Instead of smashing buildings, in real life, Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo fights climate injustice and the fossil fuel industry. One of the leading founders of The Solutions Project (TSP), a group that fights for climate change to foster racial equity, Ruffalo has been a major proponent of renewable energy since the project’s founding in 2013.
Ruffalo and The Solutions Project: fighting climate change to foster racial equity
The initiative started when Ruffalo joined anti-fracking protests in Albany, New York in 2012. The rally was related to New Yorkers Against Fracking, who Ruffalo partnered with to host a fundraising concert for the organization’s efforts to get New York to stop hydraulic fracturing, which clogs soil and water with chemicals. While New York’s fracking ban didn’t get codified until 2020, Ruffalo’s efforts clearly sparked a chain reaction of change.
Ruffalo’s anti-fracking activism didn’t end with those initial protests. In March 2022, he joined 65 other celebrities in signing an open letter to the Royal Bank of Canada demanding it ceases involvement with Coastal GasLink, a new pipeline that will cut hundreds of miles into Indigenous Wet’suwet’en land.
While Coastal GasLink claims to have signed agreements with all 20 of British Columbia’s Indigenous groups, the multibillion-dollar company has received intense backlash after reports emerged of them violently evicting Indigenous people from their homes along the pipeline’s construction zones.
Ruffalo’s panel protesting the pipeline was co-led by Indigenous Climate Action, a group dedicated to protecting native land from fracking. While the pipeline is still underway, Ruffalo’s protest called attention to the harmful effects of fracking, as well as Coastal GasLink’s inhumane tactics to expel natives from their land.
The roots of Mark Ruffalo climate change activism
“Our politicians aren’t doing what needs to be done,” Ruffalo said in a YouTube panel that was live-streamed to discuss the impending pipeline. “None of this matters if our children can’t drink the water, they can’t breathe the air, they can’t go outside [while] the world burns around them.”
Humanitarianism has always been the foundation for Ruffalo’s sustainability activism. In 2019, TSP made a social justice milestone with the 100% Commitment to Justice initiative. With this step, the group will direct a chunk of funds to organizations led by women of color. TSP also supports other underrepresented communities by selecting grantees from these groups and providing direct financial support and other materials to take climate justice into their own hands.
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“I hate to say it, but the environmental movement is mostly white, and the power is mostly with white people in leadership,” Ruffalo told TIME Magazine when discussing his group’s race-angled activism.
According to TIME, Ruffalo’s “TSP has distributed more than $5 million in grants to over 100 community projects around the country.” This supports leaders of frontline communities in enacting policy changes to develop frontline areas. With this goal, delivering climate action to underprivileged communities most affected by climate disasters remains the heart of the group’s mission. “Encouraging equitable solutions to clean energy needs,” is the foundation of the TSP’s work.
🚨New Yorkers, join me in telling Republican candidate for Governor Lee Zeldin to #FrackOff! Let's get out the vote for Democratic Gov. @KathyHochul! She will protect New York's fracking ban & lead on climate action.
Like & RT my video & vote — early voting starts tomorrow! pic.twitter.com/G8dcw7CroZ
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) October 28, 2022
All grantee partners of TSP pave the way to help communities throughout the US transition to a lifestyle of 100% renewable energy. What does this mean? Instead of relying on fossil fuels like coal, which alone accounts for 35% of the country’s toxic mercury emissions, TSP ensures that communities it partners with are powered by solar energy only.
Climate change activism in the Biden’s era
Over the years, TSP has delivered clean energy to 200 cities and towns across eight American states and Puerto Rico, as well as to 360 companies in the US/worldwide. TSP also considered President Joe Biden a major supporter when he signed an executive order for climate justice within his very first week of the presidency.
With Biden’s goal of achieving 100% renewable energy by 2035, 40% of clean energy benefits are dedicated to frontline communities.
“The more we center on those who’ve been living with this [climate injustice] and already developing the solutions, I think the quicker we’ll move along,” Ruffalo told TIME.
And the quicker groups like The Solutions Project grow with new leadership, initiatives, and funding, the closer the world can get to a cleaner, equitable future.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by the authors are their own, not those of Impakter.com — Featured Photo: Mark Ruffalo at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con International promoting, “Thor: Ragnarok” Photo Credits: Gage Skidmore.