JwJ Joins Allies at UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun
(GGJ) has joined a delegation of over 65 indigenous people, people of color, and youth from organizations including the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), Youth 4 Climate Justice (Y4CJ), GGJ and others to converge in Cancun, Mexico where the 16th United Nations Conference on Climate Change or COP 16 is hosting governmental and non-governmental organizational representatives from all over the world will to negotiate solutions to the global climate crisis.
Our delegation from the U.S. is joining with tens of thousands of concerned people from around the world in Cancun to demonstrate that there is another way forward to reducing green house gas (GHG) emissions and global warming through real solutions based on principals of ecological and social justice by including the rights of indigenous communities and the rights of Mother Earth and all people’s right to live in harmony with her, as articulated in the Cochabamba People's Agreement. Market-based false solutions to climate change such as REDD represent a mechanism which will privatize and commodify forests, land, life, and water while everyday people from forest-dwellers to communities in the ‘hood are forced to endure displacement from their homelands and other impacts of persistent environmental degradation.
The GGJ, IEN, and Y4CJ delegation’s shared demands for COP16 Cancun include:
- We call on the Obama Administration to drop the ineffective Copenhagen “Accord” and adopt the Cochabamba People’s Agreement and the draft Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth.
- We reject REDD+, offsets, carbon markets and other false solutions to climate change that commodify forests, land, life, and water.
- We demand that fossil fuels be kept in the ground, we oppose new offshore oil and demand a moratorium on all new exploration for oil, gas, coal and uranium.
- We call upon the US and rich developed countries to target aggregate GHG emissions by 50% from 1990 levels by 2017, and at least 95% by 2050 from 1990 levels.
- We support the rights of Indigenous Peoples in all issues related to climate change, including rights to lands, territories and resources, their traditional knowledge and their free, prior and informed consent, consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
- We are uplifting rights-based community solutions as real solutions to climate change.
Our delegation is engaging inside and outside of these meetings, as a number of people from our delegation have been credentialed to represent civil society organizations in the actual meetings of COP 16. There are also alternative people’s spaces where workshops and strategy discussions are taking place throughout Cancun.
December 7 Global Day of Action: 1000 Cancuns for Climate Justice
On this day, during the week of International Human Rights Day, thousands of people in Cancun on the COP-16 climate summit to condemn the false solutions and backroom deals being pushed in the negotiations. Solidarity actions unfolded in over 100 cities around the world, including over 30 in the US. La Via Campesina, the world’s largest federation of peasant and smallholder farmers, and Despacio Mexico were the anchor actions of the 1000 Cancúns Global Day of Action for Climate Justice. The diverse array of social movement organizations, representing Indigenous peoples, small farmers, workers, youth, and communities impacted by climate change mobilized worldwide for climate solutions based in traditional Indigenous people’s knowledge, community-based practices, human rights, and the rights of nature.
Simultaneously, a press conference hosted by Global Justice Ecology Project and organized by La Via Campesina, Indigenous Environmental Network, and Friends of the Earth International turned into a spontaneous action as speakers expressed anger over the direction of the climate talks in Cancún. Following the press conference, activists from Youth 4 Climate Justice and Grassroots Global Justice led the protest out of the climate talks. Here’s a video-clip from Democracy Now’s coverage.
More photos from the 1000s Cancuns March are available here.
The Global Labor Movement Represented in Cancun
The labor movement is here from all over the world. Over 300 unions have been reported to be in Cancun around COP 16. Among others, the following unions from the the U.S. have delegations here: SEIU (including Jerry Hudson – International VP), LIUNA (including Terry O’Sullivan, International President), TWU (including Local 100 Roger Toussaint), UMWA, and the AFL-CIO.
There are a large number of unions from around the world in Cancun as well.
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) is here and is hosting a number of dialogues, including a “World of Work Forum People’s Dialogue” held on December 7th.
Unions from other countries include, among others:
- Dock Workers of Panama - Sindicato de Trabajodores Portuvio de Bocas Del Toro
- Agricultural Banana Workers of Panama - Sindicato de Trabojadores Banane vo Industrial y a Fines
- Public Service Alliance Canada
- Waste Pickers of South Africa
- International Labor Organization
- Blue-Green Alliance
- Canadian Union of Public Employees
- Trade Union Confederation of the Americas
- Australian Congress of Trade Unions
- Trade Union Congress (UK)
- International Transport Workers’ Federation
- Japanese Trade Union Confederation
- International Metal Workers’ Federation
- Internatoinal Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers’ Union
- European Trade Union Confederation
- LO Norway
- Trade Union Congress (UK)