Let's Save the Earth, Let's Change the System - Climate Justice Alliance

Let’s Save the Earth, Let’s Change the System

It Takes Roots Delegations to Spain and Chile

COP25 and the Cumbre de los Pueblos

The 25th annual UN Conference of Parties (COP25) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, took place from Dec. 2-13, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. We were on the ground to participate in inside and outside actions and events, together with international social movement groups. Our work at COP25 included pushing back against Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which supports Carbon Pricing and offsets, exposing the thread of Geoengineering, building for a Just Transition, and coordination with others around Frontline Green New Deal work.

COP25 was initially scheduled to take place in Santiago, Chile. However, a massive popular feminist and student uprising against neoliberalism, which started in Santiago, led the Chilean government to move COP25 to Spain. We stood with the courageous Chilean social movements, who continue the resistance in the face of police repression and violence. We were in Chile in the streets, and we took part in the Cumbre de los Pueblos and the Carpa de Mujeres, to build an alternative to the extractive systems of production and consumption, which have caused climate change.

It Takes Roots Video

The prevailing economic system is extractive. Digging, refining, burning, dumping. Extraction has been a bringer of death. Uprooting our magic, our labor, our power, and our futures. To truly transform the climate crisis, we must be clear: solutions must be by us, if they are to be for us. We call for a Just Transition from the horrors of extraction, to visionary regeneration.

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Indigenous Peoples lead 500,000 person Climate March in Madrid, Spain.

Colonialism caused this Climate Crisis and Indigenous Rights are the climate solution. “My ancestors were the original climate activists, beginning at first contact. We’ve sacrificed everything for our lands. We’ve fought, we’ve died. We as Indigenous youth are calling on Global leaders to do better.” Video by Indigenous Climate Action

Goals of the It Takes Roots Delegations

After the Chilean government decided to move COP25 from Santiago, Chile to Madrid, Spain in order to avoid more international attention for the massive protests, we decided that we will send delegations to both Chile and Spain.

Madrid, Spain

Heads of state and international leaders meet in Spain from December 2-13, 2019, for COP25, the UN climate-change talks. Social collectives and organizations have called for a Social Summit for Climate. Our goals in Madrid:

1. Strategic alignment with Social Movement Allies.

In the context of the UNFCCC and global climate movement, we are coordinating most closely with Friends of the Earth International, Corporate Accountability, La Via Campesina, Demand Climate Justice and European climate activist forces.

2. Frontline Intervention against Carbon Markets.

We will disrupt the entrenchment of a global carbon market regime through Article 6 of the Paris Agreement and the Techno Fix dangerous false solutions of geoengineering.

3. Advance Social Movement Articulation of Just Transition.

Just Transition is a strategy for addressing the climate crisis at the root–capitalism and the extractive economy. We will distribute Just Transition Principles, release Just Transition Primer and engage in discussion and events around Just Transition frames with organized labor and other movement forces.

Just Transition Principles

4. Build Practice around the Frontline Green New Deal.

Bring attention to our Frontline Green New Deal strategies and our frames.  Engage with the North American popular front broader forces who will be present at the COP to keep frontline voices and frameworks at the center, including the Feminist Green New Deal Press Event

Santiago, Chile

Chilean popular movements announced that even tough COP25 moved to Spain, the peoples mobilization would continue. We joined the Cumbre de los Pueblos. Our goals in Santiago:

1. Stand with the Chilean Uprising against Neoliberalism and State Terror.

We are standing with the courageous Chilean social movements in the struggle against neoliberalism and against the repressive Piñera government. The steadfast rebellion for social justice in Chile has been attacked with militarized state terror. We condemn the human rights violations and we will join the protests in the streets of Santiago, Chile together with the World March of Women. The leadership of women in the uprising has been inspiring.

2. Deep engagement with International Allies and Support for Popular Movements in the Americas.

Strategic engagement with social movement allies in the context of a the popular uprisings in Chile and Ecuador, and the contestation for power between popular movements and a global right-wing realignment of power from Bolivia to Venezuela, Brazil, Honduras, and across the Americas. We will build with the World March of Women, ANAMURI and La Via Campesina, Amigos de la Tierra, the Movement of People Affected by Dams, the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas, and Indigenous Peoples Movements from across the Americas

3. Political Education & Member Leadership Development.

We will sharpen our articulation of Feminist Economy & challenge Neoliberalism & Neofascism through participation in the Cumbre de los Pueblos, the womens, campesino, and workers assemblies, as well as the escuelita feminista.

4. Advance Social Movement Articulation of Just Transition.

Just Transition is a vision-led, unifying and place-based set of principles, processes, and practices that build economic and political power to shift from an extractive economy to a regenerative economy. This means approaching production and consumption cycles holistically and waste-free. The transition itself must be just and equitable; redressing past harms and creating new relationships of power for the future through reparations. If the process of transition is not just, the outcome will never be. Just Transition describes both where we are going and how we get there.

Just Transition Principles

Takeaways from Santiago and Madrid

Click here to read the experiences of delegation members on the ground, in their own words. We report back on the peoples’ movements in Chile (the Cumbre de los Pueblos and the Carpa de Mujeres) and the events in Madrid (COP25 and la Cumbre Social por el Clima).

Read the article on Medium.

¡Alerta! Livestream Webinar from Spain and Chile

The two delegations put together a joint webinar on December 5, connecting the mobilization against neoliberalism in Chile and the participation of indigenous and frontline youth at COP25 in Madrid, Spain.

Watch the recording to learn how we are pushing back against Carbon Market schemes at COP25, and why addressing only carbon emissions without challenging the growth-at-all-costs economy doesn’t resolve the real crisis.

Speakers also talked about the importance of the popular uprising in Chile, and about frontline community solutions that are being discussed at the Cumbre de los Pueblos in Santiago, Chile.

Webinar presenters: Mafalda Galdames, of the World March of Women, Chile and the peasant organization ANAMURI, Christian Rodriguez, of Ironbound Community Corporation, Eriel Deranger of Indigenous Climate Action, and Nyiesha Mallett of UPROSE. Moderator: Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network.

It Takes Roots Interview with NegroCentricxs

Marissa Reyes-Díaz of Organización Boricuá de Agricultura Ecologica interviewed Paola Palacios, a member of NegroCentricxs, during the Cumbre de los Pueblos 2019 in Santiago, Chile.

NegroCentricxs is a group of Black and / or Afro-descendant women who are cultivating resistance. Paola tells us how she raised the issue of race at the Cumbre and during the Women’s Tent. Paola also talks about the structural violence that Afro-Latinx women experience, about migration, and extends an invitation to exchange knowledge between the African-American feminist fights and the Afro-Latinx feminist fights. Listen and learn about the struggle of Black women in Chile and how we can walk together during this climate crisis.

Indigenous Climate Letter delivered at COP25

Indigenous peoples from all parts of the world gathered for the Indigenous MINGA Summit, which took place parallel to COP25 in Madrid, Spain. An Indigenous Climate Letter was delivered to selected leaders of the nearly 200 nations that participated in COP25:


Photo: Gloria Ushigua, a leader of the Sapara Indigenous nation in Ecuador’s Amazon and the President of the Association of Sapara Women (Ashiñawaka), speaks on a panel outside of COP25. Photo by Indigenous Environmental Network.

Just Transition

Just Transition is a vision-led, unifying and place-based set of principles, processes, and practices that build economic and political power to shift from an extractive economy to a regenerative economy.

Photo by Cynthia Mellon: Just Transition panel at the People’s Summit in Madrid, during COP25 in Spain, with La Vía Campesina, Indigenous Environmental Network, Cooperation Jackson, Native Movement, National Farmers Union.

Click here to learn more about Just Transition.

Resist Article 6 of the Paris Agreement
Carbon Pricing and Offsets are False Solutions

We held a series of events calling out the flaws of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, that supports Carbon Pricing and offsets as a solution to climate change.

The Indigenous Environmental Network and Climate Justice Alliance launched the Carbon Pricing Toolkit Vol. 2 just ahead of COP25. The educational guide and toolkit explains why we reject carbon pricing and offsets.

Carbon Pricing: Popular Education Toolkit for Community Resistance, Volume 2 is for every group and community organizing for climate justice, resisting the false solutions of carbon pricing. This project began side-by-side with the publication, Carbon Pricing: A Critical Perspective for Community Resistance, Volume 1, which was published in 2017 by IEN and CJA. The toolkit includes short readings, workshop activities, workshop plans, and responses from Indigenous leaders directly impacted by carbon pricing projects.

More information, visit:


Stop Climate Geoengineering

Climate Justice Alliance was part of the organizing of the official COP25 side event  “The Right to Climate Justice – Collective Convergence for Just Solutions and Against Geoengineering,” together with La Via Campesina, Hands Off Mother Earth (HOME) Campaign, Indigenous Environmental Network, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, HOMEF Foundation, ETC Group and Friends of the Earth International.

Climate crisis requires a real transformative shift away from fossil fuels in the production and consumption of everything. Grassroots movements and civil society organizations are making this shift through rights-based proposals that stand in stark contrast to geoengineering and other false solutions.

Media Hits

It Takes Roots at COP24

Check out videos, photos, the People’s Demands, and more info from the actions and events of the 2018 It Takes Roots delegation at COP24 in Katowice, Poland:


It Takes Roots is a multiracial effort led by women and gender oppressed people of color and Indigenous peoples on the frontlines of racial, housing and climate justice across the country. The collaboration began during the organizing for the Peoples Climate March in 2014 and has since continued to build a Visionary Opposition.

Today It Takes Roots has alliance members in 200 organizations and in more than 50 states, provinces and Indigenous territories, nationwide and in Canada. Each alliance is led by grassroots organizations, and each brings unique contributions to our collective work.

Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) brings strategies for a Just Transition and reinvestment to a regenerative economy

Grassroots Global Justice (GGJ) brings connections with global movements and grassroots feminism and gender justice

Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) brings a strong framework of environmental justice, indigenous sovereignty and treaty rights

Right to the City (RTC) brings deep experience in housing & land rights and in coordinating translocal actions

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