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November 21, 2022

Indigenous Peoples Challenge Lack of Ambition and Rights at COP27 Close

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES CHALLENGE LACK OF AMBITION AND RIGHTS AT COP27 CLOSE

Speaking on behalf of Indigenous Peoples’ Organisations, Indigenous youth leader, Skw’akw’as Sunshine Dunstan-Moore, challenged state parties on their unambitious and apathetic approach to climate action as the two-week COP27 conference drew to a close this morning in Sharm El-Sheikh.

Skw’akw’as Sunshine Dunstan-Moore speaking at the COP27 Closing Plenary.
 

While the conclusion of the conference saw a landmark deal on a Loss and Damage Fund make it across the line at the eleventh hour, parties failed to agree on strong language to phase out fossil fuels, uphold the rights of Indigenous Peoples, or make other meaningful strides towards the 1.5C target that is essential for climate justice.

“The urgency and hope we heard from World Leaders and Parties in Week One has quickly been overshadowed by false solutions which do not reduce emissions at source,” she said.

Such false solutions included “a reliance on carbon markets, “Net Zero” frameworks, and “Nature-based solutions”- that delay real reductions, replicate new forms of climate colonialism, and fall short of 1.5.”

Indigenous Peoples claimed that the COP “compromised on the uncompromisable” by removing many references to the rights of Indigenous Peoples, human rights, and the rights of Persons with Disability.

In conclusion, Dunstan-Moore had clear words for the parties at the end of the landmark conference, saying “Our rights are not negotiable!”

The Indigenous Peoples Organisations' closing statement is made on behalf of the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change, which convenes the Indigenous Peoples Caucus within the UNFCCC. 

A full text of the statement is available below, and images are available via the press contact below.

Contact: Kera Sherwood-O’Regan press@iipfcc.org +64210410932

 

FULL INTERVENTION TEXT

“yee.A tek shenwAnwen / Good morning I am Skw’akw’as Dunstan-Moore, an Nlakapamux and Yakama youth from Tlkemstin also known as Lytton, British Columbia in Canada.

Indigenous Peoples arrived in record numbers to Sharm El-Sheikh this year, bringing with us our culture, knowledge, and the urgent calls of our communities. We were clear with our expectations: the rights of Indigenous Peoples must be mainstreamed across all agenda items, and we must see those who have caused the climate crisis be accountable for fixing it. 

We welcome the adoption of the Loss and Damage fund and thank the parties for concluding this critical item. This is a major success for many communities on the frontline of climate change, and we hope to see this operationalised to directly reach Indigenous Peoples now.

However, COP must take more decisive action to preserve our lifeways, our peoples, and our planet. For us, this is a matter of life and death.

We cannot endure another year of climate disasters, loss of our sacred sites, cultures, identities, and people. 

Yet instead of delivering on the bold promises, COP27 has otherwise come to an end with the feeling of apathy and disappointment. 

The urgency and hopes we heard from World Leaders and Parties in Week One has quickly been overshadowed by false solutions which do not reduce emissions at source -including a reliance on carbon markets, “Net Zero” frameworks, and “Nature-based solutions”- that delay real reductions, replicate new forms of climate colonialism, and fall short of 1.5. 

Weak or absent language on human rights, the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the rights of Persons with Disabilities in many agenda items, means that this COP has compromised on the uncompromisable.

This is evident especially in Article 6 with a rushed conclusion removing many safeguards and references to rights, thus failing to uphold Parties’ existing commitments under other agreements such as UNDRIP, and leaving our communities at risk of carbon colonialism that further encroaches on our territories and ecosystems. 

Mr President, Indigenous Peoples are the guardians of our mother earth, we have the solutions - we MUST be in the decisions. 

We are going back to our land to implement REAL climate actions, and hope that parties will join us at COP28 ready to commit to real progress. 

Our rights are not negotiable!”