U.S. Leaders Make Duplicitous Commitments While Promoting False Corporate Schemes at COP27


November 15, 2022


Anne “AC” Asman (she/her), ac@jtalliance.org, +1-714-651-6170 [offsite USA]

Tyler Norman (he/him), tyler@jtalliance.org, +1-608-279-1029 [Egypt]

The Just Transition Alliance Condemns the Biden Administration for Advancing a Dirty Energy Agenda Under the Guise of Climate Finance for the Global South

SHARM EL-SHEIKH—Leading a delegation of frontline workers and communities to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP27, the Just Transition Alliance (JTA) has been pressuring members of the U.S. delegation to make bold commitments to support climate reparations for people most harmed by the climate crisis, and to abandon its historic support for pollution trading schemes and corporate techno-fixes. However, following speeches by President Biden and U.S. Special Envoy on Climate John Kerry, JTA delegates were disgusted by the glaring double-speak of their messages.

“While Kerry announced another pollution trading scam, it wasn’t hard to read between the lines of Biden’s clean energy rhetoric, and hear him name all the bogus techno-fixes that such a trading scheme would serve to peddle around the world,” says Edgar Franks, political director of farmworkers union Familias Unidas por la Justicia. “Between scams like carbon capture and storage, to greenwash like nature-based solutions, it clearly sounded like business as usual,” he adds.

In recent weeks, the Biden administration has boasted climate prowess, including inflated claims that its actions have galvanized “unprecedented momentum at the start of (COP27).” Contrary to such claims, the Just Transition Alliance has pointed out that recent domestic legislation, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), actually undermines any serious U.S. commitment to climate action, pouring billions of dollars in subsidies to fossil fuel corporations while placing frontline communities and workers at risk.

“The Inflation Reduction Act is providing fossil fuel corporations massive handouts for unproven and dangerous techno-fixes like carbon capture and storage, while opening the floodgates for a variety of other dirty energy industries as well,” says José Bravo, executive director of the Just Transition Alliance. He emphasizes that, “Black, Brown and Indigenous communities already disproportionately burdened by industrial pollution may be further poisoned by nuclear power plants, radioactive waste dumps, waste incinerators and biofuels, if the provisions of this Act move forward.”

Meanwhile, at COP27, JTA along with its sister alliances of the It Takes Roots coalition have demanded that world leaders stop promoting such dirty and dangerous schemes and start providing climate reparations by funding those communities and workers who have been first and most harmed by the climate crisis. Working the corridors of COP27, meeting with delegates, hosting side events and panels, and educating delegates on false climate solutions, members of JTA spent the first week of the conference spreading the message that frontline thought leadership is key to any effective strategies to transition away from a pollution-intensive economy.

“COP27 has confirmed our previous assessment that the world’s biggest bankers and their dirty energy cronies continue to steer the negotiations here at the UNFCCC,” Bravo says. “It’s become quite clear that if we were to simply leave it up to this U.N. Assembly, then the ‘highway to climate hell’ would be paved with more net zero scams,” he adds, referring to the U.N. Secretary General Guterres’ recent warnings.

About the Just Transition Alliance

The Just Transition Alliance was founded in 1997 as a coalition of environmental justice organizations and labor unions, working together to organize healthy workplaces and communities. JTA believes that real climate solutions will be determined by communities and workers on the frontlines of the crisis. Learn more at http://www.jtalliance.org/info.