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.