The climate crisis, caused overwhelmingly by fossil fuels, poses an existential threat to every aspect of society.
Climate leadership begins at home, and OPS is supporting climate action and environmental justice by working to stop fossil fuel projects that are poisoning communities and driving climate chaos. This includes taking immediate action to stop approval for all new fossil fuel projects and shutting down the Line 3, Dakota Access, and Mountain Valley pipelines, and all other projects that violate Indigenous sovereignty, pollute communities, drive up emissions, and fuel the climate crisis.
U.S. oil and gas exports are on the rise, driven by the fracking boom and enabled by Congress’ reversal of the 40-year-crude oil export ban in 2015. The harms from fossil fuel extraction, exports, and climate disruption fall primarily on Black, Brown, Indigenous, and other Communities of Color, as well as low-wealth and other frontline communities.
Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act. OPS is supporting legislation that would halt new offshore drilling and expand carbon sequestration efforts in coastal ecosystems, and introduce an opportunity to enact a comprehensive climate policy. The Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act is an attempt to fill in a long-standing gap in the climate conversation. In addition to a blanket ban on all new oil and gas activities on the outer continental shelf, the bill seeks to expand offshore renewable energy targets. It would also authorize important funding for coastal restoration and create new programs to boost mapping and management of critical coastal ecosystems that can act as carbon sinks.
Treaty People Gathering and Red Road to DC. OPS is supporting various grassroots initiatives and on-the-ground mobilization of indigenous front-line defenders who are working to protect sacred lands and waters from fossil fuel development. OPS stands in solidarity with native peoples working to protect sacred places from destructive extractive industry, climate change, governmental neglect.
Citizens Climate Lobby and carbon tax. Scientists warn that we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050. There is one powerful policy that can get us there—a price on carbon pollution. OPS has recently joined forces with the Citizens’ Climate Lobby and their efforts to pass such a policy through Congress.
In most places, there is little to no financial penalty for adding carbon pollution to the atmosphere, even as it puts long-term planetary health at risk. But with a price on carbon pollution and other greenhouse gases, the fossil fuel industry will have to pay for every ton of coal, oil, and gas that puts climate-changing emissions into our atmosphere. The fees will rise steadily every year—in other words, it will get more and more expensive to keep burning fossil fuels.
In just 12 years, it is projected that such a system would reduce carbon emissions by at least 40%. (Carbon taxes have been successfully implemented in at least 25 countries, including Canada.)
Break Free from Fossil Fuels. As part of the #buildbackfossilfree coalition, OPS has joined the call to protect communities who are fighting for climate, racial, and economic justice. We are asking the current administration to use its executive authority to stop approving fossil fuel projects and declare a climate emergency. Fossil fuel pipelines, infrastructure, exports, and leases fuel the climate emergency, disproportionately harm Black and Brown communities, and violate treaty rights.
30 X 30. OPS is working to support state and federal legislation that seeks to protect 30 percent of terrestrial and marine ecosystems by 2030. By protecting our forests and oceans, we are working to protect our climate.
Day of Action for the Amazon. Amazon destruction is not new. Indigenous people of the Amazon have been sounding the alarm about the destruction of their rainforest home for years, sometimes at the cost of their own lives. With deforestation reaching the rate of three football fields per minute, the world’s largest rainforest is headed towards an irreversible tipping point. The Amazon helps to stabilize the global climate by storing up to 25% of the world’s carbon dioxide, producing oxygen, and housing 10% of the planet’s biodiversity.
Protecting forests and upholding the rights of Indigenous people is one of the most effective defenses we have against our climate crisis. OPS supported our friends at Amazon Watch to help mobilize a Global Day of Action for the Amazon in September 2019 to support human rights and environmental justice, corporate accountability, and the preservation of the Amazon’s ecological systems.
What you can do!
Sign the petition to encourage more good work to end our reliance on fossil fuels and ensure a just transition to clean energy.
What we eat defines our ecological footprint. The production of animal-based foods is linked to higher greenhouse gas emissions than plant-based foods. A plant-based diet requires a third of the land needed to support a meat-heavy diet, and overall wastes less of the resources we desperately need to conserve. Reduce or eliminate your meat consumption, and you are helping to protect the climate. Take the OPS Veg Pledge to get started!
For even more inspiration, watch The Game Changers to learn about the benefits of plant-rich diets for you and the planet!
Write to your Congress members to encourage their support of the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.