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Al Jazeera | Take the Power Back
How ordinary people are mobilising to disrupt the fossil fuel industry by redirecting investment.
Director: Sylvia Rowley
November 2015


The business of unearthing coal, oil, and gas reserves to power the world is a multitrillion-dollar industry. But scientists say that in order to avoid catastrophic consequences, at least two-thirds of these reserves need to remain underground to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius.


Ordinary people are joining forces to create a global grassroots movement, geared towards taking on some of the biggest organisations and encouraging them to divest: take their money out of the fossil fuels, and, in some cases, invest it in climate solutions. In the past three years, more than 400 institutions worth $2.6 trillion have pledged to divest, including the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, a philanthropic organisation established by the family whose fortunes were built on oil.


Russell Beard travels to New York, London and the Garzweiler mine in Germany, where he meets a new generation of young activists such as Danni Paffard from, who says: "We know we can never bankrupt the fossil fuel industry financially, but what we can do is bankrupt them politically, bankrupt them socially, and bankrupt them morally - and that's what divestment is about."

About 'earthrise'

'earthrise' is an award-winning series exploring solutions to the environmental challenges we face today.


The programme takes an upbeat look at ecological, scientific, technological and design projects all around the world, from a group of Dutch architects who design stunning buildings made from waste materials, to an ingenious project that has dramatically cut rhino poaching on a South African game reserve.

Credit List
Sylvia Rowley