Can We 'Leap' Away From Fossil Fuel Dependency This Year?

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People are out in the streets today, pressuring governments to pay attention to Naomi Klein's "Leap Manifesto" and its practical roadmap for how to divest wholly from fossil fuels as quickly as possible.

Today is Leap Day – that unusual 29th day of February that only rolls around every four years. It was Emperor Julius Caesar who, in 46 B.C., brought the 365-day solar calendar to the Romans. Even he, a “dictator in perpetuity”, realized it was easier to throw in an extra day and change human rules than it was to ignore the laws of nature. Sadly, we humans still have not learned that lesson and our planet continues to suffer as a result.

Author and activist Naomi Klein has used the metaphor of a leap day and leap year to draw global attention to her new “Leap Manifesto.” Written with other prominent Canadian environmentalists, endorsed by more than 100 organizations, and launched in conjunction with her award-winning book This Changes Everything, the manifesto is an independent political platform that was drafted as a roadmap for how to divest from fossil fuels as thoroughly and quickly as possible.

Klein explains some of the manifesto’s approach in an article for the Guardian:

“The manifesto not only calls for a rapid shift to 100% renewable electricity, it insists that these new energy projects should be democratically controlled – and that ‘indigenous peoples should be first to receive public support for their own clean energy projects. So should communities currently dealing with heavy health impacts of polluting industrial activity’.”

Today, on Leap Day, cities and organizations across the world are joining together to pressure governments to take the necessary leap to new economic and energy systems before it’s too late. See if there’s anything happening near you and join in the activism.

Klein will be in Ottawa, together with Indigenous leaders, labour and social activists, to push this incredibly hopeful platform that could “redress terrible wrongs done to indigenous peoples; radically reduce economic, racial and gender inequalities; eliminate legal double standards for immigrant workers; and create a whole lot of stable, well-paying jobs.” (The Guardian)

Sounds like a win-win situation all around. Read the Leap Manifesto here.