3 Rivers Climate Convergence to Oppose G20 and Coal Conference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 20 2009

CONTACT: David Meieran, Tel: +1-412-216-9821

3 RIVERS CLIMATE CONVERGENCE TO OPPOSE G20 AND COAL CONFERENCE

LOCAL, NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL GROUPS CONVERGE TO DEMONSTRATE CITIZEN SOLUTIONS TO CLIMATE, ECONOMIC CRISES OPPOSE CLOSED DOOR MEETINGS

A Climate Convergence to be held in Pittsburgh to coincide with the International Coal Conference (Sept. 21-23) and G-20 summit (Sept. 24/25) will be announced to the media today.

The 3 Rivers Climate Convergence [3RCC] is a partnership of local groups and individuals, concerned about climate change, environmental justice and true sustainability, collaborating with regional and national groups. Together, they are planning a variety of activities over a one-week period, involving public education and non-violent direct action targeting the International Coal Conference, local coal companies, the banks that finance them, and the G-20, which plays a pivotal role in enabling the industrial activities that negatively impact climate change. The focal point of the Convergence will be a Climate Camp, which the groups are planning to hold at Point State Park.

The goals of 3RCC include:
Amplifying the voices, issues and efforts of local, regional and global communities adversely affected by fossil fuel extraction, along with environmental racism, urban development and climate change.

Connecting the climate crisis to the economic crisis while challenging false corporate-based solutions that perpetuate environmental injustice, such as carbon (cap and trade) markets, clean coal, industrial biofuels, and nuclear power.

Projecting positive alternatives & initiatives to create localized, low-carbon sustainable communities and economies.

The actions planned during the week of mobilization include workshops, actions led by local communities impacted by the coal industry, film screenings and forums, a “Climate Ground Zero” rally targeting a major local financer of mountaintop removal operations, and the “March for Environmental and Climate Justice” – a feeder march into the main “People’s March” on Friday, September 25th.

Southwestern Pennsylvania offers many examples of industrial operations with a major impact on climate. Local issues include longwall mining, mountaintop removal, the industrialization of the Allegheny Forest and the development of riverbank areas such as Pittsburgh’s North Shore.

Coal-related issues hold particular significance in this region. Raina Rippel, Director of the Center for Coalfield Justice commented: “Longwall mining literally undermines people’s homes, quality of life, social and economic security, whether the effect is physical, financial, or emotional. Southwestern Pennsylvania is essentially being treated as an energy sacrifice zone. We provide “cheap” coal to a nation hungry for energy, while bearing a disproportionate amount of the environmental, health and economic costs to our citizens and communities. To protect those communities and end the destabilization of the Earth’s climate, we need an immediate end to the expansion of fossil
fuel use.”

#######

Backgrounder for Editors:

3 Rivers Climate Convergence:
Mission – Goals – Points of Unity – Reference websites – Collaborating groups

MISSION

3 RIVERS CLIMATE CONVERGENCE: United for Environmental Justice seeks to unite community voices to address the connections and solutions to the growing environmental and economic crisis. Through public education and action, we aim to use the opportunity of the Pittsburgh G-20 Summit and the International Coal Conference to tie local and global environmental justice and climate action issues together, and amplify efforts to create a just and sustainable world.

GOALS

Amplify the voices, issues and efforts of local, regional and global communities adversely affected by fossil fuel extraction (focusing mainly on coal and its impact on our region), along with environmental racism, urban development and climate change.

Connect the climate crisis to the economic crisis while challenging false corporate-based solutions that perpetuate environmental injustice, such as carbon (cap and trade) markets, clean coal, industrial biofuels, and nuclear power.

Project positive alternatives & initiatives to create localized, low-carbon sustainable communities and economies.

Promote the kick-off to the New Voices for Climate Change, the Oct. 16-18 Bioneers Conference, the Oct. 24 Int’l national day of climate action, the Mobilization for Climate Justice across the US and at the UN Climate Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, and the developing “Climate Pledge of Resistance.”

Expand local & regional environmental justice, climate action and sustainability efforts by cultivating collaborations and partnerships over the course of the convergence.

POINTS OF UNITY

We recognize that clean water, air, and healthy ecosystems sustain our survival, and are basic rights for all living things.

We affirm that people exist within ecosystems, and sustainable practices must support healthy ecosystems.

We believe that people and communities, not markets, are the basis for just and sustainable solutions.

We affirm the right of all people to have an equal voice in decisions that affect collective resources, including the Earth’s climate.  We afford special priority to the voices of those who have been systematically excluded from decision making.

We recognize that climate change, resource extraction, toxic harms, industrial pollution, and unsustainable development all threaten major damage to communities and ecosystems; and all have their root cause in the current exploitative, undemocratic system of global capitalism.

We work to build recognition of the connections between these issues, and solidarity among movements for sustainable solutions.

We reject false solutions which do not solve or only partially solve these problems, or which perpetuate environmental injustice, such as: carbon (cap and trade) markets, clean coal, industrial biofuels, and nuclear power.

We affirm that access to livelihood is a basic right, and we seek just transitions from harmful to sustainable industries, that include workers’ voices and account for livelihood for both workers and those who depend upon affected natural resources (including the Earth’s climate).

We affirm the need to re-imagine/restore public policy, economic practices, and community activities to clean up and rebuild our cities and rural areas in balance with nature, honoring the cultural integrity of all our communities, and providing fair access for all to the full range of resources.

We are committed to working as a non-hierarchical group, respectful of all people and rejecting oppression of all kinds.

We support the 2002 Bali principles http://www.wrm.org.uy/actors/WSSD/Bali.html and the 1991 Principles of Environmental Justice http://www.ejrc.cau.edu/princej.html

Reference websites:
3RCC: http://3riversconvergence.org
Center for Coalfield Justice: http://www.coalfieldjustice.org
Mobilization For Climate Justice: http://www.actforclimatejustice.org

print