I had an interesting conversation with Hales’ chief of staff the other day. I pressed him on what it was exactly that got Hales to change his mind on Pembina, a change of mind that has had ripple effects, leading to the groundbreaking fossil fuel export policy. You know what he said? It was these grandmas that kept beating him up all over Portland, he told me. They were relentless, he said, and Hales finally had to reconsider. So, thank you, Raging Grannies! For all you do for all of us. You’re our secret weapon!
US NGO Letter to President Obama on Climate Negotiations in Paris
Dear President Obama,
On behalf of our environmental, social justice, faith, consumer and partner organizations who collectively represent millions of Americans, we thank you for taking important steps to keep fossil fuels in the ground by rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline and cancelling some upcoming Arctic lease sales. We are equally grateful that your administration continues to harness the Clean Air Act’s successful pollution-reduction tools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the Clean Power Plan and rules for transportation sources. These are important steps but much more will be necessary if we hope to avert the worst impacts of climate change.
The actions taken in the next decade will either avert the worst harms from climate disruption by limiting warming to below 1.5°C or commit the world to unacceptable harms for billions of people. You have the capability to negotiate a climate agreement in Paris that will mark the turning point in the world’s efforts to avert catastrophic climate damage and thus protect the human rights of present and future generations.
In order to do so, we ask that you:
- Greatly increase our country’s emissions reduction commitment for Paris—as demanded by both science and justice;
- Pledge to keep at least 80% of U.S. proven fossil fuels reserves in the ground; and
- Finance a just transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050 in the U.S. and contribute the U.S.’ fair share of finance for adaptation, mitigation, and loss and damage in developing countries.
President George H.W. Bush signed and the Senate ratified the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992. In so doing, the U.S. agreed to take the actions necessary to avoid dangerous climate change, and also agreed as a matter of fairness that the world’s rich, developed countries, having caused the vast majority of the problem, would take the lead in solving it. Today, the U.S. remains the world’s largest cumulative carbon emitter. Having caused the greatest share of the problem to date, the U.S. must now meet its obligations to respond, and must understand that human rights, equity and fairness matter and are vital to unlocking cooperation in the international negotiations.
Independent scientific analysis demonstrates that our country’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) is not yet consistent with keeping warming below even 2°C. A far greater commitment will be necessary to account for our nation’s historic responsibility and serve as the basis of a just international agreement. A recent Civil Society Review concludes that the current U.S. INDC represents only about one-fifth of our country’s fair share of mitigation action. For these reasons, in advance of the Paris talks we urge you to greatly increase the U.S. commitment to reduce emissions at home and finance a just transition abroad, in line with what science and justice demand.
You have stated that the transition to a clean energy economy is going more quickly than anticipated, and that “if we’re going to prevent large parts of this Earth from becoming not only inhospitable but uninhabitable in our lifetimes, we’re going to have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground rather than burn them and release more dangerous pollution into the sky.” As a fundamental policy to achieving our emissions goals, leaving fossil fuels in the ground is critical to protect people from the ravages of oil, gas, and coal extraction. A major study from Stanford University found that that it is feasible for the U.S. to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2050, and that doing so will generate a net increase of two million American jobs and a reduction of approximately 62,000 air pollution-related deaths per year.
A study by Carbon Tracker has demonstrated that the world needs to keep 80 percent of proven fossil fuel reserves in the ground if we are to keep warming below even 2°C. As the leader of the world’s largest historical emitter, we urge you to exert leadership by pledging to keep at least 80% of U.S. proven fossil fuel reserves in the ground. Two critical first steps are needed in order to implement this pledge: placing a ban on fracking and other dangerous extraction techniques, and ending fossil fuel leasing on public lands and waters to keep these publicly owned resources in the ground where they belong.
Finally, we urge to you commit to financing a just transition to a renewable economy at home and abroad. We request that you exert pressure immediately on Congress to make good on the $3 billion pledge to the Green Climate Fund. In Paris, the U.S. should commit to a clear roadmap for the provision by developed countries of $100 billion in public, grant-based funds for climate actions in developing countries by 2020, as well as a plan to scale up climate finance beyond $100 billion annually after 2020. The U.S. should also commit to targets to significantly increase public finance to meet the cost of mitigation, adaptation, and loss and damage in developing countries, particularly for the most vulnerable communities and nation-states. This includes committing to mechanisms for raising new and additional resources such as a financial transaction tax (as France has committed to), halting subsidies for fossil fuel production immediately and investing those public dollars in clean energy solutions that benefit communities on-the-ground.
You recently proclaimed that “America is now a global leader when it comes to taking action to fight climate change.” On behalf of the millions of Americans that our organizations represent, we urge you to bring reality to your rhetoric—and be the bold climate leader that both the domestic and international communities need.
Center for Biological Diversity
Center for International Environmental Law
Friends of the Earth
Institute for Policy Studies, Climate Policy Program
Sustainable Energy & Economy Network
We can send them messages of support as they #RiseUpTO // THE STORM IS COMING: Pan Am Economic & Climate Summits
July 8, 6:30am.
Meet at Berczy Park.
Surround the Royal York. March up Bay Street
Join on facebook.
On July 8th, the Pan American Economic and Climate Summits will meet at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto. That morning, the elites in this city will welcome with open arms some of the people most responsible for destroying our planet, pushing communities out of their homes, and making us poor. We will be there to give them a different sort of ‘welcome.’
On the morning of July 8th, we will come together rise like the swell of the ocean; and surround the Royal York Hotel. Together, we will assert our dreams of better worlds.
Some of the leaders of destruction that will be in attendance at the summits:
*Shell’s CEO, head of Precision Frac (leading Fracking Company), head of CAPP (Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, head of corporate Cap and Trade groups..
*US, EU, Canada and Ontario Chambers of Commerce, Tony Clement, HSBC CEO, E.L. Rothschild, BNP Paribas, TD Group..
*Head of OECD, David Johnson (Canada’s Governor General), the Inter-American Development Bank, Felipe Calderon, John Negroponte..
* Shimon Perez, Garda..
These villains gather in Toronto in less than five weeks – so we need to move quickly! We must spread the word and get organized. Please do these three things right away:
* Invite people to this facebook event page, click here.
* Share this image on facebook: https://goo.gl/zB1Fsc
* Download posters and put them up in your window or on your street corner from http://toronto.nooneisillegal.org/RiseUpTO
THE PLAN: While we are busy working late, capitalism parties early. So wake up with the sun and join us at 6:30am at Berczy park (Front and Church). Together, we will swarm the Royal York Hotel, and disrupt those entering the Pan Am Climate and Economic Summits. They will know that while they plot the destruction of our planet and our people, we challenge them at every turn, here and across the planet.
As the sun rises further, we will reassemble and surge up Bay Street. Like a swarm of birds, joined in our struggle and united in our rage, we will confront the financial and corporate headquarters of Canada in their shiny glass buildings as they open for business. As the super-rich and their pawns that sit on Bay Street stroll into work, we will rattle their doors, shake their spirit, and overwhelm them with our songs. We will continue to Toronto City Hall for free breakfast and end by 9:30am.
Because we are against capitalism, colonialism and the climate crisis
Because we demand freedom to move, return and stay.
Because we want decent housing, an end to poverty and poor bashing, and racist police brutality.
Because we want an end to destructive mining and fossil fuel extraction.
Because we oppose wars and the national security state.
Because we have a responsibility to people around the world struggling for justice against those who are participating in the economic and climate summits in Toronto.
ACCESSIBILITY: This action will be a joyful protest, where will put our bodies in front of cars and people. There will be lots of singing. We ask that you come in groups and talk to your friends about what you’re comfortable with. Our aim is zero arrests and we will try to make the action as accessible as possible but due to its nature cannot guarantee complete accessibility or safety. We know that the racist and anti-poor police in Toronto are unpredictable so that can’t be guaranteed even if you’re walking down the street in the middle of the day on your own. Legal support will be provided. Please email us (email@example.com) if you have specific accessibility concerns.
For groups outside of Toronto that can coordinate transportation from their cities, please get in touch with us. Information about billets will soon be updated.
To endorse, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
PEMBINA STILL PUSHING FOR PLANT IN NORTH PORTLAND
In the past few weeks Pembina has purchased a large amount of press coverage in an attempt to bring the terminal project back to the city council. Mayor Hales came out in opposition to building a propane terminal in North Portland in May and the hearings on the plant were cancelled.
Pembina purchased a full page ad last week in the Oregonian last week.
On May 29th Commissioners Fish and Novick were given a private tour of the proposed plant site by Pembina. Two groups were on hand to greet the Commissioners – 5 by land and 3 by sea.
The Climate Action Coalition, which the Grannies have endorsed, was present at an action in the City Council chambers on Dec. 17th. This article describes the issues surrounding the re-zoning of Terminal 7, to the east of Hayden Island, for shipping toxic and explosive Liquified Propane Gas (LPG).