I am part of Fossil Free Feminists, a small collective of feminists who came together because we were Angry.
Angry about how the understanding of the climate crisis is missing feminist perspectives.The climate crisis is a question of life and death for many communities, not just for future generations, but right now.
We cannot turn a blind eye to the role of our colonial histories in this crisis, to environmental racism, and to the devastation of indigenous territories. This is propelled by our unjust capitalist system where profit is more important than the rights of people and the health of our planet.
We know that after “climate disasters” gender-based violence often increases; that women*, trans, and non-binary people face the toughest route to recovery; and that 80% of the people displaced by the climate crisis are women.”
In the Netherlands, as the gas crisis is worsening, more and more people are impacted by energy poverty. This deepens economic and gender inequalities. In Europe, communities of colour are often more exposed to pollution, and the climate crisis makes this even worse. On top of that, these communities and other diverse and historically underrepresented folks are still being systematically left out of decision-making.
What angers us are fossil fuel companies and other extractive industries. Let’s not be fooled by their empty hearted promises for ‘green’ projects. They say projects are ‘green’. They say projects are ‘sustainable’. But these are actually harmful to biodiversity and disrespect the rights of communities. Can you believe that these industries are enabled by our own governments through subsidies and other political support?
Fossil fuel industries tell us they’ll aim for net-zero emissions in 2050 – well, we don’t have that time. And ‘net’ anything actually enables new forms of profitable extractivism. Let’s not be fooled by carbon offsets or Carbon Capture.
We know they’re only delaying the urgent action that we need today …action that tackles the root causes in the places where it needs to happen. In the global north.
Whether it’s green washing or feminist washing, we don’t want to see women CEOs at the top of fossil fuel companies. “To achieve gender justice, we need to dismantle all systems of domination.”
HOPE: But I have hope. I find hope here at home, where we see how fossil fuel giant Shell can be defeated in court.
We also celebrate and stand in solidarity with powerful social movements across the world who are showing us what resistance looks like…from the women that successfuly led India’s farmers protests… to Chile’s feminists that are fighting for a new constitution that is caring and environmentally just.
We want a transition to a new social and economic model that is generative and redistributive. This can only be done by working with people, including care workers and land defenders.
ACTION: When I look out at you all today, I am reminded about the power of raising our voices collectively for systemic change. Let’s use it because these times require action.
Our call to action is that we hold big polluters and our governments accountable. Accountable to commit to gender and environmental justice as two sides of the same coin.