Divesting ASEAN: Making Fossil Fuels History

Divesting ASEAN: Making Fossil Fuels History

Film screening at hbs Bangkok office on February 13. — Image Credits

On February 13 and 14 people did the math globally: To keep global warming under the politically agreed goal of 2 degrees global warming, we cannot set more than 565 gigatons of carbon free into the atmosphere. Fossil fuel companies are keeping 2795 gigatons of carbon in their reserves already and therefore five times more of carbon in their backyard than we can actually use to fight ecological and humanitarian disaster. Still, knowing these figures, fossil fuel companies keep on investing big shares of their revenue to explore for more resources in the ground. The Divestment Movement, led by 350.org, called people and institutions worldwide to stop the wracking of the planet by taking what is most important for the companies: money. The logic is simple: It is wrong to wreck the planet so it is wrong to earn money with it. Shareholders in fossil fuel companies should therefore take their money out, divest, and reinvest in sustainable assets.

This message was shouted, performed, acted, sung, spoken about in 60 countries on the Global Divestment Day. Also the Heinrich Böll Stiftung Southeast Asia Regional office spread the word by hosting an event in its Bangkok office and supporting two events in Ho Chi Minh City and Kuala Lumpur to put the ASEAN in the Global of the Divestment Day.

The film screening of the campaign’s movie “Do the Math” in Bangkok attracted around 25 interested individuals that used the opportunity of the gathering for idea exchange and a heated discussion on what to do in terms of environmental projects in the Thai political and cultural context. Representatives from NGOs, researchers, students and interested individuals agreed on the necessity to have a stronger network of agents in the environmental activism scene.

Meanwhile in Vietnam, our partners took it out to the streets, schools and the media by posing in front of banks to call them to divest, talk to students about their future with and without carbon and feed the words divestment and the 3 numbers of 350.org into the information stream of Vietnamese media.

Kuala Lumpur saw a screening of “Do the Math” that attracted 30 people who wanted to see how the Divestment movement can be applied to Malaysia, better sooner than later.

It was more than one day of global action, it was a push for the ASEAN-wide movement for climate justice with and beyond divestment.

For more information:

- FossilFree Campaing Website: http://Gofossilfree.org
- 350.org Malaysia: http://powershiftmalaysia.org.my/tayangan-rebung-do-the-math-global-divestment-day/
- 350.org Vietnam: https://www.facebook.com/vietnam350?fref=ts
- Report on Divestment Day in Vietnam: http://vietnamnews.vn/environment/266761/hcm-city-youth-call-on-banks-firms-to-stop-funding-fossil-fuels.html

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