White House Event at UN Climate Talks Overshadowed by Indigenous, Black &, Latinx Water & Land Ceremony

White House Event at UN Climate Talks Overshadowed by Indigenous, Black and, Latinx Water and Land Ceremony

Delegates from North, South and Latin America uplift Climate Change Impacted Voices in Civil Disobedience Action at COP23.

Bonn, Germany - On November 13, 2017, The Trump Administration will held it’s only event, “The Role of Cleaner and More Efficient Fossil Fuels and Nuclear Power in Climate Mitigation”, at the UN Climate Talks (COP23) to promote coal and nuclear as a solution to climate change.

The event, hosted by the White House, featured speakers from Peabody Energy and NuScale Power, who promoted fossil fuels as a way to cut emissions and who claimed these industries will benefit “poor communities” globally.

In response, Indigenous Peoples from across the world who represent both low income communities and communities impacted first and hardest by climate change, led a demonstration of song and prayer at the White House event to send a clear message: Keeping coal and nuclear in our energy mix is in complete contradiction to any meaningful climate action plan. The promotion of coal and nuclear power by the United States has serious global impacts and is not an acceptable solution to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

With this event, the Trump Administration is revealing its lack of cooperation with the global community, is promoting dying industries, and is putting more people, especially Indigenous and climate-vulnerable communities at even more risk.

Participant Quotes:

“As Indigenous Peoples with a close relationship to nature, the expansion of fossil fuels extraction and combustion will cause further disruption to the harmony of life as we know it. The dangers and risks of creating a nuclear chain reaction, splitting of atoms and from this so-called nuclear energy, is the creation of nuclear waste that could end up being dumped in sacred Indigenous Peoples treaty lands. The White House policy is rooted in environmental racism and objectifies Mother Earth to no end”, - Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network.

“The current leadership in the United States is extremely disconnected from communities on the frontlines. We suffer every day because of the decisions made in closed rooms without our feedback and participation. The solutions that American people need are solutions that are built by the community. My community, for example, is already doing this work. We are transitioning our community to end systematic dependence on the hydrocarbon industry, we are creating a new democratic economy centered around sustainable methods of productions, distribution, consumption, and recycling, which is locally and cooperatively owned.” - Monica Atkins, Cooperation Jackson.

In Response to America’s Pledge, Californians Ask Governor Brown: Still In for What?


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.

Participant Quotes:

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