Big Polluters are in large part responsible for the multi-faceted crises we as a global community are facing. They have eroded the power of governments to effectively address worldwide disasters like the climate crisis and COVID-19. For at least a century, they have polluted, destroyed, and stolen the land, water, and air that Black and other communities of color, Indigenous communities, and communities in the Global South take care of and live on.
We can disrupt this system of power and profit by holding Big Polluters liable—financially and legally—for what they have done knowing full well the implications of their actions. We can disrupt it by no longer allowing them to continue their abuses with impunity.
Liability comes in many forms and is a concept that has been practiced around the world for centuries through various means including restitution and reparations for harm. The liability roadmap is a concrete offering to decision-makers all over the world from people and organizers, led by and created in collaboration with those on the front lines of the climate crisis. It lays out different steps that decision-makers, from the local to international levels, can take to hold Big Polluters to account.
What we accomplish by holding Big Polluters liable will open doors for holding other abusive industries liable and help create the systemic change we need. That’s why we are determined to build global power together behind the demand to make Big Polluters pay and the liability roadmap.
TO GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AROUND THE GLOBE:
We urge you to act to hold the industries and corporations that have fueled and continue to worsen the climate crisis liable, as well as the executives behind them, so that we may advance climate justice globally.
For decades, Big Polluters like Exxon, Shell, and others have spent billions of dollars simultaneously fueling and denying the climate crisis, delaying action, and pushing false “solutions” at every level—all while raking in billions in profits each year. And despite what their greenwashing advertising says, they’re still doing it, as are other major polluting industries like agribusiness.
People around the globe are fighting to protect their homelands from the rising seas, their loved ones from extreme weather events, and their lives and livelihoods from floods, droughts, pipelines, brutal fossil fuel extraction, deforestation, destruction of natural ecosystems, land grabs, and other violations of their rights. Communities in the Global South, women, youth, indigenous peoples, and other communities on the front lines of the climate crisis urgently need funding to implement a just and equitable transition away from fossil fuels and false “solutions” like carbon markets and offsets, bioenergy, and geo-engineering—and toward the community-centered solutions that must power our future: solutions like leaving fossil fuels in the ground, practicing agroecology, protecting vital ecosystems like the Amazon rainforest, and other solutions enshrined in the People’s Demands for Climate Justice.
These real, just solutions to address climate change are within reach, and have been led and practiced by communities on the front lines of the climate crisis for decades. Implementing these solutions requires economic resources. This is a debt that is already owed by corporations—and the executives behind them—to these communities, and its distribution must be accountable to them as they seek to restore balance with nature.
The industries that have fueled the climate crisis, funded climate denial, and blocked just climate progress for decades must pay for the damage they have caused. Holding them liable means ensuring that they are held criminally and financially responsible, and that they are made to end the practices that have driven this crisis in the first place.
That’s why communities around the globe are taking action toward holding polluting industries liable for the damage they have caused. We urge you to join them in doing so.
We are already experiencing the tipping points that indicate we are dangerously close to planetary collapse. It’s time for courage and justice in addressing the climate crisis. It’s time to listen to the Global South, frontline, youth, and indigenous peoples and communities leading the way. It’s time to stop Big Polluters and corporate climate lobbyists from writing the rules. It’s time to hold them liable—for the loss and for the damage they have caused, and for a just transition to sustainable life models for impacted communities and territories, most especially in the Global South. It’s time to make them pay.