Press Statement of Tom BK Goldtooth,
Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
18th Conference of the Parties (COP 18)
December 07, 2012, 3:30 – 4:00 p.m.
Doha, Qatar – Hurricane Sandy; Typhoon Bopha; the continued melting of the ice in the Arctic directly impacting the livelihood of its Arctic Indigenous peoples and; to drought conditions throughout the world. Mother Earth is speaking. Nature is speaking, but the governmental parties here at COP 18 are not listening.
Indigenous Peoples here in Doha are speaking for the rights of Mother Earth and the collective rights of indigenous peoples who continue to be vulnerable to the accelerating downward spiral of climate change. The indigenous voice has remained firm calling upon the governmental parties to reach agreement on commitments for a stringent global emission reduction regime that would stabilize greenhouse-gas emissions beyond 2013. A weak agreement here in Doha is a death warrant for Indigenous peoples throughout the world.
A Doha deal demands the need to ratify a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol with at least 40-50% domestic cuts by 2020 below 1990 levels. This is needed now, not later. Indigenous peoples and countries like the small island states do not have time to wait for the long process it would take for a new internationally binding agreement to be developed.
The Indigenous Environmental Network is based in the United States. We demand President Barrack Obama take moral responsibility to take leadership at the next inter-sessional UNFCCC meeting in Bonn, Germany in June 2013 and at the COP 19 in Warsaw, Poland for a climate agreement that doesn’t condemn millions of people to death, starvation, and forced migration.
Our organization remains vigilant in its climate justice agenda seeking systems change not climate change. The continued UNFCCC attempts trying to establish assurances of a uncertain carbon market trading system is a false solution. The REDD+ implementation plans of the UNFCCC is a fundamentally flawed symptom of a deeper problem, not a step forward. It is a distraction that Mother Earth does not have time for. We should build on the many existing examples of successful forest conservation and restoration rather than investing billions of dollars in an untested, uncertain and questionable REDD+ scheme that is likely to undermine the environmental and social goals of the climate regime rather than support them.
We only have One Mother Earth – let’s do what we can to stop global warming and halt this climate crisis.
Doha, Qatar: +974 559 67560
USA: + 218 760 0442