Indigenous People & Allies Tell Congress to Declare a Climate Emergency

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Published June 21, 2019

BERKELEY, Calif. — A group of Indigenous activists is telling Congress it is time to declare an emegergency on the climate.

Here is a press release sent by Pennie Opal Plant of Idle No More SF Bay:

We are in a climate and ecological emergency. We urgently need a massive effort to reverse global warming and protect humanity and the natural world from collapse. It’s time for Congress to join the United Kingdom and nearly 600 cities around the world in telling the truth about the climate.  Today is the release of the petition to demand that Congress declare a climate emergency.

In order to avert the worsening climate impacts the United States must mobilize people, resources and companies on a scale larger than that of World War II to reverse global warming and prevent catastrophe. This must be a wide-scale, inclusive and equitable transformation and rebuilding of our society to one based on renewable energy, employment and economic opportunity.

Idle No More SF Bay, a group of Native Americans and allies working on climate justice in the Bay Area, has joined with a coalition of groups including Movement Rights, The Climate Mobilization, Extinction Rebellion, Earth Uprising, Mothers Out Front and the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma to petition Congress to Declare a Climate and Ecological Emergency.

“We must recognize that, while climate chaos affects the living environment of all people, certain communities have suffered much more damage than others. These are the communities affected by fossil fuel extraction, transport, refining as well as other extractive industries”, said Alison Ehara-Brown, Cofounder of Idle No More SF Bay, “These communities are mostly indigenous tribal communities, urban people of color communities and rural communities. The job of detoxifying land and air and water must prioritize reparations for the cleaning up of these hardest hit communities so they are safe for the generations to come.”

The Climate Emergency Petition to Congress includes:

  • Democratically transition to a zero greenhouse gas emissions and zero fossil fuel economy in ten years or less.


  • This must be a just transition for workers and frontline communities.


  • Hold a national People’s Assembly on the climate emergency


  • Protect the entire web of life by working to end the sixth mass extinction. Protection of biodiversity is critical to our survival.


  • Prioritize funding to repair the damage caused by fossil fuel and other extractive industries, so that Indigenous tribal communities, communities of color, and rural communities hit hardest by environmental injustice can have clean land, air and water.


  • Declare a Climate Emergency and protect all Americans, all humanity, and all living things, so that we can be safe for generations to come!

The petition can be seen at

“We encourage everyone concerned about the future of life on Earth and future generations to sign the petition and ask their members of Congress to join us for a survivable future”, said Pennie Opal Plant, Cofounder of Idle No More SF Bay and Movement Rights, “We have already lost so much, thousands of species, lives, homes, and more to climate chaos.  The time to act is now.  Join us.”

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