Frontline Communities & Workers Demand Real Climate Solutions, ‘No Net Zero’ and an End to Fossil-Fuels at COP26

Black and Indigenous people holding sunflower and corn wearing masks. One person is holding sign "Keep it in the ground! No 'Net Zero'". Across the top is "It Takes Roots Frontline Delegation COP26 Glasgow, Scotland"

It Takes Roots is a multiracial, multicultural, intergenerational alliance of alliances representing over 200 organizations and affiliates in over 50 states, provinces, territories and Native lands on Turtle Island (known as North America). It is led by women, gender non-conforming people, people of color, Black and Indigenous Peoples.

This November, the group sent a U.S. frontline delegation of over 60 people from communities most impacted by the climate crisis to the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26), the United Nations global climate change conference. They brought the voices and leadership of frontline communities and workers to the global stage, demanding world leaders commit to real solutions that advance climate justice, environmental justice, and a Just Transition off of fossil fuels in international climate negotiations.

The delegation demands that the U.S. immediately stop fossil-fuel expansion, declare a climate emergency, and invest in community-driven climate solutions. It rejects the framework of “Net Zero,” a loophole promoted by fossil fuel corporations that leverages carbon trading and offsetting to allow continued fossil fuel extraction, production, and combustion.

“I am attending the COP26 to represent New Mexico and to tell our world leaders that we are not a sacrifice zone. Our land and water must be protected as well as the rights of future nuevomexicanx generations. We need to hold the U.S. military accountable in this climate conversation no matter how much power they hold in our state, ” says Alejandría M. Lyons, Environmental Justice Organizer, SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP), in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Kali Akuno, Executive Director, Cooperation Jackson, states, “I am going to COP26 to help build a regenerative future based on the real solutions being innovated and advanced by indigenous and oppressed peoples all over the world. And to fight against the corporate capture of this essential process aimed at trying to preserve the capitalist system.”

Frontline communities including Indigenous Peoples, Black, Latinx, Asian Pacific Islanders, poor white communities, and those in “sacrifice zones” bear the disproportionate burden of continued pollution. This delegation demands real solutions to the climate crisis including investment in a feminist Just Transition, a Red, Black, and Green New Deal to uphold Black lives, respect for Indigenous sovereignty, demilitarization and an end to resource wars, and grassroots solutions as outlined in the People’s Orientation to a Regenerative Economy.

As frontline communities suffer the intensifying widespread impacts of climate chaos, frontline leaders demand an end to government collusion with fossil fuels and false solutions that allow continued pollution.

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