People's Climate Justice Summit

Mon, 22 Sep 2014 13:00:00 GMT

The Climate Justice Alliance, together with our friends and allies, is hosting the People’s Climate Justice Summit, featuring the voices, strategies, and solutions of climate-affected communities around the world.

On September 23, political and corporate leaders will meet at the United Nations in New York City for Climate Summit 2014. This summit represents yet another step towards the corporate takeover of the UN climate negotiations and the privatization of land, water, and air resources under the guise of a global climate compact. The climate crisis is a symptom of a deeper problem: an economy based on extraction and exploitation of resources and people. This economy benefits a few at the expense of communities and the planet.

While heads of state meet at the UN, communities across the country are united for a just transition away from an economy based on fossil fuel extraction and other dirty industries, and towards clean community energy, zero waste, public transit, local food systems and housing for all.


Church Center for the United Nations, 777 1st Ave at E. 44th St

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM


  • Elizabeth Yeampierre, UPROSE (United States)
  • Alberto Saldamando, Human/Indigenous Rights Attorney (United States)
  • Berenice Sanchez, Frente de Pueblos Indigenas en Defensa de la Madre Tierra (México)

Moderator: Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network (United States)

Environmental justice and indigenous leaders will kick off two days of events at the United Nations Church Center. Day One of the Peoples Climate Justice Summit will focus on the false promises promoted by corporations and industrialized nations. This panel will focus on efforts that commodify nature and systems of carbon trading.

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM


  • Bryan Parras, Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services – TEJAS (United States)
  • John Fenton, Rancher Pavilion Wyoming (United States)
  • Rachel Smolker, BioFuel Watch (United States), Desmond D’sa, South Durban Community Environmental Alliance – SDCEA (South Africa)
  • Robin Lebeau, Cheyenne River Sioux, Mnicoujou Band (United States)

Moderator: Wes Gilllingham, Catskill Mountainkeeper (United States)

As the world scrambles to deal with the impacts of climate change the dirty Industries responsible for the bulk sources of greenhouse gases scramble to keep us addicted to these polluting energy sources.

This panel looks at some of the dirty energy practices that feed climate change, destroy ecosystems, and devastate communities. We’ll hear reports from people on the frontlines of fracking, pipelines, refineries, and tar sands and find out what they’re doing to fight back.

New School, Alvin Johnson / J.M. Kaplan Hall Auditorium, 66 West 12th St

9:00 AM – 11:30 AM


Speakers: Meena Rahman, Third World Network (India), Maxine Combes, ATTAC (France), Maureen Santos, Heinrich Böll Foundation (Brazil), Moderator: Janet Redman, Institute for Policy Studies (United States) An international panel will offer insight into the conversations that will take place at the UN Climate Summit, and discuss social movement strategies as we head to the next round of climate negotiations in Lima (December 2014) and Paris (December 2015).

12:30 PM – 2:30 PM


  • Jorge Tadeo Vargas, Revuelta Verde (México)
  • Elise Estronioli, Movement of People Affected by Dams (Brazil)
  • Christophe Aguiton ATTAC (France)
  • Moderator: Ananda Lee Tan, Global Network for Incinerator Alternatives (Canada)

Not long ago, political leaders and corporations were saying climate change wasn’t a problem. Now, that the science on global warming is accepted as real and its impacts are being felt, some governments and corporations are scrambling to claim leadership on the issue. Desperate to avoid regulation and commitments to cut emissions at source (and in many cases, attempting to cash in on the crisis), they’re presenting a dizzying array of “false promises” and quick fixes that perpetuate inequalities, ecological destruction, and extreme energy development. At home in the U.S., and globally at the U.N. climate negotiations, governments are formulating policies that threaten to enshrine these false solutions. Join us for a critical conversation of some of the worst of the worst, including testimony from the front line of destructive dams, extreme energy development, carbon markets, and the’ financialization’ of nature. Participants will also consider whether emerging US climate rules like the Clean Power Plan and negotiations for a 2015 global climate treaty in the UNFCCC are steering us toward real solutions or dangerous distractions, and how to bring the power of social movements to keep real solutions on track.

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM


  • Antolin Huáscar Flores, Confederación Nacional Agraria (Peru),
  • Dena Hoff, La Via Campesina North America (United States)

Moderator: Mamadou Goita, IRPAD Africa (Mali)

This panel will debunk the myth of Climate Smart Agriculture as a solution, and explain how and why the movement for Food Sovereignty is a true solution to climate change. Local, national and international panelists will describe current struggles for Food Sovereignty, activities and strategies leading to the upcoming UN Climate Summits in Peru and Paris.

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Special Evening Event Hosted by the New School


Moderator: Tom BK Goldtooth (Dine’/Dakota), Indigenous Environmental Network/PCJS National Coordination Team of the Climate Justice Alliance, Minnesota, USA.

Followed by Indigenous Women Defenders of Mother Earth – of the Western Hemisphere:
  • Jeanne Shenandoah (Onondaga Nation), member of the Eel Clan, organizer with Onondaga Nation and Haudenosaunee Confederacy, and affiliated with the Traditional Chiefs and Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force, New York;
  • Patricia Gualinga Montalvo (Kichwa) indigenous leader from the Sarayaku village in the Amazon, Ecuador;
  • Kandi Mossett (Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara Nation), IEN Indigenous Energy & Climate Campaign, Montana/North Dakota, USA;
  • Crystal Lameman (Beaver Lake Cree Nation-Treaty 6), Climate & Energy Campaigner, Prairie Chapter, Sierra Club, Alberta, Canada;
  • Casey Horinek-Camp (Ponca), traditional Drumkeeper for the Ponca Pa-tha-ta, Woman’s Scalp Dance Society and spokesperson of the Indigenous Environmental Network, White Eagle, Oklahoma, USA;
  • Gloria Hilda Ushigua Santi (Sápara), indigenous leader from the remote village of Sápara people of Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest, Ecuador;
  • Josephine Mandamin (Anishinaabe), Wikwemikong Elder, founder of the Mother Earth Water Walk and member of the Three Fires Lodge of the Midewiwin Society, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

Indigenous peoples have consistently reaffirmed their responsibility to speak for the well-being of Mother Earth, nature and future generations of all Life. There is a direct relationship between the expansion of fossil-fuels and extreme energy development within the homelands of Indigenous peoples in the global South and in the North, and the link to climate change. These Indigenous women speakers, as defenders of the sacredness of Mother Earth, come from indigenous communities that have borne the brunt of destructive energy and disproportionate social, cultural, spiritual, environmental and climate impacts. Indigenous peoples have the solutions to the climate crisis through their Indigenous ingenuity – Indigenuity – inspired by their ancient inter-generational knowledge and wisdom.