GCCLP Statement on the IPCC April 2022 Report

Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy responds latest UN climate report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 4, 2022

CONTACT: Sriram Madhusoodanan, sriram@gcclp.org, 857-413-6428

U.S. Gulf South – Today the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a new report on the dire state of the climate crisis. Climate change is already here and causing disasters across the world, including increasingly intense hurricanes, floods, and fires in North America and the Gulf South. It is not too late for the world to limit global warming to 1.5° Celsius, the target limit set forth by the U.N. 


GCCLP’s International Strategy Director Sriram Madhusoodanan offered the following statement: 
 

“Today’s report is a reminder of the urgent need to heal humanity’s fractured relationship with the natural world. We are in the midst of a global environmental crisis that has been driven by the human desire to dominate people and extract as much profit as possible from the Earth.  The window to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis is closing, so we must choose now as the time to take the necessary climate mitigation actions. 


The primary cause of the climate crisis is the extraction and burning of fossil fuels, so the first step is to phase out extraction as soon as possible. This means no new drilling of oil and gas anywhere but especially on federal lands and waters. We call on President Biden to issue a 5-year plan for the outer continental shelf that includes no new lease sales for oil and gas drilling. We cannot invest in fossil fuel-based solutions such as refining natural gas for hydrogen fuels and carbon capture. We call on the federal government to cease subsidizing these climate scams, and instead rapidly adopt justly-sourced renewable energy and electrification.


While the climate crisis requires a rapid energy transition, we cannot replace one system of extraction and domination with another. All forms of energy–including wind and solar–come with a cost, and the people who have contributed the least to the climate crisis but have been harmed the most can no longer be sacrificed. This means we must look for ways to reduce our energy demand through better design of our built environment, increased efficiency in housing and transportation, and reducing our consumption of disposable goods. The costs and benefits of mining and other industrial activities must be shared equally across the globe, but only if surrounding communities give free, prior, and informed consent.  


The United States was founded on land stolen from Indigenous people and built up with enslaved labor, so this country owes a debt to oppressed people within its borders. Climate solutions that center reparations for Black and Indigenous communities can help repair this harm and build climate resilience on the ground as we build a new world together. These solutions have been core pillars of the formations like the Gulf South for a Green New Deal, Southern Communities for a Green New Deal, and the Red, Black & Green New Deal. 

 

It is not too late for us to act, but we must invest in community-controlled solutions to build a just, equitable, and people-centered economy."

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The Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy (GCCLP) is a non-profit, public interest law firm and justice center with a mission to advance structural shifts toward climate justice and ecological equity in communities of color on the frontline of climate change.