#StopAdani + What are Republicans up to?

350 CHICAGO Newsletter

Your bi-weekly newsletter for all things climate-related

June 23, 2020

Good morning friends and climate advocates,

Elections are just four months away, and there is so much to be done. The Adani Group continues with its controversial Carmichael mine project in Australia, even after the most severe bushfire season in Australian history. The Illinois Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) has yet to pass, and divestment maintains its momentum.

- The 350 Chicago Team

Take action as part of the #stopadani campaign

Aspen Insurance is the fourth of Adani’s underwriters to walk away from the coalmine and export rail project under construction in the Galilee basin.
Source: Glenn Hunt/EPA

Adani is an Indian multinational conglomerate that is currently seeking insurers to underwrite its major coal infrastructure project in the Carmichael mines in Australia. This project, which proceeds in the wake of the 2020 brushfires, would produce 130 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year from burning the coal produced from this mine and an additional 4.7 billion metric tons of carbon emissions for its *estimated 60 year life of operations.

This project would destroy the environments of already endangered species, pollute the water within the region, and further threaten the Great Barrier Reef.

Here are three steps you can take as part of the #stopadani campaign:

  1. Stay active on Twitter – monitor @350_Chicago and retweet any tweets directed @MarshGlobal and @MMC_Global. These will be messages urging Marsh not to underwrite the Adani Carmichael project.

    1. Example tweet using the hashtag #StopAdani

  2. Call Marsh’s Chicago – under Contact Us, dial +1 (312) 627-6000, and leave a voicemail with a brief statement about why Marsh should not underwrite the existing Adani-Carmichael mining project.

    1. Example talking points for a call

  3. Message David Rahr, Global Leader of MNC Services at Marsh – (email: [email protected], & LinkedIn) Let him know that Marsh should publicly rule out insurance brokerage services for Adani and the Carmichael project to indicate that they understand the urgency of tackling climate change. This should also preclude coal mine, railway, and other associated infrastructure.

If you want to read more about the Adani Carmichael mine, see below:

  • Fourth major insurer declines to renew policies with coal project (The Guardian)

  • Carmichael coal mine (Wikipedia) – *Some information may be out of date.

Climate Model Blog Post

Climate scientists are working right now to produce the next set of detailed forecasts to be used in the 2021 IPCC annual report (AR6). As they do so, we get periodic news items -- some of which sound ominous, like this one from last week. This subject can get complicated, but here is a blog post by 350 member Rowland Davis that may help unravel some of the mystery.

Support the Illinois CEJA (Clean Energy Jobs Act)

Help pass the Clean Energy Jobs Act and spark our clean energy recovery by contacting your lawmakers. Simply enter your information into this form, and your message will automatically be sent to your state legislators and Governor Pritzker.

350 Chicago along with coalition partners at the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition are working to get all 177 legislators in the Illinois General Assembly to support this important bill.

Thank you for pitching in!

350 Chicago World Environment Day Fundraiser has been postponed indefinitely

Given current events, we have decided to indefinitely postpone our World Environment Day fundraiser and ask that you redirect your contributions to bail bond funds, the George Floyd Memorial Fund, or numerous other organizations working to enact meaningful change in the fight for racial and social justice.

The 350 Chicago Fundraising Committee

Contact Sylvia Panek and Larry Coble for more information.

President Donald Trump looks on after signing executive orders related to the oil pipeline industry in 2017.
Credit: Shawn Thew-Pool/Getty Images

Elections matter: What Are the Republicans Doing These Days?

In our last newsletter we focused on how the Democrats are trying to find an ambitious climate policy that can garner support across the party spectrum. In this newsletter, we will look at what the other party is doing (spoiler alert – they are doing a lot, and that's not a good thing!).

Let’s start with the EPA. The head of the EPA, Andrew Wheeler (former coal industry lobbyist), just went to visit Sheboygan in the key swing state of Wisconsin to tout how much cleaner their air has become under Trump. He failed to mention exactly how that happened: they simply redrew the monitoring zone map so that it now excludes one monitor that always posts higher pollution. Problem solved! Also, the EPA Inspector General has issued a report saying that more than 400 career EPA employees who were involved with science issues have stated they “had experienced but did not report potential violations of the EPA’s scientific integrity policy.” And a group of former EPA employees issued a report claiming that: “Virtually all the changes that Trump has made have one thing in common: They help polluters and harm the public, now and in the future.” But wait, there is still more. The EPA has proposed new rules for cost-benefit analysis of projects which critics say will hamstring future administrations’ efforts to enforce the Clean Air Act.

In other regulatory actions, the Trump administration has issued three separate Executive Orders since March that cite the COVID pandemic as a reason to roll back existing environmental protection rules. The most recent one will allow fast-tracking for infrastructure projects, including pipelines. And the EPA  adopted new rules under the Clean Water Act that will limit the ability of states and tribes to oppose pipeline projects.

Research published in Environmental Science and Policy” suggests two presidential terms of US inaction on climate change would create ripple effects across other nations. Ultimately, this “Trump effect” could delay global emissions reduction by a decade. Yale Climate Connections provides a broader look at the Trump administration’s record and concludes: “Most Trump environmental rollbacks will take years to be reversed.”

Updates on Divestment

June has brought news of more institutions divesting from fossil fuels, both in the US and abroad. The Vatican has recently called on Catholics across the globe to divest from fossil fuels and other causes of climate change. In addition, the IEEFA reports that the Minnesota State Board of Investments passed a resolution to divest state pension funds from coal companies, setting a deadline of December 31 to sell off the coal stocks. Meanwhile, Danish pension fund MP Pension has divested from 24 oil companies, as reported by Sophie Baker in Pensions & Investments. MP Pension, which handles benefits for people employed in higher education, already excluded 10 oil companies from its portfolio last year and plans to target coal and tar sands investments next.

Sarah Shemkus, writing for the Energy News Network, reports that a number of Massachusetts state legislators are urging Liberty Mutual to end its fossil fuel investments and to stop providing insurance coverage for fossil fuel projects. The insurance company, which is headquartered in Boston, has drawn criticism for its continued investment in several major fossil fuel projects, including the Keystone XL pipeline expansion. The lawmakers wrote a letter to Liberty Mutual asking them to divest, but there's no word yet on whether the company will actually do so.

Upcoming 350 Chicago Meetings & Events

***Important: Please note that all meetings will be held virtually for the foreseeable future due to the situation around COVID-19. Please contact committee leads for information regarding remote meeting arrangements.***

7/11 Saturday - 10.00 - 11.30am CST
350 Chicago General Monthly Meeting
Please join us as we host our friends from Pekin Hardy Strauss / Appleseed Capital, a Chicago-based Certified B Corporation focused on Sustainable Investing. Representatives will provide a presentation on the current state of fossil-fuel-free investing and tools to help you learn more about what you currently own. They will also cover how to think about fossil fuel-related investments in banking along with other values-driven investment strategies.

Meeting ID: 829 0292 6793
Password: 646604
*If you prefer telephone audio instead of computer audio, dial +1 312 626 6799

7/14 Tuesday - 6.00 - 7.30pm CST
350 Chicago Research Committee Monthly Meeting
Interested in getting involved in the Research committee? Contact committee lead Alex McLeese for digital meeting details.

350 Chicago Education Committee Meeting
Interested in getting involved in the Education committee? Contact committee lead Melissa Brice for more details!

Additional Reads

  1. Racism is Killing the Planet – the ideology of white supremacy leads the way towards disposable people and a disposable natural world (The Sierra Club)

  2. Coronavirus crisis could cause $25 trillion fossil fuel industry collapse – value of reserves could fall by two-thirds as COVID-19 hastens peak demand, study shows (The Guardian)

  3. Goldman Sachs says renewable-energy investment will surpass oil and gas for the first time ever in 2021 – and sees total investment spiking to $16 trillion over the next decade (Business Insider)

  4. Lyft pledges all-EV fleet by 2030 (Utility Dive)

  5. 16 Essential Books about Environmental Justice, Activism, and Racism (The Revelator)


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