The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Kate Fried 

Indigenous Communities Deserve a Seat at Climate Negotiations

Latest IPCC report confirms need for urgent action on climate crisis.


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) today released its latest major assessment report, which reveals how the world can hit its climate targets and avoid future climate catastrophe.

EarthRights Director of Strategy and Campaigns Keith Slack released the following statement:

"This latest report from the IPCC reminds us that we must act now: More delays will only further threaten Indigenous and frontline communities who experience the worst of the climate crisis while contributing to it the least. We can address the climate crisis by adopting common-sense solutions such as phasing out fossil fuels, ending fossil fuel subsidies, reducing energy demand, deploying truly sustainable energy solutions, and protecting the human rights of frontline communities.

"As governments have failed to take meaningful climate action, Indigenous and frontline communities such as the water protectors at Line 3 in Minnesota, those in the Omkoi region of Thailand, and the Macho Piro people in the Peruvian Amazon have risen to address the crisis by building a global movement to resist climate-damaging industries and denounce the inaction of world leaders.

"Climate change is making our planet unlivable. Governments worldwide must take action to avoid climate catastrophe and human rights abuses brought on by continued dependence on fossil fuels. This also means rejecting fake fixes such as carbon capture, which will only exacerbate our dependence on fossil fuels.

"Despite the lack of action by governments, the scientific community is telling us today that we have the necessary tools to cut GHG emissions and offer the world a chance to survive by achieving the targets of the Paris Agreement and limiting global warming to 1.5deg. States around the world should listen to the scientific community and act now. The main barrier to a sustainable future at this moment is that governments are not showing the political will for an energy transition and are not listening to frontline communities and everyday citizens who are demanding change.

"The IPCC report out today reaffirms that frontline communities, Indigenous groups, and youth groups should have a seat at the table in the adoption of climate policies. People around the world are already mobilizing, demanding a transformation of the development system. The IPCC also acknowledges the important role of climate litigation in helping communities protect their rights in the midst of the climate crisis. As previously stated by the IPCC, climate resilience should be achieved with a rights-based approach; communities will play a critical role."

EarthRights International (ERI) is a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization that combines the power of law and the power of people in defense of human rights and the environment, which we define as "earth rights." We specialize in fact-finding, legal actions against perpetrators of earth rights abuses, training grassroots and community leaders, and advocacy campaigns. Through these strategies, EarthRights International seeks to end earth rights abuses, to provide real solutions for real people, and to promote and protect human rights and the environment in the communities where we work.