A Map of Resistance against Fossil Fuels for Climate Justice
Whilst global leaders have been discussing climate action for decades, the fossil fuel industry has been allowed to continue to compromise the livelihoods and environments in localities as well as contributing to the unprecedented and increasingly catastrophic changes we are seeing in our global climate. On every continent there is an increasing frequency and intensity of resistance movements against fossil fuel projects. These interwoven spaces of resistance are Blockadia. Originating from movements such as the Ogoni People against Shell in the Niger Delta since the 1990s and the Yasuni initiative in Ecuador to leave the oil in the soil, local people and activists are demanding we keep fossil fuels in the ground. Today there are diverse and widespread resistances such as the Ende Gelände mass civil disobedience in Germany; the indigenous-led Standing Rock camp against the Dakota Access Pipeline; the movement in Kenya to “deCOALanize”; and, amongst many others, the campaigns #BreakFree and #SaveTheArctic.
Naomi Klein popularized the term Blockadia in the book "This Changes Everything" describing the “roving transnational conflict zone [...] where ‘regular’ people are stepping in where our leaders are failing” along the whole fossil fuel chain, from extraction to transportation to combustion. These struggles are not only against the local impacts of such projects, but also against their impacts on the climate. What the Blockadia Map aims to do is bring together incidences of Blockadia-style resistances against fossil fuels along the whole chain. Included in the Blockadia Map are cases from the Environmental Justice Atlas which involve people defending their land, livelihoods and climate from fossil fuel projects, through direct action such as blockades, occupations and street protests. By bringing together inspiring case studies, the diversity of the movements can be celebrated whilst the connectivity between them can be strengthened and the real ‘glocal’ threats of fossil fuel extractivism can be better understood. The local causes of resistance vary case by case, but many include the violation of human rights, contamination of water, land dispossession, loss of livelihoods, poor working conditions, biodiversity loss, cultural loss, severe health impacts and inadequate compensation. The Blockadia Map serves as a tool for activists to unite their struggles and build a stronger movement against the multitude of injustices presented by fossil fuel projects. When we come together in acts of defiance, our struggles become part of a bigger movement. Just as these resistances are real spaces where people and causes are connected, the Blockadia Map is a space for movement-building and international solidarity.
Besides getting an overview of all the different kinds of resistances and direct action all over the world, the Blockadia Map also highlight the spatial mal-distribution of climate change sources and its impacts. Explore the Blockadia Map with the extra features of 'Fossil Fuels Extraction pr. Capita', 'Climate Change Vulnerability' and 'CO2 Emissions pr. Capita', click on the vectors to get additional data on each country.
The Blockadia Map is an ongoing project, and the team welcomes new cases. Get in touch at [email protected].
The Blockadia team is co-ordinated by Alice Owen and Daria Rivin, Student Researchers at Lund University/ICTA-UAB, and Ende Gelände activists. The research team also consists of Andrea Cardoso of Universidad del Magdalena, Colombia, and Brototi Roy and Daniela del Bene, PhD candidates at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. The Blockadia Map is part of the EnvJustice Project http://www.envjustice.org/.