Meet the money behind disruptive climate protests

By Todd Woody

25 Apr 2023 · 6 min read

Editor's Note

Backed by Hollywood, the Climate Emergency Fund is quietly financing a new generation of in-your-face environmental activists. Bloomberg reports on the private donors supporting the "Spring Uprising".

Thousands of people surrounded Parliament in London over the weekend to demand an end to fossil fuel development, just days after protesters upended the World Snooker Championships by throwing orange powder and a month after scientists blockaded private jets at a Netherlands airport. This week, New York City activists will conduct a sit-in at the headquarters of fossil-fuel financier Citibank, and others plan to disrupt the White House Correspondents dinner to call for an end to oil and gas drilling on public lands. It's all part of the "Spring Uprising," a campaign that concludes May 2 with the occupation of hundreds of schools and universities around the world.

This is what climate protest looks like as atmospheric carbon edges past 422 parts per million. Amid the deepening crisis and a sclerotic response from government and industry, direct-action groups such as End Fossil: Occupy!, Extinction Rebellion, Scientist Rebellion and Just Stop Oil are stepping up. But this is not your grandfather's Greenpeace, which pioneered environmental direct action in the 1970s. These young climate agitators are often loosely organized and spontaneous, making headlines by shutting down highways, gluing themselves to runways and hurling tomato soup at Van Gogh's (glass-protected) Sunflowers.

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