I’ve spent my life fighting for what I believe in. When I was 32, President Nixon had me arrested. 50 years later I was arrested five times for protesting the government’s inaction on climate change. It’s no secret that I have a history of ruffling feathers in Washington.
Today, support for climate action is unprecedented. The public is voting with the climate in mind, but the people we elect are not. This has led me to reflect on what we need to do to secure meaningful action on climate. Our planet is on fire and our leaders are failing us, so if we can’t change the minds of the people in power, we need to change the people in power.
It is for that reason that I started Jane Fonda Climate PAC, which is laser-focused on one goal: Do what it takes to defeat fossil fuel supporters and elect climate champions at all levels of government.
I believe this is the most important thing I will do in my lifetime.
Jane Fonda, Principal
Jane Fonda has famously dedicated her life to activism, most recently mobilizing thousands of people to take action on climate through Fire Drill Fridays, a set of weekly climate demonstrations on Capitol Hill. Her book, What Can I Do? My Path from Climate Despair to Action, equips activists with the tools needed to engage and take action on climate change.
Annie Leonard, Co-Executive Director of Greenpeace USA and creator of The Story of Stuff (organizations listed for identification purposes only).
Annie Leonard is an experienced and prominent climate change leader in the United States. She has a track record of over 30 years of activism and is currently the co-Executive Director of Greenpeace US where she leads a team to inspire and mobilize millions of people to take action to create a more sustainable and just future together.
Note: While Annie is advising Jane on a volunteer basis, Jane’s Climate PAC is independent from Greenpeace and the collaboration it runs with Jane, Fire Drill Fridays.
The climate crisis poses unprecedented threats to our communities, our environment, our economy, and our security. It’s not too late to change our course. But it won’t happen as long as oil, gas, and coal companies maintain their stranglehold on American politics.
In 2020, the fossil fuel industry poured $139 million into our elections. This money has real consequences. Major solutions are stopped cold: the Green New Deal, Build Back Better, clean energy investments, ending billions in tax subsidies to the fossil fuel industry — all because of politicians backed by Big Oil.
Fossil fuel lobbyists and their money control Congress. They block actions with huge donations to politicians from both parties. Jane Fonda Climate PAC will help elect leaders who will rise to the urgency of this moment and stand up to the fossil fuel industry.
Jane Fonda Climate PAC will leverage the donations of those who are climate concerned to counter the outsized influence the fossil fuel industry has on our government. We will make sure politicians who support oil and gas are as afraid for their jobs as we are about the impending climate disaster.
We have reached a stark turning point. We are no longer just imagining how the world will look in a disrupted climate; we’re seeing and feeling the reality of the crisis every single day as we witness wildfires, heat waves, and floods destroy communities. The most recent IPCC report told us that half of the world population is already in the danger zone, that every fraction of a degree matters, and that every second counts. Scientists tell us we have just eight years left to curtail fossil fuel use and prevent the worst climate outcomes.
It’s not too late to change our course. But it won’t happen as long as oil, gas, and coal companies maintain their stranglehold on American politics.
We have to cut our fossil fuel emissions in half in the next eight years to avoid complete climate disaster. That means we have just four election cycles to elect politicians who will stand up to the fossil fuel industry and fight for the future of our planet.
It’s not too late to make a change, but we need to act right away. We are going to target candidates and elected officials who are protecting fossil fuels instead of protecting people and the planet.
This moment calls for agile, aggressive action, and we are ready to provide it. This is just the start of an effort that will last for years to come, help level the playing field in our political system, and elect true climate leaders across the nation. If we don’t act now, things will only get worse.
The Climate Crisis - Caused by Fossil Fuels
The fossil fuel industry is by far the leading cause of the climate emergency: eighty five percent of U.S. greenhouse gas pollution comes from oil, gas, and coal.
It has been well documented that the fossil fuel industry understood the climate science for over half a century, but instead of taking action, funded a massive disinformation campaign to confuse people, and relentlessly blocked climate action and alternatives to their dirty products.
Don’t be fooled by today’s greenwashing – oil, gas, and coal companies don’t plan to stop anytime soon, nor do the politicians who support them.
Globally, industry plans to produce more than twice the amount of oil, gas, and coal by 2030 than is consistent with limiting warming to the 1.5 degree temperature guardrail scientists say we must maintain to preserve a livable planet. In fact, the fossil fuels already in development globally contain enough carbon to blow through that 1.5 degree limit, meaning that new development must not be allowed and existing fields and mines must be shut down before their reserves are fully depleted. Yet U.S. producers, using fracking, are poised to unleash unprecedented oil and gas expansion that would make maintaining a safe climate virtually impossible. That must not be allowed to happen.
A vast scientific literature has documented that fossil-fuel driven climate change is an existential “threat to human well-being and planetary health” and that every increase in fossil fuel pollution pushes us further toward a dangerous and increasingly unlivable planet. The climate emergency is here, and it is killing people, intensifying food insecurity, driving political unrest, causing ecosystem collapse, and creating escalating suffering across the nation and around the world. The climate crisis also furthers glaring injustice, with Black, Latino, Indigenous, Asian American and Pacific Islanders, and other communities of color and low-wealth communities experiencing the gravest harms.
Read more about the science and why time has already run out:
Release of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report, Working Group II
IPCC Special Report on 1.5 Degrees
U.S. Global Change Research Program, Fourth National Climate Assessment