Pete Rugh, System Change not Climate Change
Adam Porton, Liberty Tree Foundation
Patrick Robbins, Sane Energy Project
Tom Burmester, Green Shadow Cabinet
People’s Climate Convergence Leads a Path Away from Climate Change and Towards Systemic Change over Two Days of Powerful Events
Speakers and participants include Naomi Klein, 2014 Goldman Prize recipient Desmond D’Sa, members of Idle No More and many more in workshops and panels throughout Lower Manhattan
In response to the UN Climate Summit that will be held in New York City on the 23rd, the NYC Climate Convergence is a series of events from September 19th-20th that will bring together scholars, unionists, artists and activists from all over the world to highlight the connection between climate change and capitalism, and to explore how communities around the world are building transformative alternatives to both. The two-day series originated with members of System Change not Climate Change(SCNCC) and the Global Climate Convergence and is being organized in conjunction with the People’s Climate March on September 21st.
“After 19 years it’s clear that the UN climate change negotiating process is broken,” said Chris Williams, co-founder of SCNCC and a professor of physics at Pace University. “A profound shift in emphasis and action toward confrontation with the priorities of corporations, neoliberalism and the political bankruptcy of world leaders is required.“
According to a recent draft report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, our planet is heading for “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.” Yet as the 2015 Paris climate talks approach, President Obama is allegedly seeking a voluntary reduction accord from the international community rather than a binding global treaty—the same failed path that the US has been pursuing for years.
There are solutions to the climate crisis, but like all other real solutions they will have to come from organized and mobilized people at the grassroots level.
“In this moment of historic crisis — for the economy, ecology, peace and democracy — the Convergence is bringing activists together across issues and national boundaries to harness the formidable power we actually have once we collaborate,” said Jill Stein, Obama’s Green Party opponent in the 2012 presidential election. “We call for millions of living wage jobs to transition us to a just, sustainable economy with 100% clean renewable energy by 2030. We need an economy that puts people and planet ahead of profit.”
The Climate Convergence will give a platform to people all over the world who are making the connection between unfettered capitalism and climate ruin. The opening plenary on Friday, September 19th will feature Bolivian water rights activist Oscar Olivera, revolutionary Hip Hop artist Immortal Technique, Anne Petermann from the Global Justice Ecology Project, Philippine trade unionist leader Josua Mata, Nastaran Mohit from the New York State Nurses Association and Erica Violet Leefrom Idle No More.
“Indigenous people have been on the frontlines of the fight for environmental justice for decades,” said Lee. “We live the effects of environmental violence every day, on our lands and in our bodies. Moving forward to create real change requires recognizing that social and environmental justice are inextricably linked.”
The closing plenary on Saturday, September 20th will include award-winning journalist Naomi Klein, 2014 Goldman Prize Recipient Desmond D’Sa, Olga Bautista from the Southeast Side Coalition against Petcoke and Jaqui Patterson from the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program.
“From black farmers in Middle America to hurricane stricken Gulf Coast residents, to indigenous peoples’ whose lands are being mined for coal; communities of color are coming together for the People’s Climate March, the Climate Convergence, and more,” said Patterson. “Our purpose is to send a call to urgent action to our leaders, and to link arms across communities and movements.”
Between the two plenaries there will be panels and workshops in gardens, churches and community centers throughout Lower Manhattan on a wide range of topics, from fracking, indigenous rights, peace and disarmament, sustainable agriculture, and climate justice. A full list of convergence events can be found here.
Please contact our liaisons if you would like to cover a NYC Climate Convergence event, would like further information or to interview one of our panelists. Press credentials will be available starting at 6:15 PM on the 19th and 20th of September at St. Peter’s Church (619 Lexington Ave, New York, NY) and throughout the day on Saturday the 20th at Graffiti Church (205 E 7th St New York, NY).
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