Normal was a crisis

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How we build back better

Fossil Free Digest


Art by Ricardo Levins Morales

Dear friends,

With coronavirus restrictions starting to loosen in some parts of the world, many are buoyed with hope that they might soon be able to get outside or reunite with friends and family.

But many of us are still hurting. Cases of the virus are still rising every day, and millions have no jobs to return to. The climate crisis and its impacts are still hitting hard – with reports that despite the slowdown in economic activity, 2020 still might be on track to be the warmest year on record.

These twin crises of COVID-19 and climate breakdown show us one thing: we have to use this moment to transform. We’re living through a societal shift unlike any other in recent memory – and our efforts to rebuild must continue to be bold, imaginative, and restorative.

We want you to be part of this new chapter – and help ensure that... responses to this crisis at every level support people, not polluters. We hope you’ll join our Just Recovery online discussion on May 7 as a first step. Sign up now:

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In Case You Missed It


Build back better:
Over 500 organisations worldwide have now signed on to the 5 Principles for a Just Recovery from COVID-19. New research from top economists shows that mass green public investment would be the most cost-effective way to revive ailing economies and ensure long-term stability. And the International Energy Agency foresees a long-term fallout in demand for fossil fuels, with renewables holding on. It’s a key time to push for Just Recovery policies and global solidarity, as governments shift from rescue to recovery mode.


Satellite image from 27 April of wildfires burning in Russia. Photo: NASA

‘Normal’ is a crisis: Climate impacts across the world this week are adding to challenges for those already dealing with COVID-19. Millions of acres are burning in Siberia, and thousands have been displaced as floods hammer Kenya and Somalia. Evacuation orders were just lifted for Fort McMurray, Canada – a key tar sands development area – where thousands of Canadian workers and their families are recovering from floods from fast winter thaw. And as the world’s seas simmer at record-high temperatures, hurricane and wildfire risks are heightening.



Photo: Association to Protect Ida Mountain

Wins against coal: Despite lockdowns, campaigners are still celebrating wins in their fights to end coal. In Turkey, Alpu plant was cancelled after two years of pushback from the people of Eskişehir and their local government. This just after a court rejected the Environmental Impact Assessment of another 200 MW coal plant slotted for valuable agricultural land in the Ida Mountains, where residents have resisted for 5 years.

Three major Japanese banks also announced new steps forward. Mizhuo Financial Group will stop new investments and loans for coal power, and Sumitomo also revised its policy. Japan’s Bank for International Cooperation, a powerhouse of coal development in Asia, will stop accepting loan applications for coal generation. Read more


Worker’s Day: Last Friday was International Workers’ Day – a chance to stand in solidarity with essential workers who care for, feed and support us through this crisis. Thousands took part in actions and shared messages, from an online rally backing a workers’ strike at large U.S. companies, to audible cacerolazos where people banged pots and pans to show appreciation. Read more


Outside the New York Federal Reserve, 3 May. Photo: New York Communities for Change

Bull’s eye: Pressure is mounting on central banks to put workers and families first in their coronavirus stimulus measures. In Europe, thousands are writing to the President of the European Central Bank (ECB) to demand she exclude the fossil fuel industry and its investors from economic recovery packages. And in the wake of new bailout rules in the U.S. that could grant oil and gas companies access to stimulus money, a new campaign is taking aim at the Federal Reserve and its Chair.

Similar calls are ringing out across Africa to ensure aid coming in to address a looming recession gets to people in serious need.

One to Watch



All workers have a right to income security and safety – especially those taking on big risks in these hard times to keep us all safe. Watch as people from the Philippines share their gratitude to mark International Worker's Day.



That's all the global news for today – I'll see you in two weeks with more updates.

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