IT TAKES ROOTS, April 2021
As President Joe Biden convenes world leaders at a climate summit, the It Takes Roots Alliance calls for leadership and concrete commitments from the United States at the national and global levels, not just symbolic gestures. Biden must demonstrate real commitment to climate leadership by first stopping fossil fuel extraction in the U.S. and taking drastic action to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius. Biden must stop all new fossil fuel projects — beginning with Line 3 and Dakota Access Pipeline — and commit to rapidly reducing greenhouse gas emissions at source, while supporting workers and communities impacted by economic transition.
“Any form of carbon pricing mechanisms implemented by the Biden administration to mitigate climate change has nothing to do with reducing emissions at source. It is nothing but a trading mechanism that allows polluters to continue emitting greenhouse gases, for a price.”
Tom BK Goldtooth, Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network
“The US is the second largest producer of Greenhouse Gas emissions in the world. The frontlines of the floods, wildfires, and drought we are already living through are not only here in North Dakota, Kentucky, Alaska, California, and the Gulf South — they are global. We stand in solidarity with the small island states and the popular movements in Bangladesh, Mozambique, Ecuador, the Amazon Forests. We call on the Biden Administration to bear our historic responsibility for driving the climate crisis and make clear commitments to actual emissions reductions at the source of pollution. Our first step must be to stop all fossil fuel projects now, beginning with the Line 3 and Dakota Access Pipelines, and invest in global reparations and an economy of care, regeneration and well being for the people and planet.”
Jaron Browne, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
“CJA encourages all hands on deck to battle this climate emergency world-wide, but we can’t continue to follow, empower, and rely on those who created the crisis to solve it. These false schemes should not be on the menu or funded through US investments. This will only serve to save the dying fossil fuel and gas industries fattening their wallets while continuing to lay the burden to solve the crisis on frontline communities.”
Climate Justice Alliance
It Takes Roots is a multiracial, multicultural, intergenerational alliance comprised of the Climate Justice Alliance, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Indigenous Environmental Network, and Right To The City Alliance. We represent over 200 organizations and affiliates in over 50 states, provinces, territories and Indigenous lands. Led by women, gender non-conforming people, people of color, Black and Indigenous Peoples, It Takes Roots represents members of frontline, Indigenous, and environmental justice communities in the United States and members of communities who have come to the U.S. because of unjust climate and international policies forced on us from Democratic and Republican administrations alike. We intimately understand the impacts of the interlocking crises of white supremacy, environmental racism, economic injustice, a public health pandemic, fossil fuel extraction, and climate chaos.
Communities at the frontlines of pollution, fossil fuel extraction, and climate crisis are employing real climate solutions today, and must be at the center of the domestic and global response to climate crisis. To lead and address the climate emergency at the scope and scale required, the U.S. must immediately:
- Stop approving fossil fuel projects, beginning with ending the Enbridge Line 3 and Dakota Access Pipeline projects. Fossil fuels are the primary cause of the climate crisis yet expansion of oil, gas and coal continues.
- Stop supporting false solutions like carbon markets incorporated into nature-based solutions and green-washing that commodifies forests, and soils into carbon offset regimes. Tell your Climate Envoy to the UN climate conference in November to not support Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, that if implemented, would result in human rights violations. Immediately stop promoting these approaches as avenues to combat climate change.
- Take responsibility for the historic U.S. role in creating the climate crisis by committing to pay its fair share to global climate solutions, through investments in solutions led and governed by communities in the Global South, including in renewable energy, green infrastructure, and Just Transition strategies based on community need, not corporate greed.
To keep the warming of Mother Earth under 1.5 degrees, as the White House claims to be in agreement with, Biden must go farther than its existing promises by increasing emissions-reduction targets to achieve zero emissions as rapidly as possible and reducing pollution at source. Rather than promoting new fossil fuel projects, neoliberal policy schemes and industrial techno-fixes that are driven by corporate profits and that harm communities, Biden must listen to the leadership of Indigenous, Black, People of Color, poor communities and workers hit first and worst by the climate crisis, and support bottom-up strategies and priorities for a Just Transition off of fossil fuels and towards a healthy economy for all.
It is only by taking these measures that we can begin to get the Earth back in balance and address the climate crisis in a way that does not bring further harm to the frontline communities that are experiencing the greatest impact of the climate crisis, instead of wealthy, greenhouse gas-generating corporations continuing to evade responsibility.