DUBAI — Climate justice leaders from organizations representing impacted frontline communities will be sending a delegation to the 2023 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 28th session of the Conference of Parties, commonly referred to as the UNFCCC COP28.
The frontline delegation calls upon world leaders to pass and adhere to binding agreements, including the immediate phase out of dirty energy, and to commit to meaningful climate reparations for communities that are bearing the brunt of the climate crisis.
WHO: Indigenous Environmental Network,
Climate Justice Alliance,
Indigenous Climate Action
WHAT: United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28)
WHEN: November 30, 2023 — December 12, 2023
WHERE: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The delegation leaders reject market-based schemes and techno-fixes that are designed to prolong the lifespan of the dirty fossil fuel industry, and put communities at risk.
“The climate crisis demands a rapid just transition for a binding global phase out of fossil fuels and all extraction and production at source. With the risks and uncertainties of carbon capture and storage and carbon dioxide removal technologies, the world does not need more climate false solutions that divert attention away from the crucial work of stopping the ongoing colonial and capitalist frameworks that are consistently adopted by the UNFCCC,” said Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network. “The carbon markets of Article 6, the bogus safeguard language which has no legal protections for Indigenous Peoples, geoengineering techno-fixes, and the lack of fossil fuel phase out language are all connected. The longer the UN sanctions the climate disinformation embedded in Article 6, the deeper and stronger the impacts of climate change will be.”
The delegation is clear that to truly tackle the climate crisis, its root causes have to be addressed.
“The UNFCCC continues to prioritize false solutions and so-called climate policies that only serve corporations, ongoing colonialism and predatory capitalism.” said Eriel Tchekwie Deranger, Executive Director of Indigenous Climate Action “Our solutions expose the fallacy of colonial logic that consistently seeks to reduce the climate crisis to an economic crisis. By taking up space, calling out false solutions, and demanding the reinstitution of our legal rights as Indigenous peoples we are working towards a decolonial and climate-just future for all.”
The groups are also aware of the limitations within formal United Nations spaces.
“In order to achieve the policy shifts we need, even the best inside strategies at COP28 won’t be strong enough if we don’t organize powerful, grassroots pressure on the outside as well.” said Bineshi Albert, Co-Executive Director of Climate Justice Alliance. “True climate solutions are coming not from a formal UN negotiation process, but from the growing pressure and power of our collective struggle.We are in unity with blossoming social movements across the globe, led by the people most impacted by the climate crisis. We are pressuring governments to be responsive to the needs of our communities, and for more meaningful action, while implementing our own real solutions on the ground and planning for how vulnerable communities can best survive severe impacts of climate change.”
The Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) is an international alliance of Indigenous Peoples whose mission it is to protect the sacredness of Mother Earth from contamination and exploitation by strengthening, maintaining, and respecting Indigenous teachings and natural laws.
Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) formed in 2013 to create a new center of gravity in the climate movement by uniting frontline communities and organizations into a formidable force.
Indigenous Climate Action (ICA) is an Indigenous-led organization guided by a diverse group of Indigenous knowledge keepers, water protectors and land defenders from communities and regions across so-called Canada.
Members of the Indigenous Environmental Network’s COP28 delegation that participated in the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform 10th meeting of the Facilitative Working Group in Dubai, UAE.
Tuesday, November 28, 2023, concluded the fourth and final day of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform (LCIPP) 10th meeting of the Facilitative Working Group in Dubai, UAE. The Facilitative Working Group (FWG) of the LCIPP is a constituted body that was developed at COP24 in 2018 to further operationalize the platform and facilitate the implementation of its three functions which include knowledge, capacity for engagement, and climate change policies and actions.
The FWG has 14 members, half of which are parties (nation states) and half Indigenous representatives from the seven UN Indigenous sociocultural regions of the world. During the #FWG10, a variety of items were discussed including: the review of the progress of the FWG9 decisions; LCIPP regional gatherings report backs; a discussion on the second three-year workplan, regions met and developed a draft of the third three-year workplan, and other relevant bodies shared updates, aspirations and report backs; and more.
Members of our IEN COP28 delegation participated in the FWG10 meeting, with active participation in the North America, Latin America, and Pacific breakout discussions. Our delegation emphasized the importance of instituting an Ethical Protocol for the Protection and Use of Traditional Indigenous Knowledge. Our delegation underscored that our Indigenous Knowledge shall be in an equitable position in relation to Eurocentric science. We provided tangible ethical guidelines for how UNFCCC processes can safeguard and protect the use of Traditional Indigenous Knowledge! Read more about IEN’s official submission regarding Ethical Protocol to the UNFCCC Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform’s Facilitative Working Group. If the FWG agrees to include the ethical protocol in its third three-year workplan, upon implementation, it would then be elevated to the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA). Upon SBSTA’s acceptance, it would be elevated to the Conference of Parties States.
IEN’s Indigenous Sovereignty Advocate, Michael Lane (Menominee) shared, “IEN is advocating for the Ethical Protocol on the Protection and Use of Traditional Indigenous Knowledge because for far too long our knowledge has been extracted and used by non Indigenous interests in their frameworks. Traditional Indigenous Knowledge needs to stand in an equitable way with Eurocentric science with the same status, and the Knowledge Holders need to be able to carry it forward through the UN processes.”
In the days ahead, the LCIPP will be hosting its Third Annual Gathering of Knowledge Holders – an exchange amongst [Indigenous] Knowledge Holders which two esteemed members of the Indigenous Environmental Network delegation will participate in: IEN [and IITC] Board member Faith Gemmill (Neets’aii Gwich’in, Pit River and Wintu) and long-time network member, Great Grandmother Mary Lyons (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe).
These annual gatherings of the LCIPP bring together Knowledge Holders to share and promote adaptation actions that are based on and guided by the best available science, including Traditional Knowledge, knowledge of Indigenous Peoples, and local knowledge systems in accordance with Article 7 of the Paris Agreement. This year’s thematic focus for the Third Annual Gathering of Knowledge Holders will be on the nexus of water, energy, and food.
#COP28UAE #UNFCCC #LCIPP #ProtectTraditionalIndigenousKnowledge #EthicalProtocol
Indigenous Environmental Network Executive Director Tom Goldtooth is leading a 28-member delegation of organizational staff and leadership and Indigenous frontline community representatives dealing with a plethora of environmental issues to the city of Dubai on the Persian Gulf Coast for the 28th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (UNFCC COP28) taking place from November 30 to December 12, 2023.
Under the international legally binding Paris Agreement made in 2015 at COP21 in Paris, France, 196 nations pledged efforts to limit global warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, and, if possible, pursue efforts to cap warming at 1.5C. A 2C degree rise in global temperatures increases the risks of worldwide catastrophes of extreme weather phenomena including drought, heat waves, violent storms, and possible shortages of food and freshwater.
Indigenous communities, especially in the global south, are increasingly under environmental distress. IEN believes it has a duty to Mother Earth and Indigenous communities on the frontlines of oil and gas, hydrogen, CO2 pipeline infrastructure buildout, and other false solutions to climate chaos, to have the voices of those most affected heard at this crucial time in COP history.
“I truly respect their decisions. But, IEN, over the years of its participation in these international venues, has held the line, has maintained the strongest voice calling for the phase out of fossil fuels and the protection of all life on Mother Earth,” he explained. “We are at a crucial time with this COP, and I have spoken with my network of advisers, including our relatives in the south. They support us in our efforts to have Indigenous voices perspectives heard.”
“Trying to understand the foundation, the security of our knowledge as not too long again, we were silenced from our traditions to convert to a colonial lifestyle, now less than 75 years, our knowledge is being asked of, once silenced to now, as an elder, I am concerned.”
Humanity and Nature go hand in hand, we are at a crossroads, so therefore;
We declare a climate emergency in all lands!
Accountability is in question,
Implementation is in question,
Research is far from being valid,
Best Practices within the health world has fallen short!
To include the world’s population voices of concern, one must examine the truths of each territories and not only the rights of the people, but the rights of nature.
To sit with the Justice Systems throughout the globe, one must understand the meaning of “ONE PLATE, ONE TABLE”.
To understand finance, one must detach themselves from greed and profit and sit in the circles of wellness.
To educate the population that one serves, one must sit amongst the weakest and understand what made them weak.
Climate Finance, and Carbon Trading, Offsets and Carbon Pricing in Article 6, the majority of the global population have very little understanding to what this really means and have limited knowledge of how it harms them.
Wisdom and vulnerability is the base of what knowledge exists from, so, how do we all move forward with universal understanding?
So, we continuously ask ourselves;
What are some of the pressing responses we all would love to hear?
What are the roots of systemic water, air and earth violence?
We all can respond to this, as we stand in the homeland gardens we are to nourish from. We all know who entered our living rooms without being invited in.
We all know the impacts of historical and inter-generational trauma.
What is today’s common addiction that ripples throughout all communities rather it be wealthy or poor?
No matter what the interpretation is, the final results all add up to a global climate chaos and no one, no matter how wealthy or how financially limited they are, they cannot escape the impacts. The global platform will face the disruption in the quality of air, water, fire and earth, we are in now!
We are at a crossroads of vulnerability on both sides, but here is the statement that must stand strong;
It is my hope that the Ethical Protocol for the Protection and Use of Traditional Indigenous Knowledge will be utilized before our Knowledge is passed on to the UNFCCC bodies including the SBSTA and the CMA. I do not want to see what I share here as being interpreted by other People and have it possibly distorted or misused.
Chii Megwetch, thank you,
December 4, 2023
Dubai, UAE, UNFCCC COP28
Written by: Tom BK Goldtooth (Diné/Dakota), Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network
The climate crisis demands a rapid transition for a binding global phaseout of fossil fuels and all extraction and production at source. Climate change is a matter of life and death for us, as Indigenous Peoples – in all regions of Mother Earth.
A fast, fair, and funded fossil fuel phaseout must prioritize a just transition for impacted communities on the frontlines where fossil fuel financing continues to exacerbate inequalities and result in human rights abuses, particularly in the lands and territories of our Indigenous Peoples – from the South to the North. Indigenous Peoples impacted by climate change require direct Indigenous-led funding.
As a coalition of six other organizations, we released the April 2023 Banking on Climate Chaos report with findings that fossil fuel financing from the world’s 60 largest banks has reached USD $5.5 trillion in the seven years since the Paris Agreement, with $669 billion in fossil fuel financing in 2022 alone. We have to stop business-as-usual.
I cannot talk about the fossil fuel phaseout without talking about the UN, the World Bank and other multilateral development banks being colonial institutions whose work reproduces colonial legacies of dispossession and inequality. The relationship here is still one of extraction – institutions engaging in climate finance, mitigation, adaptation finance, loss and damage and the banks choose projects based on their ability to generate profit and maximize private sector involvement. Climate change is simply treated as the newest arena for capitalism, financial expansion and development, once again entrenching the dynamic of exploitation and violence from the Global North under the guise of helping the Global South and developing countries. This is history repeating itself – it is the same development paradigm that contributed to the climate crisis in the first place, this time with even less accountability but a greener image.
Climate finance and funding mechanisms do nothing to address the root cause of climate change. They do not reduce emissions at source nor keep fossil fuels in the ground. There is no accountability mechanism led by Indigenous Peoples and other local and frontline communities to ensure that projects in fact address climate change.
Our fight for dignity demands these mitigation issues couched within Article 6 of the Paris Agreement to be looked at from an environmental, economic and social justice perspective and rights-based approach, not perpetuating false solutions like “abated” fossil fuels, carbon markets, offsets, carbon pricing, carbon dioxide removals, carbon capture and storage, hydrogen, nuclear or many other misguided and dangerous geoengineering technologies such as the emerging push for solar radiation modification.
With the risks and uncertainties of carbon capture and storage and carbon dioxide removal technologies, and the privatization and commodification of carbon trading regimes, Mother Earth and Father Sky do not need more climate false solutions that divert attention away from the crucial work of stopping the ongoing colonial and capitalist frameworks that are embedded within the UNFCCC. We only have one Mother Earth, let’s protect her.
Check back here or follow us on our social media for more information and updates for the following:
Protecting our Fisheries and Water-Based Food Systems in the Climate Crisis
Panel hosted by International Indian Treaty Council, featuring IEN delegate, Great Grandmother Mary Lyons (Leech Lake Ojibwe)
Join us in discussing the results of Indigenous Climate Action’s Decolonizing Climate Policy Phase 2 and exploring how this work can support Indigenous-led climate solutions in the future.
Where: IP Pavilion, Blue Zone, Area C, Pavilion 77
Time: – 4:40-5:40pm
Global policies to reduce fossil fuel/carbon emissions and limit global warming have so far not been successful. The people who contribute the least to climate change, particularly Indigenous Peoples and local communities, are those who are directly impacted the most by the effects of global warming.
Where: IP Pavilion, Blue Zone, Area C, Pavilion 77
Article 6 On the Ground – Real Solutions instead of Dangerous Distractions
UNFCCC official side event
Food Sovereignty: A True Solution to the Climate Crisis
From food, water and energy sovereignty to gender justice, land, territory and peasants’ rights: real solutions to the climate crisis come from frontline communities across the world who are already experiencing the harsh effects of climate change.
Where: SE Room 4, Blue Zone
Bursting the methane bubble: Hydropower as a False Climate Solution
Time: 13:15-14:45 –
GHG accounting methodologies must be updated to reflect the latest science about methane emissions and to protect river-dependent communities.
Where: SE Room 5 (125 pax)
Indigenous Peoples and the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty initiative
A world without ecological destruction and endless greed can be achieved: with a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. The Paris Agreement was not enough, climate policy is not enough, we need more. Indigenous Peoples Pavilion, Blue Zone, Area C, Pavilion 77
Transcript – TBP
Ribeiro, ETC Group
Eduardo Giesen, DCJ & Plataforma Latinoamericana y del Caribe por la justicia
Hwei Mian Lim, Women and Gender Constituency
Nnimmo Bassey, Health of Mother Earth Foundation
Panganga Pungowiyi, IEN Arctic Region
Moderated by: Tamra Gilbertson & Neth Dano
15:00-16:30 GMT (+4) – US EST: 4am
Transcript – TBP
Across the world, military pollution and escalating wars are exacerbating violence in communities and the impacts of climate crisis. Climate justice requires demilitarization and centering feminist solutions. Hear from leaders on demilitarization and feminist visions of peace and climate justice.
Featured speakers are from Pueblo Action Alliance, FOE-Palestine, Indigenous Environmental Network, and Young Arab Feminists Collective.
Moderated by Climate Justice Alliance
LIVE from COP28 in Dubai – November 30, 2023
Note: press conference begins below at approx -27.10
Live from COP28 in Dubai – December 2, 2023