Funding Movements on the Ground to Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground.
We have 10 years to cut emissions in half yet the fossil fuel industry blocks progress every step of the way. The tide, however, is turning. People from all walks of life are leading the fight to prevent climate catastrophe, and to ensure economic and racial justice. It’s time we invest in their power.
The Equation Campaign is a new ten-year funding initiative working to bring about a safe and just future by enhancing the power of movements to keep oil and gas in the ground.
The science is irrefutable: to avert the worst effects of the climate crisis, carbon emissions must be cut in half by 2030. While supporting the rapid growth of renewables and energy efficiency is essential, this support cannot solve the climate problem alone. There is a missing piece of the equation: stopping oil and gas at the source.
Studies show we can’t even burn all the oil and gas currently under production without pushing our climate over the brink. But instead of working towards a managed transition, the oil and gas industry is pushing for $1.4 trillion dollars worth of new infrastructure in the next five years. This expansion must be stopped.
As a society, we know exactly how to avert the worst impacts of the climate crisis: We have the data, the money, the technology and enough time to achieve a smooth transition if we begin to shift course right now. We have everything we need to transform our future, except for one thing: the power to make it happen. The potential for mass mobilization around climate is unprecedented, and so is the need. Our strategies support the transformational change required, in the time science demands.
We will keep it in the ground by funding movements on the ground. We center and amplify voices of people on the frontlines, for whom the expansion of the oil and gas industry is a matter of life and death. This includes young people fighting for their future, indigenous people defending their land and water, black and brown communities living in the shadow of the industry’s operations, and poor people who are not responsible for global warming but who bear the brunt of its effects. But the truth is that in the climate crisis, we are all on the frontline; none of us can escape the impacts of climate change. Together, we can avert the worst of it.
The Equation Campaign is premised on the belief that we can keep it in the ground by funding movements on the ground — enabling historically underfunded grassroots groups to stand shoulder to shoulder alongside their peers in the national environmental community.
The fossil fuel industry has used its immense power, wealth and political influence to keep expanding its operationsby selling the lie that we cannot live without their oil and gas. To counter this power, the climate movement needs to channel the kind of unstoppable momentum we have seen in social justice movements throughout history. Only this scale of mobilization can disrupt the industry’s continued obstruction of climate action.
We provide funding that supports two missing pieces of the equation in most climate philanthropy and activism to date: (1) supply side strategies to stop or delay new or expanded projects, and to directly target the power of the fossil fuel industry, and (2) racial justice movement strategies that center the expertise and power of the communities impacted first and worst by both the climate crisis and the impacts of oil and gas operations. Our goal is to amplify the voices of people on the frontlines, for whom the expansion of the oil and gas industry is a matter of life and death.
Here are some of the grantees that The Equation Campaign is currently supporting:
Texas Civil Rights Project
Texas lawyers for Texas communities, the Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP) serves the movement for equality and justice in and out of the courts. They use legal advocacy and litigation to protect and advance the civil rights of everyone in Texas, particularly the state’s most vulnerable populations, and to effect positive and lasting change to law and policy.
Friends of the Headwaters is a local citizen’s group organized for the purpose of protecting the land and water that would be damaged by Line 3: Itasca State Park, the Mississippi River, clean lakes and trout streams, the aquifer for drinking water, forests, and wildlife.
Built out of the No DAPL protests, Water Protector Legal Collective provides legal support, advocacy, and knowledge sharing for Indigenous centered and guided environmental and climate justice movements.
Currently fighting the Line 3 pipeline, Honor the Earth uses indigenous wisdom, music, art, and the media to raise awareness and support for Indigenous Environmental Issues, then leverage this awareness and support to develop financial and political capital for Indigenous struggles for land and life.
Drilled, a podcast from Critical Frequency, investigates fossil fuel propaganda and traces its impact down to the frontlines. The next season will focus on the history of the shale bubble and its impact on the country, tracing the growth of the industry through shady financing and lobbying efforts, the popping of the bubble, and its painful aftermaths.
NDN Collective is an Indigenous-led organization dedicated to building Indigenous power. Through organizing, activism, philanthropy, grantmaking, capacity-building and narrative change, NDN Collective is creating sustainable solutions and strategies for Indigenous self-determination and movement-building.
The Thurgood Marshall Center for Civil Rights at Howard Law School works to help build a world where civil rights, human rights, freedom, and equal justice under law flourishes for all people who have historically suffered oppression or subordination on the grounds of difference.