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:
Bay Mills Indian Community
Bay Mills people are Ojibwa or Chippewa who have lived for hundreds of years around the Whitefish Bay, the falls of the St. Mary River and the bluffs overlooking Tahquamenon Bay, all on Lake Superior, most of which still encompass their present day homeland. They have been actively advocating against Enbridge and Line 5 since the notorious Line 6B spill into the Kalamazoo River in 2010, resulting in one of the largest inland oil spills in US history. The Bay Mills Indian Community is located twenty five miles west of Sault Ste. Marie in Brimley, Michigan, within the boundaries of Chippewa County.
The Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) is an alliance of Indigenous peoples whose mission it is to protect the sacredness of Mother earth from contamination and exploitation by strengthening, maintaining, and respecting Indigenous teachings and natural laws. IEN has been a leading organization and alliance first against DAPL and then more broadly as they have been recognized for their expertise and unique voice in the fight against the expansion of fossil fuels.
Protect Our Water, Heritage, Rights (POWHR) is an interstate coalition representing individuals and groups from counties in Virginia and West Virginia dedicated to protecting the water, local ecology, heritage, land rights, human rights of individuals, communities and regions from harms caused by the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure. They’re working to stop the disastrous Mountain Valley Pipeline and working with affected communities along the route to make their voices heard.
West Virginia Rivers is a statewide voice for clean, drinkable, swimmable, fishable rivers and streams. WIth this focus, they have been a leading voice to stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which not only threatens crucial headwaters and streams, but has already polluted them during its construction and development.
CORA comprises the five tribes with legal rights under the 1836 treaty including the Bay Mills Indian Community, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians and the Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. The are a nonprofit organization with representation from the five tribes, with a governing board that oversees the monitoring, maintaining and enforcement of their treaty rights in the great lakes, including where Line 5 passes.
Oil & Water Don’t Mix is a coalition of organizations and citizens across Michigan are working to keep oil out of the Great Lakes and spur a transition to a clean energy economy. Focusing on concerns about water quality, Indigenous rights, climate change, pollution, sustainable economies, protecting sporting, commerce, tourism, and jobs, Oil & Water Don’t Mix have been fighting back against the Line 5 pipeline in Michigan.
Floodlight is a nonprofit environmental news collaborative that partners with local journalists and the Guardian to co-publish investigations about the corporate and ideological interests holding back climate action.