Our climate is breaking down

Residents evacuating Dominica as Hurricane Maria hits. Photo: US Navy/Sean Galbreath

Fossil fuels are costing us the earth.

There is a price for heating up the planet. And – to date – the fossil fuel industry have fled the table without footing the bill. Climate change is already bringing devastation to some of the poorest countries – those who are the least responsible for it. It’s been the people in these countries who have been left to pay.

Climate change is not in the future – it’s happening now.

At only 1°C of global warming, extreme heat waves, rampant forest fires, severe droughts, destructive hurricanes, and catastrophic floods are inflicting vast damage and huge economic losses to communities in climate vulnerable countries.

On 18th September 2017, the small island of Dominica in the Caribbean was struck by Hurricane Maria. In one night, half of all homes were destroyed and every school and hospital damaged. Suffering from the worst crisis in its history, with no international facility to apply to for help, it has been the people of Dominica who have had to bear the vast majority of the costs.

How Hurricane Maria impacted Dominica and why these countries need our support

Dominica is an island in the Caribbean, home to 72,000 people. On the night of 18th September 2017, Hurricane Maria tore through the island, the first category 5 hurricane to make landfall. Winds of 160 mph and torrential rains destroyed half of all homes and damaged every school and medical centre. Families and businesses faced no running water or power.

In one night, $1.4 billion of damage was inflicted on the island. Insurance paid out just $19 million. The Government had no choice but to go cap in hand to international donors. After several months, a proportion of the money required was raised. But at the end of the day, it was the people of Dominica who are still paying for the vast majority of the damage to their island. This should not be the case – devastated countries need immediate access to the money they need, and it should be the fossil fuel industry, whose activities caused the problem, who foot the bill.

‘Our citizens barely had time to prepare before the ferocious winds and incessant rain began. As night fell we hunkered down to await its onslaught. Some of us were forced to flee our homes in the dark of night. When dawn broke the scenes of utter devastation across this once lush green island were heartbreaking. This is the reality of climate change. Within a few hours an entire country was brought to its knees.’

Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica

So far, high income countries have found next to no money to support countries on the front line of devastating climate change.

Click here to find out how we could find this money

The polluters should pay their climate costs.

The fossil fuel industry is responsible for climate change. Fossil fuels are the largest source of climate pollution in the world, and a small number of companies are responsible for the huge growth in fossil fuel extraction in recent decades.


They should be the ones to pay for climate damage – and they can afford to. In 2017, just SIX oil companies made combined profits of more than $130 billion.

Find out how we can make the fossil fuel industry pay for climate devastation

The fossil fuel industry has known for decades that the use of its products is causing the world’s temperature to rise. Some of the largest fossil fuel companies have run campaigns to spread disinformation and misunderstanding about climate science, lobbying politicians against taking action in order to maintain their profits.

Just like oil tanker companies and nuclear power stations being forced to pay the costs of oil spills and nuclear disasters, it’s time to make the polluters pay for climate change.

Billions are needed, and fossil fuel companies should pay. Our politicians need to make them.