Why Big NGOs Won’t Lead the Fight on Climate Change
Belinda Rodriguez and Ben Case, Roar Magazine, 12/6/2015
The cowardly response of prominent climate organizations like 350.org and Avaaz to the protest ban during COP21 demands accountability.
In the wake of ISIS’ attacks on Paris, French authorities jumped on the opportunity to revoke permits for the Global Climate March, a well-planned series of demonstrations scheduled to coincide with international climate talks. After speculation around the fate of the demonstrations, several prominent groups including 350.org and Avaaz gave in and announced that the march was canceled, while key grassroots groups announced they would take to the streets despite the ban.
These differing responses expose a long-standing divide between mainstream NGOs and grassroots groups in the climate justice movement and highlight conflicts about how the movement negotiates with power and demonstrates solidarity in the face of crisis. With time running out to secure a livable planet and many more high-stakes decisions to be made going forward, we cannot afford to let these conflicts continue to go unresolved. It is clear now that the movement requires nothing short of an internal revolution.
(You can also hear more from Ben and Belinda about COP21 and the failures of big NGOs in combating climate change in an interview they did for Counterpoint on WPKN on 12/21/2015 – You can find it here).