COP26 (Conference of the Parties) is underway until November 12 in Glasgow, Scotland this week. All parties/countries who've signed on to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change are set to attend. If you're not familiar with COP, the intention is for world leaders to meet regularly & address climate change. With the publication of the latest 2021 IPCC report just months ago stating we're at a tipping point globally, the need for action to cut global emissions by half in 8 years is NOW! According to the World Meteorological Organization, atmospheric concentrations of heat-trapping greenhouse gasses hit a new record high last year and rose faster than the 10-year annual average despite temporary slowdowns during the beginning of COVID-19. CO2 levels hit 413.2 ppm & levels of methane and nitrous oxide also rose. "At the current rate of increase in greenhouse gas concentrations, we will see a temperature increase by the end of this century far in excess of the Paris Agreement targets of 1.5 to 2 C above preindustrial levels," said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas. "We are way off track." Our leaders are having a hard time delivering on their promises. We see the same potential false solutions at the international & national level that we are seeing here in NM. The US has been in a gridlock for months around the Build Back Better Act - which we support - in its full breadth and depth. BBBA was a campaign promise of Biden's. Now Krysten Sinema & Joe Manchin are holding back the scaled down bill that we still need passed & are deliberately holding back on climate action for the country and essentially for the world. Biden cannot claim at COP that the US is serious about climate change when his own party is failing us all. 5 Sunrise Movement members just ended a 14 day hunger strike in DC calling for action for Biden to deliver. Their demands: That Biden pass “the full scope of the reconciliation bill to ensure the United States reduces emissions at least 50% by 2030, while advancing justice and creating millions of new good union jobs. Include a Civilian Climate Corps, direct investment in public schools, housing, transit, and a 100% clean energy grid by no later than 2035 to reduce emissions across major sectors and improve our communities. No investments or subsidies towards fossil fuels.” You can read an interview with them HERE or follow them on Twitter HERE. YUCCA stands in solidarity with the courageous youth demanding action in DC. Here's a doc with solidarity actions with the strikers.
One of New Mexico's oldest environmental justice organizations SWOP (Southwest Organizing Project based in Albuquerque) is repping NM's grassroots at COP26. Other youth and BIPOC groups are also in Glasgow protesting & calling attention to how political leaders have not been meeting their own goals to address the global climate crisis including Vanessa Nakate, Greta Thunberg, Dominika Lasota & Mitzi Tan. They also started a petition urging the following action NOW: -Keep the precious goal of 1.5°C alive with immediate, drastic, annual emission reductions unlike anything the world has ever seen. -End all fossil fuel investments, subsidies, and new projects immediately, and stop new exploration and extraction. -End creative carbon accounting by publishing total emissions for all consumption indices, supply chains, international aviation and shipping, and the burning of biomass. -Deliver the $100bn promised to the most vulnerable countries, with additional funds for climate disasters. -Enact climate policies that protect workers and the most vulnerable, and reduce all forms of inequality.
2021 Climate Summit Report Back
Last week, Speaker Egolf & the ETA coalition groups held a 2021 Climate Summit at the Roundhouse. The summit kicked off the first day with the "big announcement" from the Governor for the 2022 NM State Legislative Session putting into statute her commitment to "Net-Zero by 2050" including a Hydrogen Plan. Rather than divesting in fossil fuels and ending new extraction, "net zero" standards open the door for ongoing extraction. It is a distraction from taking the steps that we need immediately, to cut emissions dramatically by ending further investment in an industry that is destabilizing our climate. Governor Lujan Grisham's net-zero by 2050 means nothing - given her refusal to address New Mexico's responsibility for the ticking climate bomb in our state -- Permian oil and gas extraction. Extraction INCREASED in NM over the last year. And MLG and legislative leadership are celebrating the 1 billion dollar NM budget surplus that extraction has yielded. While they talked about plans to transition our transportation sector and invest in renewable electricity -- reducing extraction is not even part of their conversation. In fact, Speaker Egolf dreamed out loud about growing our budget surplus from oil and gas. Just like world leaders - our Democratic party leadership is saying they are committed to climate change mitigation while seeking to exploit any and all remaining oil and gas reserves. Could they do this under a "net-zero" regime? They sure could! And it seems they plan to! And if they do - it will be the final nail in our climate coffin. We remind you of the study we helped publish from Oil Change International that projects ALL of our climate emissions reductions promised by MLG and company for New Mexican's domestic emissions, will be undone by the extraction of remaining reserves in the Permian -- unless we stop the extraction. We've compiled some articles below about Net Zero policies and their misalignment with climate justice for your reading enjoyment. Read this important report about the danger of hydrogen. Hydrogen is not a fuel source, it's an energy carrier. Even the US Department of Energy admits that 99% of hydrogen is derived from fossil fuel sources. It is a false solution being peddled by those that are looking for a way to leverage the ongoing extraction of gas. We continue to be gravely disappointed and concerned by our state's inaction and wholly inadequate commitments. We applaud the frontline community groups and industry workers who spoke on the 2nd day of the Summit and raised concerns about the conditions of their work and the challenges they are already facing. They called out the abusive relationship with industry - the disregard for their health & wellbeing of the environment, the dangerously long hours and work conditions, the job insecurity of a boom and bust industry. We echo their calls for corporate accountability and investment in stable, life-supporting, safe, and dignified work alternatives. YUCCA's demands have always been centered on a just transition and making investments to transition our economy and resources away from fossil fuels, not prop up energy corporations who stand to profit from the ongoing exploitation of our land and water.
ARTICLE 1 As a recent paper that discusses these issues put it, “in a world moving toward net-zero carbon … ‘rights to emit’ will be a depreciating asset.” The issue of “carbon border adjustment” fees is sure to come up at this year’s climate conference — the LMDC statement calls them “discriminatory” and says they violate international trade rules. Thus far, international climate negotiations and climate policies in general have been narrowly focused on emissions. But Buck and Pérez both said that more equitable pledges from developed nations would include plans to phase out fossil fuel extraction. “If we are to take a 1.5°C limit seriously, that clearly implies no further expansion of new fossil fuel extraction, and essentially fully phasing out existing fossil fuel mines and fields by 2050,” said Pérez. Read it here: https://grist.org/equity/ahead-of-cop26-developing-countries-say-net-zero-is-against-climate-justice/ ARTICLE 2
Dr. James Dyke, Assistant Director of the Global Systems Institute at the University of Exeter, criticized net zero targets as a "great idea in principle" but which "help perpetuate a belief in technological salvation and diminish the sense of urgency surrounding the need to curb emissions now." In a chapter titled "Why net zero policies do more harm than good," Dr. Dyke and his co-authors Dr. Wolfgang Knorr and Professor Sir Robert Watson argue that the discourse around net zero hinges on deploying potentially dangerous 'fairytale' technologies such as carbon capture. Read it here: https://phys.org/news/2021-10-net-policies-emperor-academics.html
YUCCA signs on to UNM LEAF Petition
YUCCA member Akrya repped at UNM LEAF's rally on Friday as students called on the UNM Foundation to divest from polluting companies and for UNM to update its 12 year old climate plan. Just last Tuesday, they filed a complaint to NM Attorney General identifying 28 companies in which the UNM Foundation invests through its public equity index funds that operate in New Mexico. These companies are responsible for releasing 10 million tons of CO2-equiv. along with thousands of tons of smog-making NO2 and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), as well as hazardous air pollutants and particulate matter, and produced water and oil spills that have degraded the land and threatened the lives of New Mexicans especially those living in frontline communities. Check out this article from the Source NM about the rally & the lawsuit and these young folks demanding accountability: https://buff.ly/2Y5QXFZ Read the Article Here
Don't forget about the YUCCA / Earth Care / Poder Familiar / Santa Fe Mutual Aid Member Meeting this Saturday 1:30-2:45!
We are joining Member Meetings with our parent organization Earth Care & their other program areas including Poder Familiar & Santa Fe Mutual Aid. We're eager to figure out how to get regular member meetings going & building our membership structure with you all. Learn how to get involved & tell us what you’d like to see from us! Sign up here! When: Saturday, Nov. 6 1:30-2:45 PM Where: Zoom (link will be sent out later) Member Meeting Sign Up