In Response to America’s Pledge, Californians Ask Governor Brown: Still In for What?
As California Governor Jerry Brown arrives to UN Climate Talks to Promote His Climate Agenda, Californians and Frontline Groups Put Pressure on the Governor to Take Bolder Climate Action to Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground
Bonn, Germany – Today, Californians and those on the frontlines of climate change disrupted Governor Jerry Brown at the American’s Pledge event at the UN climate talks to confront his support of fossil fuels in his state of California.
Governor Brown, deemed ‘America’s Climate Hero,’ has come to the climate talks to promote California as a global model of climate leadership. However, Indigenous Peoples, frontline communities, environmentalists and climate activists held this non-violent direct action to expose his ties to big oil and false solutions such as carbon markets.
In a newly released report, the Center for Biological Diversity found that three-quarters of the oil produced in California is as climate-damaging as Canadian tar sands crude. Moreover, many of California’s oilfields and refineries operate next to homes and schools, particularly in communities of color already overburdened by toxic pollution.
From refusing to ban fracking to letting oil companies dump toxic waste into underground water supplies, Governor Brown promotes policies that incentivize oil and gas production in the state. His cap-and-trade extension includes provisions written by oil lobbyists that prevent state and local agencies from directly limiting carbon emissions from oil refineries. He has also failed to shut down the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility, where the largest methane leak in U.S. history forced thousands to flee their homes in 2015.
The groups are calling on Governor Brown to ban new drilling and fracking, phase out fossil fuel production, and commit to a just transition to clean energy for all.
“Northern California has five refineries stretching along our Bay on the North East side of San Francisco. Those living along this Refinery Corridor experience continuous negative health effects such as respiratory problems, birth defects, leukemia and cancers. California’s answer to our global climate crisis, the Cap and Trade extension (AB 398), will continue allowing refineries to expand, pollute, and ultimately destroy life. The Phillips 66 Refinery in Rodeo, CA plans to expand their marine terminal to increase crude oil imports by water from 30,000 barrels a day to 130,000 barrels a day. We will not let this happen. Decision makers around the world need to understand that Governors Jerry Brown’s carbon market scheme will continue killing our people and poisoning our water, air, and soil. We will not accept the false solution of carbon trading that increase pollution in our hometowns while violating indigenous rights and human rights around the world. We must keep fossil fuels in the ground.” – Daniel Ilario, Idle No More SF/Bay Area
“I wanted to leave a message here, for humanity and all of planet, that the peoples need to join to defend Mother Nature, the soil, water and air because they are being threatened. And humanity needs Nature to survive. So I want to say that Nature and the air are not a means of commerce for anyone and it’s every human’s right to live in peace. Jerry Brown’s “American Pledge” will lead to the displacement of my people and the destruction of my territory. We need to respect the rights of Nature and humans beings that need her to survive.” Ninawa Nuneshuni Kui, President of the Huni Kui People of Acre, Brazil.
“Californians have been asking Governor Brown for years to step up and be a true climate leader. If he is going to be celebrated by the world as a climate leader, he needs to commit to the communities on the frontlines of fossil fuel extraction. Real climate leaders don’t frack. This isn’t just about Californians. The world needs Jerry Brown to do more in his own state.” Eva Malis, Young person from Valencia, CA
Jade Begay, Media Coordinator, Indigenous Environmental Network, [email protected]; whatsapp +1-505-699-4791