Fossil fuel companies are among the most damaging human rights violators our world has ever known. They have misled, deceived, and outright lied to the public and our governments for years, even after they knew their products and services were damaging our environment.
Not only did they lie to us, but they were making and continue to make money hand over fist as they forced us into our current predicament. This knowledge of the damage fossil fuel companies do to the environment is widespread among everyone. Most notably this knowledge is prevalent among the young people of this world who will have to live through the dystopian future forced upon us.
Greta Thunberg represents this feeling of resentment and outright fury the youth have for the older generations. In fact, many of the youth see Thunberg as nothing more than a puppet for these large transnational corporations simply because she isn’t participating in outright sabotage or direct action against these corporations. However, Greta believes she is simply doing her small part in addressing a mind-bogglingly large complex problem.
Thunberg, along with Helena Gualinga, Vanessa Nakate, and Luisa Neubauer, has just signed a cease and desist letter towards fossil fuel companies to cancel planned expansions or new fossil fuel refinement and extraction projects.
Their demands, presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, reflect the world’s youth’s widespread animosity towards these major corporate powers that consistently dodge accountability while plundering our planet for all it has to offer. Their letter demands widespread legal action against fossil fuel companies by the citizens of this world if the corporations continue to block the clean energy transition we desperately need.
This letter and continued and widespread protests are simply the beginning, as it is becoming clearer and clearer that fossil fuel companies will not be going down without a fight. As of the writing of this article, one of the heads of the largest oil and gas company in the UAE has been appointed the head of COP28, the largest conference around climate change. It is being headed by a man, who is in part, responsible for the continued destruction of our natural world.
If oil and gas companies do not accept their fate as a legacy mechanism of powering our world and accept responsibility for their part in degrading our planet and our future, legal action and protests will not be the only consequences of their failure to see the error of their ways.
These four activists are just the beginning of the representation of the young people demanding change in our world. Words are the start, but words backed by legal action will be the only way we can begin to accelerate the change in our world. Their words prompt action, and time will only tell how long these corporations have until the ball is no longer in their field. Either they make the right decision, or we’ll make it for them.