As Sustaining All Life and United to End Racism prepared for our presence at the United Nations Climate Action Summit, we learned about some criticisms and attacks starting within the climate movement. Our leadership team came together to think and discharge about it and decided that a clear statement was needed—both to guide our own thinking and actions and to share with others who are struggling with these issues. Here is what
Many individuals and groups are calling on world governments to take immediate action to address the climate emergency. Together we’re preparing for a major action to draw attention to the United Nations Climate Action Summit on September 23. Many efforts have been made to bring everyone to the table. We have done well together and accomplished so much.
As the climate emergency escalates, our movement is growing rapidly—and the speed of growth is outpacing our capacity to fully address the longstanding oppressions in society that show up within and between constituent groups. It is easy for misunderstandings to arise and mistakes to be made as we
Systems of oppression use a divide-and-conquer strategy. They try to turn us against each other in order to maintain power and weaken movements for change. We cannot allow this to continue to happen. We need to stand together.
- Let us commit ourselves to doing the following:
- Remembering our large common goal to end the climate emergency—a goal that requires us to work together
- Standing together as we face our mistakes and misunderstandings and work to resolve our differences
- Not allowing the differences to divide us and weaken our efforts
- Working to resolve the differences both now and in the future
Addressing the ways we have been set against each other can take much listening, discussion, and time on everyone’s part. Let us commit to doing this work. It is possible to oppose all oppression and seek everyone’s liberation and at the same time build unity and connections.
Let us commit to staying united as we resolve any differences. Let us continue to work after the Climate Action Summit on any differences that cannot be resolved quickly. Let us commit to solidifying our connections, strengthening our movement, and ensuring that mistakes are not repeated. We have much to learn from one another.
After the march and summit, how can we best come together to do this work, while moving forward together?