Protesters urge US president to declare climate emergencyUS marks federal holiday of Indigenous Peoples’ DaySign up to receive First Thing – our daily briefing by email
Protests are underway in Washington, DC, as we mentioned earlier, led by American indigenous activists demanding greater climate justice and action on the climate emergency facing homelands and the planet.
Marchers advanced on the White House. Joe Biden is currently in Delaware but the US president will be back in the capital later today and can expect ongoing protests by Native American leaders all week.
This week of action is being led by Indigenous leaders, who say they’ve been ignored for too long. They argue that they have been effective stewards and protectors of the land — preserving biodiversity and leading the front-line fights against pipelines and drilling around their reservations — but they are still forced to experience the devastating effects of the Earth’s warming up close.
Environmental justice activists are frustrated by what they say is a lack of action from the Biden administration to deliver on climate-related campaign promises. They bring up the recent landmark report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as proof of the urgency of implementing sweeping measures to slow the pace of emissions. The planet is on track to warm more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, which could trigger irreversible damage and more deadly climate crises like fires, heat waves and floods.
Tasina Sapa Win’s grandmother used to tell her stories of the land the family lived on for generations.
Her grandmother shared how the plains on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota were a vibrant green, full of trees and berries. But she also saw the river slowly dry up, and she blamed the federal government for authorizing dams.