23 September 2020
Block Fossils Out browser tool helps climate strikers ‘blockade’ fossil fuel companies
BERLIN, 23 September 2020 – With the Climate Care Uprising protests beginning today, and another wave of Fridays For Future global climate strikes coming Friday, civil society groups in Europe have launched an expanded set of digital tools to help people take part in online protests, blocking European coal, gas and oil companies that hold back progress on climate change.
Block Fossils Out is a browser extension that helps users automatically ‘block out’ the websites and social media accounts of European coal, oil, and gas companies, as well as those of their financial backers (1). Users can show support by sharing which companies are included and why on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, and by using an augmented reality selfie filter for Instagram and Facebook to further promote what companies are undermining our collective future.
“Young people around the world are taking the streets each Friday to fight for our future and we’re up against a fossil fuel industry that has been greenwashing itself every day for decades,” said Bianca Castro, Fridays for Future activist. “We are at a crucial point in history, and our online spaces are awash with misinformation. We need digital tools like Block Fossils Out to highlight who is holding back progress, and help us send them a message that their voices are not welcome until they start being part of the solution to the climate crisis.”
As many financial institutions are keeping European polluters in business through either loans, bonds, underwriting, or insurance, and therefore share responsibility for the climate and health impacts these companies create, they are also being included on the list – until they commit to only funding companies compliant with UN Paris climate agreement goals.
“European coal, oil, and gas companies and their financial backers all need to show us how they plan to exit the fossil business fast. Coal must be phased out from the European energy mix by 2030. The future is in renewable energy, and these companies need to prove to us they are truly transforming. Until then, we opt to block their online presence,” said Kathrin Gutmann, campaign director, Europe Beyond Coal.
Kathrin Gutmann, Campaign Director, Europe Beyond Coal (German, English)
[email protected], + 49 (0) 1577 836 3036
Alastair Clewer, Communications Officer, Europe Beyond Coal
[email protected], +49 176 433 07 185
Bianca Castro, student and activist with Fridays for Future
[email protected], +351 966 165 874
Joel Lev-Tov, Fridays for Future Digital Press
[email protected], +1 909 569 9965
1) The Google Chrome extension and Firefox add-on checks visited URLs against a database of web addresses owned by oil, gas or coal companies that have headquarters in EU countries, the Western Balkans, Norway and Turkey, and financial institutions that support them. When there is a match, the website is blacked-out with a message explaining why. The extension also creates a hyperlinked popup with details of each company’s activities wherever that company’s name appears during a user’s normal web browsing.
The list of coal, oil, and gas companies, as well as financial institutions is developed and maintained by Europe Beyond Coal, Greenpeace, ShareAction, and Food & Water Europe. More information on the Block Fossils Out extension, the augmented reality filter, and a full list of blocked companies can be found at www.blockfossilsout.com
The Climate Care Uprising is a series of demonstrations and activities, organised by a coalition of climate justice activist groups across 18 European countries, that show the power of the climate justice movement. From 23 Sept to 15 Oct climate justice groups will block politics & companies of mass destruction. #ClimateCareUprising climatecareuprising.org
Europe Beyond Coal is an alliance of civil society groups working to catalyse the closures of coal mines and power plants, prevent the building of any new coal projects and hasten the just transition to clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Our groups are devoting their time, energy and resources to this independent campaign to make Europe coal free by 2030 or sooner. www.beyond-coal.eu