Indigenous Peoples from around the World Outraged at the Rapid Escalation of Climate Change and Denounced False Solutions

For Immediate Release

Indigenous Environmental Network
Contact: 

Faith Gemmill, REDOIL, redoil1@acsalaska.net  +1-907-750-0188 (mobile) for the Arctic
Jihan Gearon, IEN, ienenergy@igc.org  +1-218-760-1370 (mobile) for False Solutions
Tom Goldtooth, IEN, ien@igc.org  +1-218-760-0442 (mobile) for Emission Targets

Indigenous Peoples from around the World Outraged at the Rapid Escalation of Climate Change and Denounced False Solutions

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - At the first global gathering of Indigenous Peoples on climate
change, participants were outraged at the intensifying rate of destruction the
climate crisis is having on the Earth and all peoples. Participants reaffirmed
that Indigenous Peoples are most impacted by climate change and called for
support and funding for Indigenous Peoples to create adaptation and mitigation
plans for themselves, based on their own Traditional Knowledge and practices.
Indigenous Peoples also took a strong position on emission reduction targets of
industrialized countries and against false solutions.

The majority of those attending looked towards addressing the root problem -
the burning of fossil fuels - and demanded an immediate moratorium on new
fossil fuel development and called for a swift and just transition away from
fossil fuels.

"While the arctic is melting, Africa is
suffering from drought and many Pacific Islands are in danger of disappearing.  Indigenous Peoples are
locked out of national and international negotiations," stated Jihan
Gearon, Native energy and climate campaigner of the Indigenous Environmental
Network
. "We're sending a strong message to the next UN Framework
Convention on Climate Change this December in Copenhagen, Denmark that business as usual must end, because business as usual is
killing us.  Participants at the summit stood united on sending a message
to the world leaders in Copenhagen calling for a binding emission reduction target for
developed countries of at least 45% below 1990 levels by 2020 and at least
95% by 2050."

"In Alaska, my people are on the front lines of climate change and are
devastated by the fossil fuel industry," related Faith Gemmill, Executive
Director of Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands (REDOIL).  "As an
Alaska Native network we are fighting back.  We recently won a major
battle last week as the District Court of Columbia threw out a plan to access
83 million acres of the Outer Continental Shelf that was driven by Shell Oil.
Shell has a long history of human rights violations, for which many have
suffered and died, like Ken Saro-Wiwa of the Ogoni People in the Niger Delta of
Africa."

Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous
Environmental Network
's Executive Director, commented, "We want real
solutions to climate chaos and not the false solutions like forest carbon
offsets and other market based mechanisms that will benefit only those who are
making money on those outrageous schemes "  He added, "For example
one the solutions to mitigate climate change is an initiative by the World Bank
to protect forests in developing countries through a carbon
market regime called Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest
Degradation or REDD."  He concluded, "Don't be fooled, REDD does
nothing to address the underlying drivers of deforestation."

At a World Bank presentation at the global summit, Egberto Tabo, General
Secretary of COICA, the
Coordinating Body of Indigenous Organizations in the Amazon Basin denounced "the genocide caused by the World Bank in the
Amazon." Mr. Tabo also categorically rejected the inclusion of forests in
the carbon market and the Bank's funding of REDD. The World Bank's
representative, Navin Rai admitted that "the Bank has made mistakes in the
past..We know that there were problems with projects like the trans-amazon
highway." But REDD, he argued would not be more of the same. However,
indigenous leaders at the global summit were unconvinced by his assurances and
the Work Bank presentation ended with a Western Shoshone women's passionate
appeal to the Bank to stop funding projects that endanger the survival of
indigenous peoples.

 

 

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