By Chuck Baclagon
“I do think trust has been eroded to the point that it is becoming a serious issue for our long term future. If we are not careful, broader public support for the (fossil fuel) sector will wane. This is the biggest challenge we have at the moment as a company … The fact that societal acceptance of the energy system as we have it is just disappearing.” – Shell CEO, Ben Van Beurden, March 2017
This stunning admission from the boss of one of the world’s largest fossil fuel companies is the clearest sign we have so far that the divestment campaign, alongside other climate struggles, is having the desired effect. Each act of divestment erodes the public’s acceptance of dirty energy and opens up political space for a renewable energy future.
Divestment works by targeting the social license that fossil fuel companies need to operate, and removing it. Every institution that divests is adding to the pressure the fossil fuel industry is feeling, and eroding the social acceptance and political influence of these companies.
These companies aren’t going down without a fight. Right now the fossil fuel industry and their powerful allies in government are backing a global efforts to hinder climate action. We stand at the threshold of our collective struggle – where every effort to gain ground matters, whether it be on the streets in the seats of political power and in the financial sector.
There is an energy revolution on the way and it will be people-powered.
The coming Global Divestment Mobilization will demonstrate our global power and strengthen national and regional divestment efforts. And that’s why from 5-13 May, we need more people like you – your role is vital to increase the pressure on respected local, national and global institutions to divest from fossil fuels.