hansen labeled the Keystone XL pipeline as "game over" for the planet, and called the amount of carbon stored in Canadian bitumen sands a "fuse to the largest carbon bomb on the planet."
350.org cites oil spills along the proposed pipeline route, which would pass near Texas' Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer, which supplies drinking water to more than 12 million people. It could also pose danger to the Ogallala Aquifer, the largest aquifer in western North America that supplies drinking water and irrigation to millions of people and agricultural businesses. 350.org has opposed the economic argument that has been made by proponents of the pipeline, arguing that Keystone XL would create only a few thousand temporary jobs during construction. The State Department estimated that ultimately the pipeline will create 35 permanent jobs.
Contrary to oil industry claims, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has said that the Keystone XL pipeline will increase gas prices instead of lowering them. The NRDC's study also refutes the claim that the pipeline will lead to energy independence, because the pipeline will carry tar sands from Canada to Texas which will then be sold on the global market.
Partly due to efforts from 350.org and other organizations, President Obama officially rejected the building of Keystone XL on November 6, 2015. This marked the end of a seven-year review on the pipeline. Speaking on the decision, Bill McKibben said, “President Obama is the first world leader to reject a project because of its effect on the climate. That gives him new stature as an environmental leader, and it eloquently confirms the five years and millions of hours of work that people of every kind put into this fight.”
Fossil Fuel bans
Local campaigns in jurisdictions around the world have passed laws limiting or banning fossil fuel production. These include 410 municipal bans for frackingin Brazil and two state bans: Santa Catarina and Paraná.
As a follow-up to 2009's International Day of Climate Action, 350.org and the 10:10 Climate Campaign joined to help coordinate another global day of action which occurred on October 10, 2010. The 2010 campaign was focused on concrete actions that can be taken locally to help combat climate change. Actions from tree-plantings to solar panel installations to huge electricity service-provider switching parties occurred in almost every country around the world.
Connect the Dots
The organization's efforts continued into 2012 with a planned May 5 worldwide series of rallies under the slogan "Connect the Dots," to draw attention to the links between climate change and extreme weather. Per the 350.org website the day is called Climate Impacts Day.
Global Power Shift
Phase 1 of Global Power Shift was a convergence in Istanbul, Turkey in June 2013 of about five-hundred climate organizers from 135 countries. Stated objectives include sharing and developing skills to organize movements, building upon existing plans to organize in-country Power Shift events after the kickoff event in Turkey, building political alignment and a clear theory of change, sharing experiences from different countries, formulating strategies to overcome challenges, and building relationships to strengthen regional and international cooperation and collaboration. Phase 2 of Global Power Shift involves the organizers who were in Turkey in June 2013 to bring home what they learned to organize summits, events, and mobilizations
350.org launched the Summer Heat campaign in the Summer of 2013, and was a wave of mass mobilizations across the country. Summer Heat actions took place at eleven locations: Richmond, California; Vancouver, Washington; Green River, Utah; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Houston, Texas; St. Ignace, Michigan; Warren, Ohio; Washington, D.C.; Camp David, Maryland; Somerset, Massachusetts; and Sebago Lake, Maine. Participants included grassroots organizers, labor unions, farmers, ranchers, environmental justice groups, and others. The slogan that was used for the Summer Heat campaign was: As The Temperature Rises, So Do We.
350.org is one of the leading organizers of the Global Climate Strike, September 20–27, 2019. Strike actions were planned in more than 150 countries. Worn by a broad coalition of NGOs, unions and social movements, the strikes were inspired by the school strikes of the Fridays for Future movement. Also supported is the digital climate strike, which calls for a shutdown or 'go green' of websites with redirection to coverage of the physical mobilizations.
The Do The Math movie is a 42-minute documentary film about the rising movement to change the terrifying math of the climate crisis and challenge the fossil fuel industry. The math revolves around these three numbers: to stay below 2 degrees Celsius of global warming we can emit only 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide versus the 2,795 gigatons held in proven reserves by fossil fuel corporations. This warming rise was agreed to in the 2009 Copenhagen Summit as a limit. NASA scientist James Hansen says "2 degrees of warming is actually a prescription for long-term disaster."
350.org was founded by American environmentalist Bill McKibben and a group of students from Middlebury College in Vermont. Their 2007 "Step It Up" campaign involved 1,400 demonstrations at famous sites across the United States. McKibben credits these activities with making Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama change their energy policies during the 2008 United States presidential campaign. Starting in 2008, 350.org built upon the "Step It Up" campaign and made it into a global organization.
McKibben is an American environmentalist and writer who wrote one of the first books on global warming for the general public, and frequently writes about climate change, alternative energy, and the need for more localized economies.
NASA climate scientist James Hansen contended that any atmospheric concentration of CO2 above 350 parts per million was unsafe. Hansen opined in 2009 that "if humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 400 ppm to at most 350 ppm, but likely less than that." Carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, rose by 2.6 parts per million to 396 ppm in 2013 from the previous year (annual global averages). In May 2013, two independent teams of scientists measuring CO2 near the summit of Mauna Loa in Hawaii recorded that the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere exceeded 400 parts per million, probably for the first time in more than 3 million years of Earth history. It crossed 415 ppm in May 2019 and the amount continues to rise.
2 °C (3.6 °F) was agreed upon during the 2009 Copenhagen Accord as a limit for global temperature rise. In the 2015 Paris Agreement, 1.5˚C of warming was introduced as a limit, reflecting the significant difference in impacts between 2˚C and 1.5˚C, especially for climate-vulnerable areas. This was re-affirmed in the 2018 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, where the world's leading scientists urged action to limit warming to 1.5˚C. In order to stay below a 2˚C increase, scientists have estimated that humans can pour roughly 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Fossil-fuel companies have about 2,795 gigatons of carbon already contained in their proven coal and oil and gas reserves, and is the amount of fossil fuels they are currently planning to burn. 2,795 gigatons is five times higher than the limit of 565 gigatons that would keep Earth under a global temperature increase of 2 degrees Celsius which is already unsafe according to the latest science.
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