Democrat's Climate Report Misses the Mark
Targets Native Lands for Carbon Pricing
August 25th, 2020 (Bemidji, M.N.)–A new climate report by the Senate Democrats Special Committee on the Climate Crisis was released today. In the report, the committee targets Tribal Nations for carbon pricing projects, omits recommendations to end fossil fuel subsidies and fails to target fossil fuel production overall as a primary contributor to the climate crisis.
The report explicitly recommends carbon pricing and cap-and-trade programs for Native tribes, targeting tribes for carbon pricing programs and projects. The Indigenous Environmental Network has shown that carbon pricing mechanisms are false solutions that allow big polluters to keep polluting with little oversight, does not cut emissions at source and offers no tangible effect to addressing climate change.
Tom Goldtooth, the Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network provides the following statement:
Native nations continue to live on the frontlines of fossil fuel destruction and climate chaos. Targeting Native communities with carbon pricing is a false solution to climate change and does not mitigate the problems our communities face. It will disproportionately increase the wealth of polluters at the expense of Native lives. This is unforgivable and horrifying. If we are to stop climate change, we must create a phase-out plan centered around the Indigenous principles of Just Transition to keep fossil fuels in the ground that includes cutting off subsidies, tax breaks and putting a national moratorium on fracking.
IEN is deeply concerned with the committee's faith in unproven technologies like carbon capture utilization and storage, carbon sequestration in industrial farming practices, a call for an increase in biofuel production, and linking natural gas with renewable energies in a so-called smart grid.
There are 106 mentions of the term decarbonization in the report. Decarbonization does not mean cutting climate emissions at source. It is an easily manipulated term that allows the usage of “net zero emissions” that will allow carbon pricing, carbon offsets, nuclear power, biofuels and geoengineering to be used as false mechanisms to look good on paper that a 100% clean energy future has been achieved – when it hasn’t.
Established in 1990, The Indigenous Environmental Network is an international environmental justice nonprofit that works with tribal grassroots organizations to build the capacity of Indigenous communities. I EN’s activities include empowering Indigenous communities and tribal governments to develop mechanisms to protect our sacred sites, land, water, air, natural resources, the health of both our people and all living things, and to build economically sustainable communities.