St. Louis, MO
Arielle Klagsbrun is challenging Peabody Energy, the world’s largest coal company, and its influence in St. Louis’ politics. Inspired to participate in environmental and social activism after witnessing the devastation Hurricane Katrina wreaked on the lives of her friends, Klagsbrun began fighting Peabody Energy when she started studying at Washington University in 2009. Now a key leader with the grassroots group Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment(MORE), she is working on a campaign to get the city of St. Louis to divest from Peabody. The campaign aims to educate the public about climate change and Peabody’s involvement in the warming of our planet. By building alliances and fostering communication among different constituencies, Klagsbrun has made unlikely connections with other groups fighting coal plants. MORE’s latest campaign is a “Take Back St. Louis” ballot initiative, which seeks to divest the city’s funds from fossil fuel companies and invest them in a local green economy and a sustainable future.