Posted by on Oct 21, 2018 in Featured

Northwest Tribes Unite to Combat Climate Change

Northwest Tribes Unite to Combat Climate Change

Lacey, WA – On October 17th, 2018 a coalition of Northwest Tribes and environmentalist rallied outside of the Western States Petroleum Association, the oldest petroleum trade association in the country, to demand immediate action on climate change and in support of Initiative 1631.

I want to make it very clear to those right here, the Western States Petroleum Association, that entity that is sinking over $22 million to stop us [to oppose I-1631], we will not be stopped!” Fawn Sharp, President the Quinault Nation and the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians

Initiative 1631 proposes a “fee on pollution” that would put a $15 charge on each metric ton of carbon dioxide emitted in Washington starting in 2020. That charge would rise by $2 plus inflation every year until the state meets its climate goals, which include cutting its carbon footprint 36 percent below 2005 levels by 2035. The revenue raised would go toward investing in clean energy; protecting the air, water, and forests; and helping vulnerable communities prepare for wildfires and sea-level rise.

Additionally, 10% of the revenue raised would go to Tribes to fund climate change projects.

If passed, I-1631 would become the first law in the country that places a fee on carbon.

The diverse coalition behind the initiative includes Tribes, environmentalist, labor unions, and advocacy groups for low-income communities and communities of color.

So far, the No on 1631 campaign has amassed a whooping $22 million to oppose the initiative with 99% of it coming from out of state oil and gas interest.

We understand as a people that what we are about to accomplish has never been accomplished in this state, or in this country. Not one president, not governor, not one senator, not one representative has been able to accomplish climate policy, but we will accomplish the seemingly impossible together!” Fawn Sharp (Quinault)

NW tribes rally against climate change

Posted by Lastrealindians on Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Fawn Sharp speaking at rally. Video by Matt Remle

A 2016 report by the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission detailed the ways in which Tribes will be, and already are, impacted by climate change.

Findings include:

  • Loss of water supplies for drinking and other needs due to saltwater intrusion from sea level rise, or changes to precipitation, streamflow, and/or groundwater availability.
  • Declining populations of wildlife and birds due to habitat changes, loss of food sources, disease, and competition with invasive species.
  • Negative societal outcomes from poor air quality, heat stress, spread of diseases, loss of nutrition from traditional foods, and loss of opportunities to engage in traditional cultural activities.

The Quinault Nation, located on the Pacific Ocean, is in the process of relocating an entire village of over 700 people uphill due to rising ocean levels.

For the first time in history big oil will held accountable!” Fawn Sharp

For more information on I 1631 go here

by Wakíƞyaƞ Waánataƞ (Matt Remle)

Matt Remle (Lakota) is an editor and writer for Last Real Indians and LRInspire and the co-founder of Mazaska Talks. Follow @wakiyan7