Statement on Paris Agreement Signing – International Alliance of Frontline Communities

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Human Rights Day Action

* For Immediate Release *
April 20 , 2016

Press Contacts:
Jaron Browne, (415) 727-6687, [email protected]
Dallas Goldtooth, (708) 515-6158, [email protected]

“They don’t even mention Fossil Fuels!”

Three days before world leaders sign the Paris Agreement, an international alliance of frontline and indigenous communities denounce it as a ‘dangerous distraction’

San Francisco, CA – As world leaders prepare to sign the Paris Agreement later this week on Earth Day (April 22) an international alliance of grassroots and Indigenous leaders are calling the historic agreement “dangerous distraction.”

Statement From Cindy Wiesner of Grassroots Global Justice Alliance:

“The Paris Climate agreement doesn’t even mention fossil fuels, the clearest cause of climate change. The agreement is a dangerous distraction that leaves common sense, science, human rights and the rights of communities on the frontlines of climate change on the negotiating table. While world leaders are finally taking action they are heading down the wrong path. Frontline communities and Indigenous Peoples have been calling for a clear path to solve our climate crisis. We can end the privatization of nature, we can stop the use of dirty fossil fuels and we can stop climate change. We know this because we are on the front lines of climate change, we see it, we know it, we live it. The world will not find solutions to climate change without us.”

Statement from Tom Goldtooth, of the Indigenous Environmental Network

“I started attending the UN climate meetings in 1999. Over the last 17 years I’ve witnessed corporate, Wall Street and other financial influence gut any real solutions coming out of the negotiations. As a result, the Paris Agreement goal of stopping global temperature rise by 1.5 degrees C is not real because the pledges each country is making will allow emission levels that will increase global temperature 3 – 4 degrees.  This will be catastrophic to the ecosystem of the world, including the ice culture of the Indigenous Peoples of the Arctic. The Paris agreement will result in the cooking of the planet.  We, Indigenous Peoples, are the red line against climate change. We can not be idle, we have never been idle.  Indigenous voices are rising up globally to demand climate justice for humanity — for human rights and the rights of Mother Earth.”

Statement from Nnimmo Bassey, Director, HOME (Health of Mother Earth) Foundation (Nigeria)

“The Paris Agreement locks in fossil fuels and, to underscore corporate capture of the negotiations, the word, fossil, is not as much as mentioned in the document. It is shocking that although the burning of fossil fuels is known to be a major contributor to global warming, climate negotiations engage in platitudes rather than going to the core of the problem. Scientists tell us that burning of fossil fuels would have to end by 2030 if there would be a chance of keeping temperature increase to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. The signal we get from the silence on the fossils factor is that oil and coal companies can continue to extract profit while burning the planet.”

For more background and detailed criticism of the agreement see We Are Mother Earth’s Red Line  a report released by the It Takes Roots Delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 21st Conference of the Parties  (COP21) in Paris.

Also available for comment and media appearance:

  • Cindy Wiesner, National Coordinator, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (USA)
  • Tom Goldtooth and Kandi Mossett, Indigenous Environmental Network (North America)
  • Rossmery Zayas, Communities for a Better Environment, Southeast Los Angeles
  • Elisabeth Sanders, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Kentucky
  • Nnimmo Bassey, Director, HOME Foundation (Nigeria)
  • Max Rademacher, Alternatiba (France)
  • Pat Mooney, Executive Director, ETC Group (Canada)
  • Graca Samo, World March of Women (Mozambique)

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