News Release

International Activists Demanding Climate Justice

The Hill is reporting: “Secretary of State John Kerry will go to Lima, Peru” on Thursday for climate talks. Union leaders and climate justice activists are in Lima, Peru outside the COP20 (Conference of the Parties) at the People’s Summit on Climate Change. A major march is scheduled for today. (see: “People’s Summit in Lima Envisions Bottom-Up Movement for Global Climate.”)

FERNANDO LOSADA, flosada at nationalnursesunited.org, skype: fernandoricardolosada
Losada is director of environmental health and climate justice for National Nurses United. He is in Lima with a delegation of NNU members. He said today: “Just as the profit motive is driving the the fossil fuel industry to expand extraction and production in the face of devastating consequences to life and society, corporate healthcare in the U.S. profits from illness and puts healthy profits over healthy lives. Nurses who struggle everyday at the bedside to provide safe and humane patient care readily understand how corporate interests go against both human and environmental health. That’s why NNU believes both the healthcare and energy industries should be within the public domain, free from the profit motive and under democratic control.”

LUIS ISARRA DELGADO, isarradefensa at gmail.com, skype: Isarra.Delgado
Isarra is General Secretary of the Peruvian water workers union FENTAP, and director of press and communications of Peru’s main trade union federation the Confederación General de Trabajadores del Perú (CGTP). The CGTP, along with other unions and social movements in Peru, has organized the People’s Summit on Climate Change. He said today, “The People’s Summit is about developing solutions to climate change that are effective and not exploitative of people and the planet’s precious resources – including water. We are against privatization and extreme extractionism. We don’t accept a world that will be six degrees Celsius warmer – which is what we face if present trends in fossil fuel expansion are not impeded. Unions will come together with other social movements in Lima to develop organizing strategies on numerous levels. The people are uniting for a real alternative.” An article in the Peruvian newspaper Diario la Primera published yesterday quoted Isarra announcing that Peruvian workers will take to the streets today to protest the $90 million spent by the Peruvian government on the COP20. He stated, “The workers will peacefully protest to demand that the Ministry of the Environment explain to the country why so much money has been spent. … It is shameful that the government is squandering the Peruvian people’s money. No one is against the fight against global warming, but that is one issue, and the government spending $90 million is something completely different.”

MAITE LLANOS, maitellanos at ctanacional.org, Skype ID: maitesinha
Llanos is international officer for the trade union federation, Central de Trabajadores de Argentina. She states, “At both COP 20 and the People’s Summit, we will be urging unions and social movements to embrace democratic control of energy. This may sound like ‘mission impossible’ but there really is no way of addressing the climate crisis without managing energy generation, transmission, distribution and use in a democratic way, under municipal, community and worker control. Faith in private markets is misguided. Today fossil fuel use is expanding dramatically — this is a planetary emergency.”

LIDY NACPIL, lnacpil at gmail.com, skype: Lidynapcil
Nacpil is the Convener of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, and Regional Coordinator of Jubilee South Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development.

CNN is reporting: “Tropical Storm Hagupit batters Philippines, killing at least 25.”

Nacpil also serves on the board of 350.org and is the coordinator of the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice. Nacpil states: “A year ago I wrote these words, and today I say them with even greater urgency: ‘We are urging international Governments to increase climate pollution controls and ban new dirty energy projects – and to deliver clean energy through people-controlled, democratic systems. And sadly, because it is now necessary, calling for an international system to deal with the loss and damage caused by the climate change we can no longer avoid.’” On Monday, Nacpil was featured on “Democracy Now!” — which is broadcasting from Lima this week.

MAXIME COMBES, maxime.combes at gmail.com, @MaximCombes
Currently in Lima, Combes is with the French group Attac. The COP will take place next year in Paris. He has recently written the piece “Is the U.S.-China Announcement Historic? Not Really” and the group has put out “Climate or TTIP,” [PDF] which states: “The ongoing negotiations between the European Union and the United States (TTIP) and between the EU and Canada (CETA) promote an energy model which is not sustainable, is heavily depending on mining, fossil fuels processing and transportation infrastructure. It destroys any ambition to control climate change.”