ANNOUNCEMENT: Proposal for the Creation of a Climate Justice Co-op

First, let us define radical: Robert Jensen’s (2004) excellent book Writing Dissent: Taking Radical Ideas from the Margins to the Mainstream reminds us that:

“…the origins of the word – radical, [comes] from the Latin radicalis, meaning ‘root.’ Radical analysis goes to the root of an issue or problem. Typically that means that while challenging the specific manifestations of a problem, radicals also analyze the ideological and institutional components as well as challenge the unstated assumptions and conventional wisdom that obscure the deeper roots. Often it means realizing that what is taken as an aberration or deviation from a system is actually the predictable and/or intended result of a system.”

Therefore, radical is not a derogatory word for wild people, it is a term to embrace that describes critical thinking and self reflection.  This is absolutely essential if we are to win the war on climate change.

English Version:

French version:

To face a global climate crisis in a manner that also addresses

inequality, colonialism, racism and other forms of oppression, requires

global cooperation.

To this end, we propose to establish an organization that will:

* Create links of solidarity internationally between communities

fighting against fossil fuel and infrastructure projects, communities

affected by climate change and false solutions to climate change,

communities affected by extraction and other industrial projects, and

sectors of the public who can back them up in the shared struggle for

ecological justice.

* Build broad-based support for direct action.

* Propagate a climate justice-based analysis, which confronts the root

causes of the climate crisis in their totality. Racist and colonialist

ideologies which devalue human lives based on differences in culture,

ethnicity or skin colour are a major enabling factor of the most

damaging industrial projects. Racism and colonialism also underlie the

most damaging of the false solutions to the climate crisis currently

being purveyed as a substitute for environmental justice. Gender-based

violence and ideology has always been necessary for destructive powers

to exercise control over resources and people. Imperialism and

militarism are the most basic tools used to deepen global

inequalities. The endless need for growth and the dominating

structures of capitalism are at the root of the twin crises of climate

change and global inequality. The climate crisis is being used as a

weapon to deepen many forms of oppression and inequality; to truly

address it, we must confront the ensemble of these forces while

building equitable, sustainable and just alternatives.

* Provide an alternative to, and a platform for criticism of

environmental organizations that engage in closed door negotiations

with government or industry, and which operate in a fashion that is

unaccountable to–or which undermines the work of–movements for climate

justice. This, with the overall goal of creating a culture of open

debate and accountability in environmental movements.

In order to achieve this, we propose a structure that combines local

autonomy and global cooperation. Some of the structural characteristics of

the proposed Climate Justice Co-op include:

* Locals of the Co-op are autonomous in decisions made about local

organizing, but must agree to the Co-op’s basis of unity (TBD). Groups

which explicitly contravene the Co-op’s basis of unity will be asked

to disaffiliate from the Co-op if a majority of other groups agree.

* Membership revenues, including sustaining memberships, are split

50/50 between the member’s local group (if any) and the central co-op

structure. The central structure will serve to support existing

locals, start new locals, and spread local initiatives through the


* The central structure of the Co-op will be accountable to a

spokescouncil of its locals. The Co-op will also work to develop

mechanisms by which to be accountable to affected communities with

whom it is allied.

* The Co-op will maintain the majority of its funding from membership,

disclose all sources of foundation or government funding while never

relying on them, and work to prevent funding sources from changing the

Co-op’s areas of emphasis. The Co-op will not accept funding from


The Climate Justice Co-op is a proposal for a new way of conducting

environmental work. We will draw our strength from the energy and

diversity of grassroots groups that form the Co-op’s membership. We will

continually renew our moral strength by listening to the communities that

are directly affected by, and choose to fight, the root causes of climate

change. We will be accountable to them, and to our membership. We will be

a part of a global network that will build alternatives to capitalism

while confronting its destruction at every turn. We intend to create a way

of not only sustaining and supporting grassroots resistance to the climate

injustice, but a method to rapidly spread and replicate climate justice

organizing. To address the global climate crisis in a just and equitable

fashion demands no less.

To make comments on this proposal and process, please visit:

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