Taking Action, as the IPCC Urges

Top photo: talking to Vanguard employees about its investments in Formosa Plastics, a perpetrator of environmental injustice. Credit Kaytee Ray-Riek.

Perhaps like you, I’ve been reading about the recent IPCC climate change report. Some news stories have emphasized encouraging signs, like the decreasing cost of clean energy. Others stress how much suffering will occur if we don’t change more dramatically and quickly. “Stopping Climate Change is Doable, but Time is Short,” concluded one New York Times headline. My reaction to this news? Gratitude that I have a five-day walk to help organize.

Action is the best antidote I know to despair, and EQAT has a lot of action opportunities coming up! From Monday, April 18 to Friday, April 22 (Earth Day), we are walking to Vanguard’s southeastern Pennsylvania headquarters. The timing couldn’t be better. As one analysis put it, “The recent IPCC report shows that the gravitude of climate impacts will depend on political decisions and financial investments made in the next decade. Yet three giant investment funds continue to finance industries that deepen rather than avert the catastrophic consequences of a heating world.” You guessed it: Vanguard is one of those three. 

Starting at the industrial banks of the Delaware River, our walk route includes sites of environmental injustice and climate destruction directly tied to Vanguard’s investment strategy. One stop will involve an interfaith and intergenerational seder at Chase Bank, itself a major financier of climate destruction, as well as one of the companies where Vanguard is a leading investor. We will conclude with a powerful action at Vanguard’s global headquarters in Malvern on Earth Day, April 22.

We hope you can join in person for at least part of this exciting week, but we know many cannot, either because of distance, Covid concerns, or other reasons. That’s why we’ll be live-streaming one evening, when I’ll be sharing an overview of the campaign, something we’ve heard people requesting. 

Finally, I want to acknowledge how many volunteers are making this walk happen. Whether you’ve been scouting the bathroom stops, planning the meals, writing the press advisories, designing the new t-shirts, or donating to support it all, we thank you! We know many, many people all doing their part will be needed to create the major economic shift the IPCC report calls for.

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