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U.S. People’s Delegation Takes on Trump Administration at COP23

Climate
[Left to Right] Thanu Yakupitiyage, 350.org; Katia Aviles-Vasquez, Organización Boricua & It Takes Roots; Varshini Prakash, SustainUS & Sunrise Movement; Dallas Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network & It Takes Roots; Kiran Ooman, youth plaintiff with Our Children's Trust; Dyanna Jaye, Sunrise Movement & ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability; Ellen Anderson, Energy Transition Lab & Climate Generation

Community and grassroots leaders from the U.S. on Tuesday announced their platform at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP23). The "U.S. People's Delegation" is attending to counter the Trump administration's fossil fuel agenda and to hold U.S. states, cities, businesses and the public accountable to climate action commitments.

The platform includes youth, Indigenous peoples, frontline communities, advocates and policymakers who have come to Bonn, Germany with organizations from across the U.S. They have come together to show what climate leadership should look like.


"We are here to let the world know that most Americans support action on climate change, despite what you hear from Washington," said Ellen Anderson of Energy Transition Lab, with the Climate Generation delegation. In our state of Minnesota,we are leading the way for the Heartland of America, showing that you can cut carbon, build out renewable energy, create thousands of good-paying jobs, and save money by shifting to a clean energy economy."

With the Trump administration rolling back climate protections, expanding fossil fuel development, ramming through dirty infrastructure and withdrawing the U.S. from its commitments to the Paris climate agreement, the People's Delegation and the organizations involved are taking action to protect communities and isolate the administration by demanding a fossil free future and real climate action on the local level.

"I have seen climate change-fueled floods destroy lives and livelihoods where my family is from in India. In southern India, thousands of farmers have committed suicide because of drought," said Varshini Prakash of SustainUS and Sunrise Movement. "Within my lifetime, my home in the states could be underwater if we do nothing to stop climate change. No one should have to live in fear of losing the people that they love or the places that they come from."

Among the demands are:

  • A just and equitable transition to 100 percent renewable energy in all cities and states.
  • For U.S. elected officials to step up in meaningful ways to ensure bold climate action in the face of the current administration's rollback on climate protections, the persistence of ongoing climate disasters, and the impact of existing inequalities and governmental negligence on frontline and vulnerable communities.
  • A halt to all new fossil fuel projects, with the understanding that the fossil fuel industry continues to perpetuate the climate crisis and sow climate denial, creating a bleak future for generations to come.
  • A call for all nations to increase their ambition, not decrease it. The commitments countries put forward under the Paris agreement were already too little, too late and would lead to at least 3.5°C of warming, not the 1.5°C and 2°C goals enshrined in the agreement. We can't let the U.S. be an excuse for other countries to dial back their action—especially since with cities and states doubling down, the U.S. could be moving forward.
  • A demand to stop negotiating cap-and-trade, carbon offsets, carbon pricing and other market schemes that avoid cutting pollution at the source.

At COP23, while the People's Delegation is calling for meaningful climate action, the Trump administration is pushing coal, natural gas and nuclear energy as an "answer" to climate change.

"From monster hurricanes to the wildfires and deadly heatwaves in the American West, 2017 has shown that the threat of climate change is now," said Dyanna Jaye, representing ICLEI U.S. Local Governments for Sustainability and Sunrise Movement. "Yet Trump has allied with fossil fuel CEOs who are dead set on profiting from pollution, including Exxon CEO turned Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. They have no right to represent the American people. Though Trump and his billionaire friends may try to pull us backwards, we, everyday Americans, will keep moving our country forward and make sure our cities, universities and states take the action we need to stop climate change and create good jobs in our communities."

The list of organizations represented in the People's Delegation includes: SustainUS, Sunrise Movement, Indigenous Environmental Network, Global Grassroots Justice Alliance, and the Climate Justice Alliance as part of It Takes Roots, U.S. Human Rights Network, Climate Generation, Our Children's Trust, NextGen America and 350.org.

Among the events that the people's delegation will conduct this week that are open to the public:

U.S. People's Delegation Speak Out

Date & Time: Thursday, Nov. 9, 4 to 6 pm

Location: U.S. Climate Action Pavilion, Fiji Room, The DHL Post Tower Charles-de-Gaulle-Straße 20, 53113 Bonn Germany

U.S. People's Delegation Town Hall with Elected Officials

Date & Time: Saturday, Nov. 11, 4 to 6 pm

Location: U.S. Climate Action Pavilion, Fiji Room, The DHL Post Tower Charles-de-Gaulle-Straße 20, 53113 Bonn Germany

For more information on the U.S. People's Delegation and the organizations involved, please go to: www.350.org/uspeoplesdelegation

Reposted with permission from our media associate 350.org.

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