Delivered at COP24 – A People’s Demand for Climate Action

Something amazing happened Tuesday morning at the international climate talks known as COP24: As government delegates filed into the conference hall for the third day of the global climate talks they were confronted by people representing communities from all around the world demanding true climate justice.

The action brought together key members of the global climate justice movement centered around the People’s Demands for Climate Justice, our collective worldwide call for real, just climate solutions. And you just have to see it to believe it:

While you watch, consider chipping in to support 198 methods and our ongoing work to support direct actions that center the impacts of climate chaos like this at the COP talks.

Later that day, our team also held an official an UNFCCC press conference to unveil the People’s Demands for Climate Justice. We called on all governments to put the People’s Demands at the heart of their climate negotiations and ensure that the roadmap for implementing the Paris Climate Accords delivers real, just solutions that put people first.

We think that the People’s Demands — which more than 250,000 people including many thousands of 198 methods supports signed onto — are a great place to start. Together, we’ll make sure policymakers reject the dangerous schemes peddled by Big Polluters and the Trump administration.

The panel of experts came from many parts of the world – and you can read a whole account of their actions at the panel and elsewhere from our partners at Corporate Accountability International. Each spoke to the importance of the demands. Here are some comments of note from our panelists:

“We fight fossil fuels not just because it causes climate change, but because it also wrecks lives on the ground, and that’s what it’s done for centuries.”
— Dipti Bhatnagar, Friends of the Earth International.

“Through the climate crisis, our nature, land, and forests have become business opportunities for bankers and corporations. 1.5 or 2 degrees are mere dangling carrots. The ongoing negotiations and ministerial declarations are shifting the focus away from the pathways to real solutions.

The lands, territories, and forests where indigenous people, communities, and women are in the front lines, vulnerable to climate shocks, but resilient enough to respond with their own actions, using their customary practices, traditional wisdom, and knowledge. However, our rights, governance, conservation and restorations practices are not recognized and supported, since they neither bring credits, nor profits.

Real solutions need real support. If you can’t ensure our rights, our governance, and our initiatives, keep your hands off our territories and our forests. REDD+ is not conservation. Bioenergy is not alternative energy. Plantations are not forests. We will resist such false solutions, and struggle to advance real solutions will continue.”
— Souparna Lahiri, Global Forest Coalition.

“Without real money for real action, the urgent transition the world needs to make will be impossible to achieve. The alternative was set out recently by the world’s leading scientists: rising temperatures that will leave many low-lying countries and cities to disappear under the sea, and threaten life for people in countries all over the world.”
— Harjeet Singh, ActionAid International

“I don’t think any of these demands will be possible if we do not address the elephant in the room: The influence and participation that corporations have in this place. […] Governments must live up to their responsibility to serve people, not corporations, but they are not. […] We see this because there are no rules in this space [at the UNFCCC climate talks] to limit the participation of corporations.”
— Nathalie Rengifo Alvarez, Corporate Accountability

“People have the solutions, not Big Polluters. It’s time government heed our call and act for people, not the corporate bottom line.”
— Lidy Nacpil, Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development

Stop McNamee, Block Manchin, Act on Climate with a Green New Deal

If you’re one of the more than 30,000 people who already signed our petition stop Bernard McNamee: Thank you. (If not, sign here)

You’ll remember that just last week McNamee was under fire in a Senate Energy Committee over a speech he he gave calling for a “unified campaign” to support fossil fuels. He also falsely claimed that renewable energy “screws up” the grid and and described any legal opposition to pipelines and cliamte change as a “constant battle between liberty and tyranny.”​

Trump and his puppet Mitch McConnell know that Mcnamee’s nomination will never stand up to public scrutiny – so they’re rushing a vote McNamee today — Monday December 4!  But they may have overplayed their hand.

Senator Maria Cantwell and allies from the Energy Democrats have vowed to fight, and there’s a chance we can stop this nomination on the Senate floor, but only if we call right now! Dial (833) 261-7330 right now and tell your Senators to vote NO on Bernard McNamee?

Not sure what to say? These can be quick calls there are two basic points you need to make:

  1. Bernard McNamee is a dangerous nominee – he’s corrupt, unqualified, a climate-denier and part of Trump’s plan to force ratepayers to bail out coal and nuclear power.
  2. Senators MUST vote NO on cloture and NO on his nomination, and must ensure that all votes are recorded. No unanimous consent or procedural gimmicks (that’s how we got the last three Republican FERC commissioners).

Your calls today are part of a coordinated series of actions to get Senate Democrats, in particular, to step up on climate. Here’s a quick explainer recorded early this morning.

I’ll be all over Capitol Hill today and posting regular updates through Social Media. Check it all out and keep up with us on our Facebook page​, but here’s a quick Rundown:

Later this morning, friends from Sunrise NYC are headed to Chuck Schumer’s office in New York to demand he lead on Climate Change by supporting a Green New Deal, and blocking Joe Manchin from becoming chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Manchin, you may recall, was the only Democrat to vote for McNamee last week in the committee — yet another example in a long line of how out of touch his is with Democrats and common sense on climate change. But, because of the archaic rules that govern the Senate, and because Democrats lost seats in the senate last month, when the new Congress is sworn in there’s a real chance Manchin — the only Senator to have publicly ​shot​ a climate bill in a campaign ad, with a rifle — would be the leading Democrat on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Manchin, like McNamee, is a test of Chuck Schumer and the Senate Democrats willingness to lead, and fight, on climate change.​Which is why I’ll be amplifying the Sunrise team’s action this morning, and going to Schumer’s DC office this afternoon to re-iterate their demands and ask Schumer to lead the fight to stop McNamee, Block Manchin, and act on Climate.

And there is reason to be hopeful – since other Democrats in the Senate are leading on this issue. In fact, if you want to end your day on an optimistic note, tune in with us for Senator Bernie Sanders’ live town hall on climate change tonight at 7pm Eastern. Bernie will be joined by Bill McKibben, Shailene Woodley, climate scientists and more. I’ll be there live and you can tune in with us online here.​

Un-Trump the Climate Talks

Un-Trump the Climate TalksDid you see this? Donald Trump gave a rambling, incoherent, interview to the Washington post in which he (amongst other things) once again denies the science of climate changeincluding the report from his own administration released last Friday which shows that the climate crisis is already hurting and killing Americans.

It’s got to stop. And you can help deliver a clear, unambiguous rebuke to Trump at next week’s climate talks – called the COP24. Here’s how: Trump’s team is planning a sideshow event that actually promotes fossil fuels at world’s biggest meeting on how to fight climate change. While everyone else is talking about the new US and UN reports on climate change and how we only have 12 years to fix the problem Trump wants to talk about how to pollute more and get rich off the resulting death and destruction.

But we’re ready for him – Trump did the same thing at last year’s talks, and a brave delegation of youth, indigenous and frontline climate activists shut him down. Now, that same delegation is headed to the COP24 talks, and they need you to sign on to back them up. Click here to sign on to the People’s Demands for Climate Justice.

These demands have been shaped by people’s movements from around the world that are directly experiencing climate change’s impacts. Early supporters include the Indigenous Environmental Network and Plataforma Boliviana frente al Cambio Climatico.

It’s been years in the making, but we only get one chance to deliver them, and deliver them as a rebuke to Trump’s recent climate denial. We need to show that people everywhere, including in the U.S., widely echo and support these demands – and right now, your name is missing. Can you sign on today so we can deliver your name to the United Nations next week?

Don’t let Trump control the UN climate Talks

cop24 UN Climate TalksNext month, representatives from every country in the world will meet to decide how to implement the Paris Agreement at the COP24 UN climate talks. Donald Trump is the only world leader to have rejected the agreement, and the science of Climate Change.

And Trump is coordinating with fossil fuel companies, polluters and dictators to block progress at the climate talks.

The most recent report from UN Scientists clearly shows that we have only 12 years to achieve a massive transformation in our entire energy economy.​ The People’s Demands for Climate Justice is one such solution. And I need your help to make sure it’s seen and read by all the delegates before millions of people around the world experience climate devastation.

Our best chance is to demonstrate a groundswell of support for the People’s Demands for Climate Justice — a joint global call to government delegates demanding that this year’s climate talks actually lead to meaningful, just climate solutions. Will you sign on with thousands of people from around the world right now?​

These demands have been shaped by people’s movements from around the world that are directly experiencing climate change’s impacts. Early supporters include the Indigenous Environmental Network and Plataforma Boliviana frente al Cambio Climatico.

We need to show that people everywhere, including in the U.S., widely echo and support these demands.

Please add your name now to demonstrate your support​ — and to ensure that the Paris Agreement isn’t weakened by Trump and his fossil-fuel cronies.

Make a call to Stop McNamee

If you’re one of more than 25,000 people who signed on to block McNamee -THANK YOU. Together with allies we’ve already delivered your signature and lobbied every member of the committee to vote no. And thanks to you we’ve got a chance to stop the nomination: But we have to act fast.

Every day, new corruption and malfeasance about McNamee emerges – the kind of scandals and abuses of power that could convince Senators to block him.

McNamee’s only chance to get confirmed is if nobody notices or asks questions. So we need your help to make sure that doesn’t happenCan you make a call or send a tweet (they answer them like calls) to members of the Senate Natural Resources Commitee before the hearing tomorrow morning? 

Here’s who to call and how:

  1. Click the link to see a list of all the Senators on the committee and their contact info.
  2. If you have a Senator on the committee, call them first, but don’t worry if your Senator isn’t on the list.
  3. Call as many Senators on this list as you can.
    1. Start with the Chair, Lisa Murkowski and the Ranking member, Maria Cantwell.
    2. Next, we suggest prioritizing these Senators, who have voted to block FERC nominees in the past: Sanders, Hirono, Duckworth, Heinrich, Cortez-Masto
  4. What to say: These can be quick calls there are two basic points you need to make:
    1. Bernard McNamee is a dangerous nominee – he’s corrupt, unqualified, a climate-denier and part of Trump’s plan to force ratepayers to bail out coal and nuclear power. His nomination should be withdrawn and this committee hearing canceled.
    2. If the hearing proceeds, Senators MUST vote NO on his nomination, and must ensure that all votes are recorded. No unanimous consent or procedural gimmicks (that’s how we got the last three Republican FERC commissioners).
  5. That’s it! If you have another minute (or while you’re on hold) and you use twitter, it’s also a great idea to tweet at these committee members and make sure they get the message. Karen added all the twitter addresses to that list, or just click here to quickly retweet.​

If you’re looking for more info, our team has published a ton of detailed explainers over the last few weeks, check them out below. A quick recap is that Donald Trump nominated Bernard McNamee to be the next commissioner at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) because he passed a ‘litmus test’ by swearing allegiance to fossil fuels and nuclear power.​

McNamee isn’t qualified, heck he doesn’t even admit climate change is a real and urgent threat. But that doesn’t matter to Trump and team — they see McNamee as a perfect crony — someone they can install at FERC who will help them ram through subsidies for coal and nuclear power too extreme for most Republicans.​

There’s a trail of corruption leading from now-chair-again Neal Chaterjee, to his hand-picked FERC chief of staff, Anthony Pugliese, right to McNamee.3

McNamee’s nomination is obviously be part of a plan to ram through more fossil fuels. And FERC’s Republican majority is clearly complicit. But we can stop them if we make calls today, and Senators get serious at the hearing tomorrow. I’ll be there to do everything I can to make sure they do – now I need you to make a call to back me up.

Make a call to the Senate Natural Resources Commitee right now and tell them to stop Trump’s climate denying FERC nominee. 

Want more?

Trump DENIED on Keystone XL Pipeline

Just a quick update to let you know that U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris has thrown out the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.

It’s obviously a huge victory for all of us who have been fighting this zombie pipeline, even as trump keeps re-ordering it back to life. Judge Morris’ order tells TransCanada to cease all pre-construction for the project – meaning that the pipeline is on hold and any construction would be illegal.

It does not mean that the pipeline can’t be re-started. And of course we’ve seen time and again that TransCanada and other pipeline construction companies will routinely violate the law and begin construction – intending to pay whatever paltry fine the Trump administration assess on them later as a “cost of business.” We must remain vigilant – and we’re encouraging everyone to sign and share the Pledge to protect – simply put a promise to show up, throw down, and block all pipeline construction if it starts again and we’re called upon by local indigenous leaders and land holders.

But what’s really exciting is that this ruling says that Trump can’t just dismiss the findings from the Obama Administration that stopped the pipeline. Those findings, remember, also included a specific reference to the climate impacts of the pipeline – the first time a US President had rejected a pipeline like this because of Climate Change.

All of which means, if Trump wants ot un-do the Obama pipeline decision, he’s got to go back and at least look at the climate impacts of keystone XL – which we know will be massive, and which he cannot legally ignore or lie about any longer.

Since Trump first issued a ‘Presidential permit’ for the pipeline and Nebraska commissioners granted a statewide permit for an alternate route Indigenous leaders, rural landowners, and environmental organizations have been suing to stop them. This is a big win for those groups and we’re proud to celebrate with them.

But, we know that this isn’t the end of the fight to stop Keystone XL, and that’s why more than 17,000 of us have pledged to take action if construction begins. Join us today, sign the pledge to protect. And congratulations again on a well-deserved victory.

Update from a busy week in DC

It’s been a crazy week of action in Washington, DC, and since a lot of what we’re doing has to do with petitions YOU signed, actions YOU too, and advocacy YOU care about – I thought I’d make a short video all about it:

If you like what you see, click here to chip in and support us!


You can also still take action on these campaigns!

Not one more Climate Denying FERC Nominee!

Donald Trump has nominated Bernard McNamee – a deeply unqualified, republican-hack, and climate-denier –  to fill the vacant Republican seat at the Federal Energy Regulatory commission (FERC). The Senate is moving at “warp speed” to ram this latest dastardly, destructive nomination through.

This is bad – red-alert, 4-alarm BAD. But I have good news, too. On October 16 we’re going to the Senate with friends from Beyond Extreme Energy (BXE) to deliver a loud and clear message: We can’t afford one more Climate Denying Trump Nominee in charge of our energy policy. The Senate must vote NO on McNamee and stop Trump’s FERC!

Let’s be perfectly clear: We think any nominee is a bad idea, because preserving the deadlock at FERC – where the two remaining Democrats are often at odds with the two remaining Republicans – is our best chance at stopping new pipelines and other fossil fuel infrastructure projects.

But even allowing that we don’t want anybody to be confirmed, McNamee is worth fighting. He has been a lifelong advocate for fossil fuels, and is a climate denier. Sign here to demand the Senate vote vote NO on Trump’s latest climate-denying, community-wrecking nominee; Bernard McNamee!

He’s completely unqualified to oversee energy policy: He has no experience in the utility or natural gas utility industries, let alone our complicated and interconnected system of electric utilities. He once wrote a letter to The Hill about how fossil fuels “dramatically improve the human condition” – on Earth Day no less!

More importantly, he was a leading author and architect of Trump and Rick Perry’s dangerous plan to bail out coal and nuclear plants last year; a plan so obviously biased in favor of fossil fuels and the corporations who profit off them that even FERC voted 5-0 to deny it. After the unanimous rejection by FERC, McNamee has been hard at work looking for a legal, or extra-legal loophole to order that we pay some $34 billion in subsidies to failing coal and nuclear plants.

Having failed to find a legal way to apply national-socialist principles to every American’s utility bill, Trump seems to have decided that it’s simply faster to pack the FERC – just like he’s packing the courts. This is only the latest example of Trump appointing dangerously unqualified loyalists to high-ranking positions at FERC: FERC chief of staff, Anthony Pugliese  told a far-right Breitbart News podcast that FERC was working to approve McNamee’s coal and nuclear bailout, and repeated the statement to a nuclear energy conference.  Pugliese’s collusion is so extreme that even moderate Democrats on the Senate Energy Commitee have said it “call[s] into question the impartiality and independence of the Commission.”

McNamee’s nomination is obviously be part of a plan to ram through more fossil fuels. And FERC’s Republican majority is clearly complicit. Pugliese was brought into FERC by former acting-chair Neal Chaterjee and Chairman Kevin McIntyre seems ready to go along with him, saying on Twitter “I look forward to serving with McNamee.”

McNamee is clearly unqualified, dangerous, and denies the urgent, imperative science of the most recent report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changewhich unequivocally states that we have to cut all emissions of global warming pollution (including methane which is ~80x more potent of a climate-pollutant than Carbon Dioxide) 50% in 12 years, and 100% by 2050.

It’s up to our Senators to ask serious questions of McNamee, and the remaining four commissioners who have allowed the agency to become mired in partisan, climate-denying scandal. And ultimately, it’s up to each and every one of our Senators to vote NO on McNamee. Sign here to tell them so.

30 hours

I just want to write you a quick update on Brett Kavanaugh: Trump’s anti-environment, anti-worker, anti-woman nominee to the Supreme Court. 

First, and this is important, it’s not too late to stop this nomination. In fact, we may be getting closer to beating Trump and Kavanaugh. BUT we can only do that if we keep up the pressure – so whether you’ve called before or not, call your Senators right now, today, and tell them they must vote No.

Call (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak to your Senators or toll free 866-426-2631 and our friends at SEIU will connect you.

call now to save the supreme court

Now, a quick update: It’s been a rollercoaster few days as the FBI was rushed through an investigative process where they were instructed to only talk to 9 people, none of whom were Dr Blasey Ford or Judge Kavanaugh, one of whom refused to answer questions.

At the end of that deeply flawed, completely inadequate investigation, the results (some 50 pages of notes and documents) were delivered to a sealed room in the US Senate, where all 100 Senators were given about a day to read them, one at a time. Several Senators, including South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham admitted they didn’t even read the documents, they just listened to a briefing by some staff, and decided not to change their vote.

BUT this morning, something really important happened. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called a cloture vote – basically ending the confirmation process, and calling the question of whether – based on what they know right now – Senators are ready to vote for or against Kavanaugh’s nomination.

In a big surprise, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voted NO on cloture. Several other swing votes – including Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Susan Collins of Maine – all voted yes on the cloture motion and it passed 51-49. That sets off a final 30 hours of debate with a vote expected tomorrow afternoon.

This is a big deal because it’s very rare for a Senator to vote no on cloture, and then yes on a nomination. Murkowski is probably a no vote. And Collins, Flake and Manchin’s votes in favor of cloture don’t  mean that they’ll vote yes on the nomination, just that they’re prepared to cast their vote. If Murkowski is a no, and 2 of those 3 remaining swing votes can be convinced, Kavanaugh’s nomination will fail. And just as important, Murkowski’s no vote on the process is a sign that some republicans still aren’t satisfied by the FBI investigation and hearings to date. If Murkowski can vote no, every Republican with a conscience can be persuaded. 

Now, to be clear, the almost-all-male, almost-all-white Republican caucus is not likely to change it’s mind. But we only need a handful of votes, and Mukowski’s no this morning indicates we may be moving in the right direction.

And, finally, the most important point – that’s all because of you, and me, and all the protests and calls and public outcry. White, male, Republicans (including Trump) have been taking to TV and twitter all morning to complain about how ‘rude’ survivors of sexual assault are being; Or to complain about how well organized our movement is to stop Kavanaugh. While a lot of their talking points are utter nonsense (like Trump claiming George Soros is personally responsible for all the outcry) – it indicates that our pressure is getting to them.

We can win this thing in the next 30 hours. A huge coalition of us are hosting a people’s filibuster on the Senate’s front lawn, and we’re prepared to talk all night to delay or stop the vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination. And a big wave of national rallies are planned for tomorrow (Saturday).

We need you to participatetune into the livestream and wave, send a comment,  or share with friends. Sign up to attend a rally near you tomorrow and bring a sign. But most importantly, make your voice heard right now and for the next 30 hours – Call (202) 224-3121 or toll free with SEIU 866-426-2631 and tell your Senators to vote NO on Judge Kavanaugh. Need help with what to say? Click here for some talking points and more background.