FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 13, 2021
Jennifer K. Falcon, Indigenous Environmental Network, firstname.lastname@example.org
GLASGOW — As the COP26 conference concludes this weekend, the Build Back Fossil Free coalition is sounding the alarm that the proclamations and pledges from world leaders and the Biden Administration will be dramatically undermined without urgent action to phase out fossil fuels. Throughout the two week conference, Indigenous leaders, environmental justice advocates, and climate activists from the coalition pressed Biden Administration officials to lead on climate by stopping fossil fuel leasing on federal public lands and waters, rejecting permits for fossil fuel projects under federal review, curbing fossil fuel exports, and declaring a climate emergency to rapidly and equitably deploy renewable energy solutions.
“In Glasgow we got to meet Biden cabinet members face-to-face and demand they choose sides: Communities like mine in Port Arthur, or a fistful of fossil fuel CEOs. We made it plain that President Biden can use the power of his pen to stop the toxic buildout in the Gulf and across the country. If we’re in code red, as Biden says we are, he’s got to act now to stop the crisis,” said John Beard, CEO of Port Arthur Community Action Network.
After the Build Back Fossil Free coalition held the “People vs Fossil Fuels” mass civil disobedience actions at the White House in early October, advocates took their case directly to Glasgow. Actions included:
“Returning from COP 26 where there were more fossil fuel lobbyists allowed into the conference than Indigenous leaders from around the world, it is very clear that the elites of the world are not taking climate change seriously. We are pushing ourselves to the brink of extinction by continuing the status quo. We are not going to sit idly by while our people die from climate chaos and the pollution of our waterways that comes with it. Expect us to keep showing up and fighting until our voices are heard,” said Joseph White Eyes, Cheyenne River Grassroots Collective, Indigenous Environmental Network COP 26 Delegate.
Leaders from some countries demonstrably listened to the science and took steps to phase out fossil fuels entirely at COP26. Costa Rica and Denmark launched the world’s first diplomatic initiative focused on keeping fossil fuels in the ground: the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance. Core members of this alliance “commit to end new concessions, licensing or leasing rounds for oil and gas production and exploration and to set a Paris-aligned date for ending oil and gas production and exploration on the territory over which they have jurisdiction.” Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Greenland, Ireland, Québec, Sweden and Wales joined the alliance as full members, but the United States did not.
Build Back Fossil Free has laid out a long list of steps that President Biden could take today with his existing executive authorities to curb ongoing fossil fuel production and emissions. They include:
Over the coming weeks, Build Back Fossil Free will ramp up pressure on the Biden Administration to act in accordance with science and its own commitments to Indigenous rights, climate action, and environmental justice.