Messaging and Meme Guide

GRASSROOTS SOLUTIONS FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE - NORTH AMERICA

MESSAGING GUIDE for COP 16

IV. CORE MESSAGES

Local Solutions
To restabilize our climate, we must address the roots of the crisis. More of the
same failed market approaches will only make the crisis worse.  Frontline communities, the communities first and most impacted by the climate crisis are addressing the root causes of climate change and leading the way toward a just transition away from fossil fuels.  Community-led projects are already keeping more pollution out of the atmosphere than failed market approaches like REDD and other carbon trading distractions. For example…

1000s of Cancuns

Global momentum is building for climate justice and the real talk on solving climate change is happening in our own backyards. The UN climate negotiations are more like a climate stock exchange than a real venue for solving the climate crisis.  While fossil fuel industry CEOs and big bankers gamble our futures away for their profit, thousands of people will be mobilizing in Cancun and around the world on December 7.  These people are the frontline communities first and most deeply impacted by the climate crisis, and we are taking action to lift up the thousands of real solutions that are already reducing the climate crisis in our neighborhoods and across the world.  

REDD and Offsets
REDD is a trojan horse – it may look like a gift, but in reality its a dangerous trick. It may look pretty, but in reality REDD is a landgrab that will force people into the carbon economy and the cash economy, while leaving forests, and our future, unprotected. Power plants and trees are interchangeable.  

Carbon offset programs create a global carbon casino that gambles away the future of our families and our planet.   UN process has been co-opted by corporations who are running this carbon casino for their profit.  These corporations win, and all of us and the planet lose.

US Accountability
Our message to the Obama administrations is simple: choose to serve need not greed.  The Copenhagen Discord says let’s trust Wall St to fix it for us. The Cochabamba Accord says let's trust main street to offer us a future based on respect for Mother Earth – the ultimate source of all prosperity.  The Copenhagen Discord serves greed so corporate CEO's can preserve their wealth.  The Cochabamba Accord serves the needs of families, communities, and the planet so that we can all live well.  

Climate Debt

We are not all equally responsible for the climate crisis.  Rich countries, especially the US, have caused the majority of climate destruction through excessive pollution and natural resource extraction.  These countries have the responsibility and the power to undo this damage by paying their climate debt to small island nations and to all of the Global South.  

V. Specific language

In keeping on message, it helps to keep in mind specific words/memes that we want to use over and over, and others we want to avoid.

MEMES/PHRASES TO USE
Climate Debt
Copenhagen Discord or "so-called Copenhagen Accord"
Cochabamba Accord
REDD is a Trojan Horse
Failed market approaches
Fossil fuel addiction
Corporate polluters, Dirty Industries
Carbon profiteers
Climate criminals
Frontline communities
Just transition
Grassroots organizing cools the planet
Community solutions cool the planet
1000s of Cancuns for climate justice
Rights, human rights, Rights of Mother Earth

MEMES/PHRASES TO AVOID
Financing, adaptation, mitigation
Copenhagen Accord
Market Solutions