Fossil Free California was founded, and has been run, mostly by white people. Part of our mission is to promote a just transition to a clean energy economy that works for everyone. As the United States faces up to its racist underpinnings, we increasingly recognize that our organization needs to become explicitly anti-racist to be truly effective.
Fossil Free California also works to get money out of fossil fuel companies, which put our entire planet at risk and disproportionately impact communities of color. We are actively working to better support our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color allies in the fight for climate justice.
To begin to change our internal culture, we recently completed a four-week class – for FFCA leadership and key volunteers – on “Transforming White Privilege on the Path to Racial Equity”. The class was a profound and important experience for the participants and for the organization—and it could not have come at a better time.
The course helped to open a safe space for us to talk about racism openly, and to acknowledge the part each of us plays within our current racist system. It taught us new ways to be kind to each other, offered some amazing resources, and gave us new tools to help process all of the emotions that arise when confronting and dismantling our racist legacy.
We are grateful to be on this journey; and we plan to continue embedding anti-racism in all aspects of the work we are doing to move our financial system away from fossil fuels and toward a just transition.
– Vanessa Warheit, Executive Director
Breaking: Court Orders Shutdown of Dakota Access Pipeline
A district court judge has ordered a shutdown of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline—which is great news for the climate and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, but bad news for California’s pension funds. Shares in Energy Transfer, the developer of the pipeline, dropped 7% on Monday in response to the news. CalPERS had $197.4 million invested in Energy Transfer bonds and $28.4 million in Energy Transfer stock; CalSTRS had $30 million invested in Energy Transfer bonds.
Learn more from CNN News: Judge orders temporary shutdown of controversial Dakota Access Pipeline
And let us know if you’d like to get more involved in protecting California’s public pensions from these toxic assets.
Get CalSTRS to Divest from Fossil Fuels: A Workshop for CTA Members
On June 23, 2020 Fossil Free California held an online workshop for California Teachers’ Association (CTA) members to get their local chapters to urge CalSTRS to divest from fossil fuels. We shared powerful youth testimony, information on the financial and ethical reasons for divestment, and a toolkit to guide teachers in crafting and passing successful divestment resolutions. Thirty-eight teachers from CTA chapters across the state participated in the workshop. Here’s the recording from our workshop on passing a CTA Resolution – please watch and share it with the teachers in your life!
Upcoming Allied Events:
The Case for Climate Liability: Stanford Law School Seminar
Thursday, July 9, 2020 @ 12-1pm PST
Register to learn from scholarly, legal, and community voices about the growing trend of cities, counties, and states using litigation against fossil fuel producers to shift the burden of climate adaptation costs from taxpayers to polluters. In addition to holding fossil fuel producers accountable for decades of documented public disinformation, such suits also have the potential to change the conversation regarding who is liable for damages arising from climate change.
Support AB 345 Requiring 2500’ Setbacks around Oil and Gas Extraction Sites
The landmark environmental justice bill AB 345 (Muratsuchi), adding public health and safety protections around oil and gas operations, will be heard in the California Senate’s Natural Resources and Water committee as early as July 16. Ask your State Senator to support this important bill.
Donating Stock to Fossil Free California
Thanks to the huge influx of stimulus money, the stock market has been experiencing big gains in recent days (fossil fuels are still lagging, and bankruptcies are increasing in the shale patch). Donating stock is a great way to support Fossil Free California and avoid having to pay tax on capital gains.
This year, you can take a tax deduction of the full fair-market value of the assets you donate.
Watch: What is Divestment?
While we’ve all been sheltering in place, the creative youth at Bay Area Crew of Earth Guardians and Youth vs Apocalypse have been busy! Earth Guardians made public comment at CalSTRS’ online meeting: Magdalena waited for three hours in her dad’s car for her turn to speak.
And in their spare time between online classes and waiting out this horrible pandemic, Earth Guardians, Youth vs Apocalypse and Pine Cone Pictures produced a great animation called “What is Divestment.” It’s short, clear, and engaging.
Meet Sandy Emerson, Volunteer and Board President
Sandy became involved with fossil fuel divestment in 2014. Watching the massive 2014 People’s Climate March, led by youth and people of color, made her feel she had to do something about climate change. When the Rockefeller Brothers Fund divested from fossil fuels, she decided to focus on moving money out of fossil fuels, and she joined the 350 Bay Area divestment team.
Sandy loves the camaraderie and commitment of Fossil Free California’s campaign teams. Divestment is a long slog: we manage to wrap our minds around really detailed investment facts and still have fun working together.
If you’re considering volunteering with FFCA, get ready to enter our wild and wonderful Slack collaborative workspace – we have loads of channels and very active contributors. The wealth of content can get overwhelming – so every two weeks we have a Coordinating Council meeting to remember our priorities and chat “face to face” on Zoom.
Support Our Crucial Work
With our small, dedicated staff and well-organized volunteer base, Fossil Free California is a high-leverage, high value way to fight the climate crisis! Please consider a sustaining gift: your monthly contribution will ensure we can continue our high-leverage work building a just transition to a fossil free future. Donate online today!