WECAN Rising For Fossil Fuel Divestment & A Just Transition to Renewable Energy
Education, advocacy and action for divestment and defunding of financing from the companies and institutions funding fossil fuel extraction and the associated infrastructure projects around the world is an effective, tangible, and ever-strengthening strategy for resistance and Earth and community protection.
The Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network, International (WECAN) is dedicated to working with a variety of strategies and partnerships as part of the global Fossil Fuel Divestment movement, with a focus on highlighting the power and role of women protecting water, land, climate and communities, as we create opportunities for advocacy, action and dialogue with financial institutions, insurance companies and governments.
With other global women leaders, we are organizing for strategic campaigns and targeted delegations to call for divestment; to stop pipelines, fossil fuel infrastructure, and extraction at the source; and to give voice to the impacts of extractive industries on women and children.
Particularly, it is WECAN's aim to ensure that Indigenous, grassroots and frontline women have the opportunity to speak for themselves directly to the financial institutions, insurance companies, governments, policy makers and other institutions that are impacting their communities and territories. We have found this to be not only an effective strategy for gaining advocacy results, but also a vital and powerful process for women as they reclaim spaces to seek justice and speak truth to power.
Given the severity of the climate crisis and existential threat to all of humanity, we are also highlighting with significance and respect that 80% of biodiversity remaining on Earth is in Indigenous lands and territories. Respecting Indigenous knowledge, ways of life, and Indigenous rights, including Free, Prior and Informed Consent and the right to say no to continued extraction, is thus not only the morally the right thing to do, but also paramount to any effective sustainability strategy.
Indigenous Women's Divestment Delegation to Norway and Switzerland outside of Norges Bank before meeting with Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global, Spring 2017.
Left to right: Wasté Win Young, Dr. Sarah Jumping Eagle, Michelle Cook, Autumn Chacon, Tara Houska, with Osprey Orielle Lake, Delegate Organizer
In light of the intensifying climate crisis, dependency on fossil fuels and their extraction is a bad investment - and financial institutions have an opportunity to invest in renewable energy, which has become increasingly cost effective and necessary as climate change escalates. Governments and companies should immediately conduct a managed decline of the fossil fuel industry and ensure a just transition for the workers and communities that depend on it. Investment in sustainable technology now has a place in the emerging low carbon economy and there is no time to lose in making the transition.
WECAN is also advocating for investment in a just transition to a democratized, decentralized clean energy future with the voices of frontline communities, Indigenous peoples and women highlighted in all decision-making in this transition. This is what is best for all of our communities, and this is a necessity in the fight for a livable world for future generations.
WECAN joins allies from the San Francisco Bay Area gathered at a December 2017 direct action at Wells Fargo, demanding divestment and cancellation of the Keystone XL and other tar sands pipelines
It is becoming increasingly clear that divestment is having an impact - and that if we stand together, we do indeed have the collective power to demand accountability from the institutions financing pipelines and fossil fuel extraction projects, and instead build an Earth-centered, just transition to renewable energy for all.
Learn more about several of our WECAN Divestment advocacy and action programs below that have lead to signicant divestments, policy changes, investigations and international media visibility.
DIVEST, INVEST, PROTECT
DIVEST, INVEST, PROTECT is a critical, intersectional and Indigenous-led divestment campaign seeking to protect the climate and defend human, Indigenous and nature rights through education, advocacy and action that challenges financial institutions and injustices. The DIVEST, INVEST, PROTECT campaign is organized as a partnership between Michelle Cook, a leading Diné (Navajo) Indigenous human rights lawyer, and the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network, International (WECAN).
Through this and other programs, WECAN is honored to engage with allies to support the power and role of Indigenous women leaders protecting their territories and communities as we create opportunities for advocacy, action and dialogue with financial institutions and governments.
The Dakota Access Pipeline in the United States, the Belo Monte mega-dam in Brazil, and the Agua Zarca hydro project in Honduras, which murdered Indigenous leader Berta Cáceres was seeking to prevent, are but three examples of projects financed by banks under the Equator Principles. The Equator Principles Association met in Brazil in October 2017 to evaluate their work, and agreed to commit to revising their Equator Principles guidelines, as demanded by social movement leaders. WECAN will continue to monitor and engage in their progress and take a stand for action and accountability.
Other Solidarity Actions With Our Allies