Over 1K scientists and academics
1 week of actions
About the Campaign
From the 7h to the 13th of May, over 1000 scientists and academics, from 32 countries across the globe joined in action under the banner of “The Science is Clear”.
At 1.2°C of current heating, human-induced climate breakdown has been wreaking havoc now on every continent. Science has been warning since the 1950s. Today, its impacts are unravelling ecosystems across the globe. This year alone, heat waves and an ongoing historical drought are ravaging South America; Europe and the Mediterranean region are bracing themselves for another drought. The Horn of Africa is facing a devastating 4th year of drought. Last year, record droughts have also scorched the Global North while Pakistan, Nigeria and Australia faced record floods.
“The latest IPCC reports tell us we are racing towards irreversible climate chaos. Media and governments have blood on their hands by ignoring them to serve their corporate and political interests rather than the people. We must use our voices and bodies to force action.”
- Renate Sponer, Ph.D., Evolutionary Genetics
Unfortunately, climate breakdown is only one of nine planetary boundaries, of which at least six have already been exceeded. Breaking these boundaries has set us on a path of rapidly approaching irreversible biogeophysical tipping points. At this pace, we can expect to see cascading tipping points, where passing a tipping point accelerates another. With no chance to reverse our impact on Earth's systems, we won't be able to avoid further and increasing death and destruction caused by climate breakdown and biodiversity loss.
Meanwhile, our economy keeps increasing. At the current pace, by 2050, energy demand is projected to be 47% higher than it is today. The demand of 12 different key minerals is also set to increase six-fold. A global economy, growing at the current pace, will be 33% larger after 10 years.
Moreover, our growth-based economy has been driving inequality between and within countries, which underlies the enormous disparities of energy and material use between the richest 1% and the rest of humanity. This inequality lies at the heart of the climate emergency, as millionaires alone are set to use up 2/3 of the remaining +1.5°C carbon budget by 2050. On top of this, a growth-based economy in richer countries does not bring well being nor happiness.
The fantasy of ‘unlimited’ growth on a ‘limited’ planet stumbles on the fact that GDP growth is still 1:1 coupled to energy and material consumption, and therefore leads to further greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss. Every year we use more resources than the Earth can regenerate. We have been consistently failing to decrease global emissions since the Paris Agreement. We are forced to ask how we return to the ‘climate safe zone’.
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Global Unity for a Global Crisis
Amid tightening anti-protest laws in many countries, Scientist Rebellion activated local members in their 32-country network of scientists and academics, including IPCC authors — more than 30 actions with 3 arrests in Norway, 5 in France, 2 in the U.S., 7 in Denmark, and 1 in Germany.
Scientist Rebellion brought an interconnected wave of civil resistance: blocking roads, locking entrances, paper pasting on walls and doors, occupying state and corporate buildings, and disrupting shareholder meetings.
In France, Tanzania, and Uganda, Scientist Rebellion focused on Total Energies' expansion of fossil fuel projects, such as the construction of a liquefied natural gas terminal in Le Havre and the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).
Last year, the EU parliament denounced EACOP in an official resolution for the massive amount of carbon emissions that will result from its construction. EACOP is also threatening critical freshwater sources on a continent heavily affected by climate change, which has been creating drought and countless more human rights violations.
French scientists also took action, along with a coalition of other climate activists, against BNP Paribas, France's largest bank, for investing in Total Energies' carbon bomb projects. The bank recently made public statements that they would no longer invest in new fossil fuel projects.
- France: Exposing Total Energy's expansion of fossil fuel empire, increasing the nation’s dependence on methane-emitting fossil fuels.
- Germany: Stop coal mines and newly installed LNG terminals exposing the nation’s 55% dependence on Russian gas.
- Italy: Exposing public subsidies in new fossil fuels projects.
- Spain: Stop government climate deniers during local elections.
- Switzerland: Stop new LNG terminal and force nationwide gas power reduction.
- Portugal: In coalition with Para o Gas, stoping gas distribution to force transition to renewable energy.
- Denmark: Stop fossil fuel financing by exposing Dance Bank investments in companies like Total Energy and Equinor.
- Norway: Stop fossil fuel expansion by exposing greenwashing funded by the nation’s fossil fuel industry.
- Finland: Stop LNG imports to newly installed terminals and mass deforestation.
- Mexico: For a socially and ecologically responsible mining, Mexico demands that foreign countries, the corporate finance sector, and private enterprises respect the reform to the Mexican mining law. We also demand that this law reform applies to mines currently operating in Mexico.
- Ecuador: Stop extractivism by demanding stricter environmental standards and declaring “sacred zones” for areas Latin American actions:
- of ecological importance to protect both land and Indigenous communities.
- Peru: Expose Repsol oil spill destruction of fishing communities outside Lima, the capital city.
- Panama: Stop copper mines destroying the country’s high biodiversity ecosystems by exposing federal mining concessions that gave access to more than 50% of the national territory, including national parks and indigenous reserves.
North American actions:
- United States: Stop fossil fuel expansion by ending new projects and land leases.
“While the recent IPCC Synthesis Report issued a final warning on the 1.5 °C climate target, governments' climate action worldwide continues to be delusional, incoherent, and slow. We must face some hard truths: We are in a climate emergency. To achieve rapid decarbonization, rich countries must pursue strategies of demand reduction as well as policies for sustainable and just degrowth.”
- Dr. Matthias Schmelzer, Friedrich Schiller University Jena
What We Know
What We Can Do
1: Fossil fuels account for over 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions and nearly 90% of all carbon dioxide emissions. Therefore, a drastic phase-out of fossil fuels consumption is essential: transitioning to a low-carbon economy is the most important step to address the climate crisis. Yet, while renewable power capacity has increased exponentially during the last years, global carbon emissions keep increasing, reaching an all time high in 2022.
2: The IPCC states that targeting a climate resilient, sustainable world now involves fundamental changes to how society functions. Recently, more than 1100 scientists and academics have urged public and private institutions, as well as civil society, to embrace degrowth: a democratically planned, sustainable, climate safe, and equitable down-scaling of the economy, starting by the biggest historical carbon emitters. Degrowth seems to be essential to save us from a climate collapse of global proportions.