Bay Area Groups Target UN Climate Negotiations, Promote Local Solutions
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 7, 2010
CONTACT: Konrad Fisher: 530.921.9660
Thousands of community activists around the world take action to promote Community Solution to the Climate Crisis
Today, 3:30pm - 5:30pm: Corner of 17th Street & Folsom - Mission District, San Francisco, CA
San Francisco- More than a dozen local community organizations will join forces today to help convert a Mission District parking lot into a community garden and park with affordable housing units. The event is part of a coordinated international day of action - with more than 100 events globally - organized to promote local climate solutions and combat corporate influence at the UN climate negotiations currently underway in Cancun, Mexico.
"This action demonstrates a tangible solution to the climate crisis by promoting local food production, challenging our dependence on automobiles and strengthening bonds within the community," explained Teresa Almaguer of People Organizing to Demand Environmental & Economic Rights (PODER).
In addition to planting vegetables, participants will enjoy live music, theatrical performances and speakers all focusing on solutions to the climate crisis. A common theme at the event will be the need for local food production in the fight against climate change.
"Industrial agriculture is one of the top three sources of greenhouse gas emissions," said Michelle Mascarenhas-Swan of Movement Generation. "Agribusiness corporations profit from everything from fertilizer and pesticide sales to control of what goes onto supermarket shelves. The people are left paying the true costs in polluted water, depleted soil, diet-related diseases, and climate disruption. Meanwhile, U.S. agribusiness harms small farmers, farm workers and consumers - in the U.S. and around the world."
The Mission District parking lot at 17th and Folsom streets has been the target of an ongoing campaign by community organizations to legally reclaim publicly-owned land to meet community needs. Similar efforts have been successful in other parts of San Francisco and the Bay Area largely for the creation of community gardens.
Today, La Via Campesina, the international peasants movement, has called for international actions promoting community solutions to the climate crisis, and thousands of small farmers, indigenous peoples and community activists are marching in Cancun where the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is holding its 16th Conference of the the Parties (COP 16).
"At the UN Climate negotiations, the US government - highly influenced by corporate polluters - has pushed for an accord that would lock us in to catastrophic impacts from disrupting the earth's climate systems," explained Xochitl Bernadette Moreno of People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER) "The Obama Administration needs to drop the Copenhagen Accord and uphold the Cochabamba Agreement which the world's people's movements have put forth as a real solution to solving the climate crisis."
"The climate crisis requires community-based solutions and an end to corporate influence within the UN climate negotiations," explained Teresa Almaguer of People Organizing to Demand Environmental & Economic Rights (PODER).
Event cosponsors included: Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Center for Political Education, Communities for a Better Environment, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Mobilization for Climate Justice West, Movement Generation Justice and Ecology Project, Mujeres Unidas y Activas, People Organizing to Demand Environmental & Economic Rights (PODER), People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER), Richmond Progressive Alliance, Urban Tilth, West County Toxics Coalition.