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Newsletter - November 22nd, 2021

In the aftermath of the first Summit between U.S. President Biden and China’s President Xi, uncertainties about the future are running high. While the two superpowers are trying to de-escalate tensions, it’s clear that the years ahead will be bumpy: democracy, climate, and many other topics require leadership and a vision that we do not see around us.

At Atlas, we are trying to do our part: as you can read in this newsletter, from creating a shadow government in Hong Kong to banning fossil fuels subsidies, we will champion our vision for an equitable future throughout. But we need help: if you can support us with your time or financially, please click below!


Over a year ago, the National Security Law was implemented in Hong Kong and led to a significant backslide and deterioration of democracy, rule of law, and the guarantee of civil and political rights in Hong Kong.

On December 19th, 2021, the Hong Kong Legislative Elections will take place in a climate that is anything but democratic. Following opposition leaders’ arrests and the dismantlement of civil society groups and media, changes that will only allow government-approved “patriots” to hold office, and the fact that voters will only choose 20 of 90 legislators, many are calling for a boycott of the elections.

It is clear that the upcoming elections will be a sham – Hong Kongers can no longer express their voice or votes inside the city and have no representation outside. This must change. 

One of the ideas we have discussed at Atlas is the setting up of a Democratic Government in Exile to represent Hong Kongers and their interests in front of the international community and to provide certain key state services. As part of this, we are considering the possibility of petitioning the UK parliament to recognise such a government, and support its creation.

[read 👓 more here]

But first, we want to hear from Hong Kongers on: (1) whether there is a demand for a Democratic Government in Exile; (2) who you believe the Government should represent; (3) what you believe the purpose and function of such a Government should be (if materialized); (4) how prospective leadership should be elected; and (5) any key concerns. 

That’s why we have just put out a survey and are starting a broad consultation effort on this! 


So COP 26, the big climate conference that made the news for two weeks closed on Friday. The conference was aimed at ensuring that we keep the rise in temperature to 1.5C, a level to avoid the worst effects of climate change. 

The conference concluded with the Glasgow Climate Pact. So what’s in there? A lot of greenwashing in our opinion, with some minor wins such as  “doubling adaptation finance and requesting countries to present more ambitious climate pledges next year.” Yes, you read well, it was considered a success to request that countries come up with plans and pledges the next time around… Not like we are in the middle of an emergency.

And then comes the question of subsidies, more precisely fossil fuel subsidies. 89% of global CO2 emissions come from fossil fuels and industry, yet we keep on subsidising them, often at a much greater level than the green sector. At COP26, this was discussed, but without any strong conclusion except for phasing down (not OUT) coal and accelerating efforts to phase out inefficient (?) fossil fuel subsidies. That is far from enough, in addition to being highly unclear. So please, take a minute out of your day and support our campaign to ban fossil fuel subsidies.

We need to move away from empty statements, toward concrete actions. That’s why our national teams are launching campaigns to force their governments to ban those dirty subsidies. Join them, volunteer, here

By the way, if you are curious about the behind-the-scenes of this climate conference, check out this video we made after spending a day there: a daunting organization, the feeling of being at a food fair, and a very inspiring meeting.


Wherever you live, there's a high chance that your grocery shopping is digging a hole in your savings. After a significant spike in energy costs across the planet, now it's confirmed: high inflation is back (and in our pockets). Read how prices are skyrocketing across the planet and how an equitist economic policy would help us all.”

In this excerpt of ‘The Equitist, our new daily newsletter, we made it clear: Atlas is bolstering its ambitions to start advocating for serious economic policy to ensure truly equitable access to opportunities for all. When many countries are experiencing hyper-inflation that will put communities under strain, are you interested in helping us fight back?

And if you want to learn more about what an equitist government would do to tame inflation and help us all, read the full issue here!


Community Chat  | Urgenda vs. The Netherlands: When the Law stand up for our future | November 25th

Become a volunteer to attend our internal community chat: this week Francesco, one of our Community Leaders will present how the Dutch Supreme Court forced its government to cut emissions - a case he worked on!

Virtual Town Hall | Climate justice, but with Social justice! | November 30th  

Register here to join our virtual town hall on the intersection of climate change and social justice, on November 30th at 5 pm UK time.

Virtual Town Hall | Can innovation solve the climate crisis? | December 6th 

Register here to talk about the opportunities of solving the climate crisis thanks to new tech, and whether we are grossly overestimating our ability to do so, on December 6th at 1.30 pm UK time.


Thank you once more for joining us on this journey and for supporting us all the way.


On behalf of the Atlas team


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