HOW CAN WE RESPOND?
UNITED FINANCIAL PRESSURE
[extreme anti-industry activist,
leader of Alliance to Stop LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) and Dogwood
Initiative. Based in Victoria, B.C. - The Librarian]
the money. That’s the mantra activists across North America are
repeating after attending the Corporate Energy Campaigning:
Using financial pressure for conservation workshop in
September , this effort took a big step forward, when Dogwood
Initiative co-hosted Corporate Energy Campaigning: Using
financial pressure for conservation, with the Colorado-based Oil
& Gas Accountability Project.
Dogwood Initiative organized the workshop jointly with the
Colorado-based Oil and Gas Accountability Project (OGAP),
which is widely respected in the western U.S. for its organizing on
oil and gas issues. Together we assembled 40 key activists from
across North America for an in-depth training and strategy session
on how to counter the growing power and impacts of the oil industry.
Participants came from the Yukon, Alberta, BC, Ontario, Alaska,
Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Maine. They
have been fighting the impacts of the oil industry on their
communities and environment. Traditional approaches like community
organizing, government relations, legal challenges, and public
education have served them well. All agree, however, that new tools
Financial pressure is one such tool. Though a powerful force in
historic campaigns to end slavery (sugar boycotts) and free South Africa
from Apartheid (divestment), financial campaigns targeting oil
companies are a relatively new approach.
scandals create demand for stricter corporate governance, our
ability to influence industry increases. Financiers—whether they are
shareholders, banks, insurance companies or other entities—are risk
averse, and we have strategies to enhance risk to create leverage.
gathered experts who have successfully used these strategies—experts
on financing and corporate research, shareholder activism, credit
ratings, and corporate dialogue. Our experts were drawn from a
“who’s-who” of successful corporate campaigners. Friends of the
Earth and Rainforest Action Network sent trainers , and
people from Amazon Watch and the Burma Project were
involved in the preparation.
The workshop’s biggest success was
the support generated for a new continental fossil fuel campaign.
The activists created a Steering Committee, and approved organizing
principles, criteria for target selection, and a short-list of