Freeze fossil fuel extraction to stop climate crimes

A hundred well-known figures have launched an appeal for a climate uprising, in the spirit of the social movements that put an end to the crimes of slavery, totalitarianism, colonialism and apartheid. Fossil fuels must be left in the ground, they should no longer be extracted and they should no longer be subsidised, say campaigners.

A hundred well-known figures have launched an appeal for a climate uprising, in the spirit of the social movements that put an end to the crimes of slavery, totalitarianism, colonialism and apartheid. Fossil fuels must be left in the ground, they should no longer be extracted and they should no longer be subsidised, say campaigners.

We are at a crossroads.
We do not want to be compelled to survive in a world that has been made barely livable for us. From South Pacific Islands to the shores of Louisiana, from the Maldives to the Sahel, from Greenland to the Alps, the daily lives of millions of us are already being disrupted by the consequences of climate change. Through ocean acidification, the submersion of South Pacific Islands, forced migration in the Indian Subcontinent and Africa, frequent storms and hurricanes, the current ecocide affects all species and ecosystems, threatening the rights of future generations. And we are not equally impacted by climate change: Indigenous and peasant communities, poor communities in the global South and in the global North are at the frontlines and most affected by these and other impacts of climate disruption.

We are not under any illusions. For more than 20 years, governments have been meeting, yet greenhouse gas emissions have not decreased and the climate keeps changing. The forces of inertia and obstruction prevail, even as scientific warnings become ever more dire.

This comes as no surprise. Decades of liberalization of trade and investments have undermined the capacity of states to confront the climate crisis. At every stage powerful forces – fossil fuel corporations, agro-business companies, financial institutions, dogmatic economists, skeptics and deniers, and governments in the thrall of these interests – stand in the way or promote false solutions. Ninety companies are responsible for two-thirds of recorded greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Genuine responses to climate change threatens their power and wealth, threatens free market ideology, and threatens the structures and subsidies that support and underwrite them.

We know that global corporations and governments will not give up the profits they reap through the extraction of coal, gas and oil reserves; and through global fossil fuel-based industrial agriculture. Our continuing ability to act, think, love, care, work, create, produce, contemplate, struggle, however, demands that we force them to. To be able to continue to thrive as communities, individuals and citizens, we all must strive for change. Our common humanity and the Earth demand it.

We are confident in our capacity to stop climate crimes. In the past, determined women and men have resisted and overcome the crimes of slavery, totalitarianism, colonialism or apartheid. They decided to fight for justice and solidarity and knew no one would do it for them. Climate change is a similar challenge, and we are nurturing a similar uprising.

We are working to change everything. We can open the way to a more livable future, and our actions are much more powerful than we think. Around the world, our communities are fighting against the real drivers of the climate crisis, protecting territories, working to reduce their emissions, building their resilience, achieving food autonomy through small scale ecological farming, etc.

On the eve of the UN Climate Conference to be held in Paris-Le Bourget, we declare our determination to keep fossil fuels in the ground. This is the only way forward.

Concretely, governments have to end subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, and to freeze fossil fuel extraction by leaving untouched 80% of all existing fossil fuel reserves.

We know that this implies a great historical shift. We will not wait for states to make it happen. Slavery and apartheid did not end because states decided to abolish them. Mass mobilisations left political leaders no other choice.

The situation today is precarious. We have, however, a unique opportunity to reinvigorate democracy, to dismantle the dominance of corporate political power, to transform radically our modes of production and consumption. Ending the era of fossil fuels is one important step towards the fair and sustainable society we need.

We will not waste this opportunity, in Paris or elsewhere, today or tomorrow.


The appeal has been signed by:

Agnès Sinaï (Institut Momentum), Alberto Acosta (économiste), Alex Randall (Climate Outreach), Amy Dahan (Historienne des Sciences), Bernard Guri (Centre for Indigenous Knowledge & Organisational Development), Bill McKibben (fondateur de, Boaventura de Sousa Santos (sociologue), Catherine Larrère (philosophe), Christophe Bonneuil (historien), Cindy Wiesner (Coordinator of Grassroots, Global Justice Alliance, USA), Claire Nouvian (Bloom), Claude Lorius (glaciologue), Clive Hamilton (philosophe), David Graeber (anthropologue), Desmond Tutu (archevêque émérite),Dominique Bourg (philosophe), Dominique Méda (sociologue), Edgardo Lander (sociologue), Eduardo Viveiros de Castro (anthropologue), Emilie Hache (philosophe), Erri de Luca (écrivain), Esperanza Martinez (ancienne ministre de la Santé publique du Paraguay), Esther Vivas (chercheure et militante altermondialiste), François Gemenne (politiste), Frank Murazumi (Amis de la Terre Ouganda), Gaël Giraud (économiste), Geneviève Azam (économiste), George Monbiot (journaliste), Gerry Arrances (militant anti-charbon), Gilles Boeuf (président du MNHN), Gilles Clément (paysagiste), Gilles-Éric Séralini Godwin Ojo (Amis de la Terre, Nigeria), Gus Massiah (Cedetim), Guy Aurenche (président du CCFD), Isabelle Frémeaux (Laboratoire des Imaginaires Insurrectionnels), Isabelle Stengers (philosophe), Jacques Testart (biologiste), Jean-Baptiste Fressoz (historien), Jean-Pierre Dupuy (philosophe), Jean Gadrey (économiste), Jeanne Planche (Attac France), John Holloway (sociologue et philosophe), Joan Martinez Alier (économiste), John Jordan (Laboratoire des Imaginaires Insurrectionnels), Jon Palais (Bizi !), Kaddour Hadadi (musicien et chanteur, HK et les Saltimbanks), Kevin Smith (Liberate Tate), Kumi Naidoo (Greenpeace International), Larry Lohmann (The Corner House), Lech Kowalski (réalisateur), Leonardo Boff (théologien), Lidy Nacpil (Jubilee South), Mamadou Goïta (Institut de recherche et de promotion des alternatives au développement, Mali), Louise Hazan (, Marc Dufumier (agronome), Marc Luyckx Ghisi (écrivain), Marc Robert (chimiste), Marie-Monique Robin (journaliste), Maude Barlow (Food & Water Watch), Maxime Combes (économiste, membre d’Attac), Naomi Klein (essayiste), Michael Hardt (philosophe), Michael Löwy (sociologue), Mike Davis (historien et sociologue), Noam Chomsky (linguiste et philosophe), Nick Hildyard (The Corner House), Nicolas Haeringer (, Nnimmo Bassey (Oil Watch International), Noble Wadzah (Oil Watch Afrique), Olivier Bétourné (éditeur), Olivier de Schutter (juriste), Pablo Servigne (collapsologue), Pablo Solon (ancien ambassadeur de la Bolivie), Pat Mooney (ETC Group), Patrick Chamoiseau (écrivain), Patrick Viveret (philosophe), Paul Lannoye (ancien député européen), Philippe Bihouix (ingénieur), Philippe Desbrosses (Intelligence Verte), Philippe Descola (anthropologue), Pierre Rabhi (agronome et penseur de l’écologie), Pierre-Henri Gouyon (écologue), Priscilla Achakpa (Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, Nigéria), Razmig Keucheyan (sociologue), Rebecca Foon (musicienne), Roger Cox (avocat), Saskia Sassen (sociologue), Serge Latouche (économiste), Soumya Dutta (Alliance nationale des mouvements anti-nucléaires, Inde), Stefan C. Aykut (politiste), Susan George (économiste), Swoon (artiste), Thomas Coutrot (économiste, porte-parole d’Attac), Tom Kucharz (Ecologistas en Accion, Espagne), Tony Clarke (International Forum on Globalization), Txetx Etcheverry (Alternatiba), Valérie Cabannes (End Ecocide), Valérie Masson-Delmotte (climatologue), Vandana Shiva (physcienne et écologiste), Vincent Devictor (écologue), Vivienne Westwood (styliste), Yeb Saño (ancien ambassadeur des Philippines pour le climat), Yvonne Yanez (Oil Watch).

To join the appeal visit here.


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