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PSR-LA at COP 27

Every year a country hosts the Conference of Parties (COP) in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) framework. And this year, PSR-LA’s Climate Justice Organizer, Maro Kakoussian, was invited to attend COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt! 

COP27 was the first time in six years that a COP was held in an African country and saw diplomates from over 130 countries and nearly 30,000 observers. During the summit, the theme was ‘Implementation’ of the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement and pledges made last year at COP26 in Glasgow. In addition, a goal was to create a framework for a “loss and damage” fund to help countries affected by escalating climate catastrophes. While the damage fund is a historic first step, we need concrete, actionable steps to address the scale and scope of global climate injustices to fund climate reparations from Global North countries.

This year showcased the first-ever Climate Justice Pavilion in the Blue Zone, where climate justice and environmental justice leaders convened to host panels, speakers, and networking events. Maro was fortunate to meet Dr. Robert Bullard, the grandfather of environmental justice, and Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali, former Environmental Justice Chief at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In addition, she connected with members from the It Takes Roots delegation which includes the Climate Justice Alliance, Justice Transition Alliance, Global Grassroots Justice Alliance, Indigenous Environmental Network, Indigenous Climate Action, and The Black Hive at Movement for Black Lives. 

Unfortunately, in a massive greenwashing campaign effort, many of the false solutions that PSR-LA pushes back against on the local and statewide levels were promoted at COP27. Everything from carbon trading, carbon capture and storage, hydrogen, and nuclear power. Many corporations responsible for climate change had the largest voice promoting these false solutions, with the fossil fuel industry sending the largest delegation to date. 

Until fossil fuels are phased out, we will not reach our climate targets. Our work here in LA at the grassroots level shows that when communities come together, anything is possible. LA is a national and global precedent of what can be accomplished when communities unite and organize.

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