9 March 2023 // Today is our last day in Houston, Texas, at CERAWeek, the global energy conference described in one of his two pieces on the topic by Bill McKibben this week as the hydrocarbon world’s biggest festival, a Davos for carbon energy executives. Here are our action highlights from the week.
Even though CERAWeek has a reputation as an old-boys-club and dirty-lobbyist influence peddling event (as we exposed in our blog here), our Svitlana Romanko planned to attend the elite conference with the goal of influencing attending Biden administration officials, key energy leaders, and the attending press, to push for a clean energy future and an end to the violence of fossil fuels.
Proof that Svitlana is powerful enough to scare even these top global elites, she was surprised to get a CERAWeek mail the night before the event saying that her conference registration was "declined", which to normal people effectively means they banned her from attending. When directly asking CERAWeek staff why, they bluntly told Svitlana, "because you are an activist", as seen on this video.
This shocking revelation proves that Svitlana's work, and that of Razom We Stand, is threatening to those in power, a fact we are very proud of! These elites likely didn't appreciate the positive press Svitlana got the next morning in this major Houston Chronicle article, which repeated Svitlana's words of wisdom, that activists can use events like CERAWeek; "to find allies and build networks, occasionally turn enemies into allies, and to expose bad actors before the world visually and verbally. This happens best when large protests are organized, culprits are confronted, and activists use the massive presence of the press in attendance to make their voices heard."
We further turned CERAWeek into a chance to be heard by delivering this letter of concerns and requests to Biden administration official John Podesta, Senior Advisor to the President for Clean Energy. The letter calls for the US government to more actively invest in renewable energy infrastructure, and stop the expansion of climate disrupting gas export projects. It also asks the US to support our efforts to rebuild Ukraine's energy infrastructure using green energy. We're looking forward to a positive reply from President Biden!
Svitlana was the opening speaker at the major protest event on Wednesday March 8, where she said: "If we don't want a world perpetually in danger, and we don't want more fossil fuel dictatorships, we must end this one in russia now.”
At CERAWeek Svitlana reached tens of millions via social and mainstream media, including in this Independent report that also went out on the global wires via MSN and Yahoo News, and a hard hitting op ed by Svitlana and Bill McKibbon entitled, "Big Oil loves the war in Ukraine. But change is coming", in the hugely influential Houston Chronicle, the main news outlet in the oil capital of Texas; Houston. The key messages Svitlana pushed forward were:
- CERAWeek participants must stop pushing for more climate disrupting energy and embrace clean energy.
- Energy security must be based on decentralized clean energy and not fossil fuels.
- Energy majors who advocate for new mega-gas projects are only spinning "fake security" and locking-in expensive fossil fuel energy dependence, even though renewables have already become the cheapest energy source in 2022.
- Ukraine, which has had over 40% of its energy infrastructure destroyed by russia, is already planning to replace destroyed centralized fossil fuel energy with wind and solar energy. This will make Ukraine a global leader in clean energy and rebuild Ukraine green.
Razom We Stand believes that activism is a vital and effective driver to create change. The promise seen daily by Ukraine’s resistance to fossil-fueled terror must be realized by the entire world. The rebuilding of Ukraine should become the beginning of a global movement for clean, renewable, and safe energy.
Therefore, in our new Manifesto “For a New Ukraine and a New World!”, we demand actions from national governments and international organisations including the European Union, the G7 and the G20 to enforce a full set of energy sanctions against russia and invest in the green transition to save the planet with climate friendly clean energy.
You can help us to create an impact for a better world without dependence on fossil fuels by signing our new visionary Manifesto for a New Ukraine and a New World here.
Donate here to support our work.
Thanks so much for your continued support,
The Razom We Stand team