Uniting Against Fossil Capitalism: Highlights from the People’s Summit in Vienna


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From March 22nd to 24th, activists and campaigners from across Europe and beyond converged in Vienna for the People’s Summit. This year’s gathering was marked by ad significant victory: The organizers of the notorious European Gas Conference, a meeting of the planet’s most egregious polluters, were forced to postpone their event indefinitely due to fears of activist actions and disruptions.

The People’s Summit brought together an inspiring group of activists, campaigners, and concerned citizens, all committed to tackling the existential threat posed by fossil gas. Food & Water Action Europe joined the summit and hosted a series of sessions. Over the course of three days, attendees engaged in a packed agenda, delving into critical topics such as the expansion of liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure and the proliferation of fossil gas projects all over the world, or the promotion of false solutions such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen by the fossil fuel industry. Moreover, the conference shed light on the interconnected nature of the fight against fossil capitalism, emphasizing its connections to the rise of extreme right movements, (neo-)colonialism, social injustices, militarization, and the ongoing conflict in Palestine.

The summit also aimed to expose Europe’s complicity in the global proliferation of fossil fuel infrastructure. In a bid to fortify international solidarity, the conference welcomed delegations from the United States, Canada, and Africa. These frontline community voices brought to light the deep-seated injustices perpetuated by fossil capitalism, reminding us that behind the statistics and every additional percentage of fossil fuel imports lies a human story of suffering.. The participants from British Columbia, Texas and the Niger Delta provided a stark reminder that the struggle isn’t just a choice—it’s a question of life or death. Solidarity, as they demonstrated, goes beyond mere rhetoric—it is about amplifying marginalized voices, understanding their struggles, and coming together to get ready to fight back. 

Undoubtedly, the journey towards phasing out fossil fuels and dismantling the prevailing fossil system remains arduous.

Yet, as Chloe Torres from Texas Campaign for the Environment poignantly reminded us, “We lose only when we stop trying, we only lose when we stop being unapologetic in our demands for a world free of unnecessary suffering and that for me is the world that I want to work towards“. 

Chloe’s sentiments echo a fundamental truth: The path to a sustainable and just future lies in collective action. By building bridges and joining forces, we have the capacity to overcome the fossil system, prioritizing the well-being of people and the planet over profit: a future where clean water, air, and land are accessible to all.