top of page
Search

COP28: The Fight for a Full Fossil Fuel Phaseout, Just Transition, and Climate Justice — Report Back & Analysis


Welcome to the WECAN COP28 report back. We have divided the report back into two main sections, the top section contains analysis of COP28 outcomes, and the bottom section shares WECAN advocacy efforts, events, actions, and media coverage from COP28.


Please find our live streams and daily advocacy work available on Instagram here and Facebook here. A full photo album from COP28 is also available here.


OVERVIEW: GLOBAL STOCKTAKE & THE FIGHT FOR A FOSSIL FUEL PHASEOUT


Because we are not humans protecting Nature,

We ARE Nature, protecting herself.”

Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation), Ponca Environmental Ambassador, WECAN Board Member & COP28 Delegate


After intense negotiations, on December 13— a full day later than the planned closing— the gavel came down on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP) 28 in Dubai with the COP Presidency finalizing the text for the Global Stocktake, described as the “UAE Consensus.”


The Global Stocktake (GST) is a process mandated by the Paris Climate Agreement for countries and stakeholders to evaluate where they are collectively making progress (or not) toward meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement. The GST was a primary deliverable of COP28 and is intended to inform countries’ next climate action plans, due by 2025. 


In the build-up to COP28 and throughout the negotiations in Dubai, civil society, climate vulnerable countries and others, were powerfully successful in demanding that a fossil fuel phaseout be central to the GST discourse. While there were historic conversations and agreements between Parties on transitioning away from fossil fuels, in the end, governments fell far short on delivering a phaseout of fossil fuels that aligns with science and the 1.5°C guardrail outlined in the Paris Agreement. Following the closing of COP28, prominent scientists spoke out making it clear that the final GST text does not do nearly enough to keep global warming below 1.5°C. 


For the past 28 years, most Parties have diligently worked to avoid discussion of fossil fuels, and they were not on the formal agenda for COP28 either—a further testament to the achievement of global movements to successfully add fossil fuels to the negotiating table this year. We now can firmly state that the end of the fossil fuel era is here, with Parties agreeing to “transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems.” However, this is no way sets the world, as yet, on course to a just and healthy future.


The influence of the fossil fuel industry was overwhelmingly palpable in Dubai. Leaked documents show that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) warned member nations of the pressure building for a fossil fuel phaseout and urged oil states to “proactively” reject any language in the text that focused on fossil fuels rather than emissions.  


An analysis by the Kick Big Polluters Out Coalition found that over 2,400 fossil fuel lobbyists attended COP28, nearly four times as many as COP27, which set an historic record. Challenges to agree on a fossil fuel phaseout were already heightened by the often-criticized issue that Sultan Al Jaber, the COP28 President, is the CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. Civil society has been spotlighting this clear conflict of interest since the Presidency appointment.


While the COP28 Presidency claimed to deliver on keeping 1.5°C alive, the final decision text is littered with loopholes and watered down language that seeks to deliver on the ceaseless expansion of fossil fuels and false solutions. Specifically the text calls on Parties to contribute to several global efforts including, “accelerating zero- and low-emission technologies, including, inter alia, renewables, nuclear, abatement and removal technologies such as carbon capture and utilization and storage, particularly in hard-to-abate sectors, and low-carbon hydrogen production."


This flawed language, filled with backdoors, allows governments to accelerate investments in unproven, harmful and ineffective technologies. False solutions allow business as usual for polluting industries, and do nothing to cut emissions directly at the source. 


Additionally, in the GST final text, and across many other negotiated agenda items, specific mechanisms for financing a transition off of fossil fuels are unclear and unambitious. Without explicit commitments of financing for the Global South and those most in need, the decisions made will not be equitable and will take years to enact, if at all, considering financing is a cornerstone of implementation. This could take years we do not have.


We know our communities, our ecosystems, and our planet cannot wait, and in this context, there was powerful, collective advocacy by civil society for a fast, fair, funded, and feminist fossil fuel phaseout that did not relent!


The push for a phaseout forced a critical discussion every day across all negotiations. While there is a vibrant ecosystem of work to be done to build the future we know is possible, we know that it is crucial that civil society continue to advocate and speak out at the UNFCCC or outcomes would be far worse for our communities and planet.


Grassroots leaders during an action to demand big polluters phase out fossil fuels, held during COP28 in Dubai. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


To demonstrate alignment with the 1.5°C target and the systemic changes that are at the core of the climate justice movement, during COP28 WECAN presented a diverse array of visions, projects, reports, frameworks, and strategies to build a healthy and equitable world. Along with global allies and partners, we advocated for: climate justice; a full fossil fuel phaseout; Just Transition; gender-responsive policies; government commitments to loss and damage and climate finance; Indigenous rights and sovereignty; forest protection and restoration; defending land defenders; Rights of Nature; the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty; feminist and degrowth economics; holding corporations and financial institutions accountable; denouncing carbon offsets and false solutions; and uplifting community-led solutions for systemic change. In this effort we do see a real path forward!


“Our communities, our ecosystems, and our planet deserve better. As waters rise and fires burn, ultimately we know that our movements for climate justice will be the guiding star toward keeping 1.5°C alive, and offering a path forward for a Just Transition grounded in Indigenous rights, human rights, gender justice, ecological protection, and climate justice for current and future generations."

Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director


WECAN released several reports for governments and financial institutions to respond to the climate emergency by addressing false solutions and advocating for investment in a Just Transition within a climate justice framework.


As part of our work to address root causes, and building upon years of engagement in the UNFCCC, WECAN coordinated and supported an Indigenous and Frontline Women’s Delegation to COP28 with women leaders from South and North America. We know it is vital to ensure the participation and engagement of women leaders in all of their diversity throughout the negotiations and decision-making processes.  


Women continue to be underrepresented within the UN Climate Talks. At COP28, of the 133 Heads of State present, only 15 were women. This is unacceptable. Due to gender inequality, women around the world are being impacted disproportionately, while also rising to address the worst effects of the climate crisis and leading innovative and effective solutions. Successful women-led solutions are clearly needed at this moment, such as in agroecology, food sovereignty projects, forest and biodiversity protection, resistance to extractive projects and many more. As we do each year, we joined the powerful advocacy efforts of the Women and Gender Constituency, which included centering the demands and advocacy of the MENA Feminist Taskforce. Please read the MENA Women’s & Girls’ Demands for COP28 here.


In this moment of interlocking crises, the voices of grassroots, frontline, Indigenous, Black, and Brown women, feminists and global women advocates, could not be more important!


Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation), Ponca Environmental Ambassador and WECAN COP28 Delegate leads the opening prayer for the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice during COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


Throughout COP28, the advocacy efforts of the civil society constituencies were powerful in drawing together calls for a ceasefire, climate justice, Indigenous rights, and gender justice.  


We have made collective progress in the negotiations over the years, however at COP28 (as has happened at other COPs) members of the Women and Gender Constituency and Indigenous Peoples Caucus repeatedly have found it very challenging to have their policy recommendations included in the final negotiated text.


Indigenous rights are a solution to the climate crisis, and thus, supporting the rights and sovereignty of Indigenous Peoples, including Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), is vital for ending the era of fossil fuels and ensuring a transformational Just Transition.


As highlighted earlier, women’s leadership is also a vital solution, and many studies have shown the essential need of women's leadership in responding to the climate crisis— from strengthening disaster planning in communities to decreasing a country’s carbon emissions to forest protection and reforestation, and much more. 


During COP28 climate justice movements did not turn away from the horrific violence in Gaza and Israel— calls for an immediate and permanent ceasefire echoed daily throughout the Blue Zone of COP28. There is no climate justice without human rights. There must be safety for all communities and all the children, and hostages returned. The current power structures desperately need dismantling and transformation— we need a world centered on justice, peace, human rights, reciprocity, decolonization, degrowth, and well-being.


Feminists hold signs connecting militarism with the climate crisis during an action held at COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


Ultimately, while this was a historic COP in bringing fossil fuels to the spotlight, the outcome was fully inadequate in delivering the ambition needed to address the urgency of the climate crisis. We will continue to work tirelessly with allies around the world to hold big polluters accountable, and support communities on the frontlines of fossil fuel expansion and the climate crisis who are harmed first and worst by government inaction. Our hearts grieve knowing what loss will come as countries continue to invest in fossil fuels, false solutions, and militarism, instead of investing in frontline communities and climate justice solutions. Our work is far from over. 


The 2023 Production Gap Report revealed that governments, in aggregate, still plan to produce more than double the amount of fossil fuels in 2030 than what would be consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5°C. In response to the final GST text, Saudi Arabia reportedly stated that the agreements, “do not affect our exports, do not affect our ability to sell.” Additionally, the United States continues to be the world’s largest producer of oil and gas with no plan of stopping. While pledges and promises were made, business as usual for fossil fuels continues. The disconnect between pledges and actions is beyond alarming.


Millions of lives are at risk as governments continue to delay real climate solutions and a full fossil fuel phaseout. Governments and financial institutions have no more excuses and must end their delusions with false solutions and wholly inadequate incremental fossil fuel transition plans.


Yet, in the midst of hard outcomes from COP28, there is still reason for hope, and for our solutions, strategies and analysis to ripple out evermore. Scientists tell us that there is still time to limit warming to 1.5°C and protect our communities and planet, but we need radical and transformative action now! This is where we the people come in, and everyone has a role to play. Our global movements are strong, we are not giving up, we have solutions, and we are fighting!


Please read further to learn about outcomes from the negotiations, our WECAN delegates, events, interventions, press conferences, actions, protests, and advocacy at COP28!


EXPOSING FALSE SOLUTIONS AND NET ZERO


An advocate holds a sign reading “Stop Land Grabs, Carbon Market Kills” during the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice at COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


In the past years, as calls for a fossil fuel phaseout have grown stronger, so too have efforts to fast track false solutions, promulgated by the fossil fuel industry, fossil fuel producing countries, corporations and financial institutions.


On the first day of COP28, November 30, WECAN released a new policy analysis, “The Need for Real Zero Not Net Zero: Shifting from False Solutions to Real Solutions and a Just Transition,” which examines the connections between Net Zero and false solutions, while also unpacking Real Zero and genuine climate justice solutions.


Net Zero as a goal is central to the Paris Climate Agreement, however current implementations of Net Zero rely heavily on false solutions and mechanisms that are not in alignment with climate justice or on track to prevent even a 2°C increase in global temperatures.


Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director releases the WECAN Policy Analysis, “The Need for Real Zero Not Net Zero,” during a press conference at COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


False solutions are defined as technological or market-based schemes that are unproven, ineffective, fail to address emissions at the source, promote the use of fossil fuels, cannot be scaled to meet the timeline of the crisis, or do not address root causes. Examples include carbon capture and storage (CCS), hydrogen power, geoengineering, bioenergy, nature-based solutions, carbon offsets, and others, which continue business as usual, ongoing fossil fuel expansion, and delay immediate action. Furthermore, false solutions often contribute to human and Indigenous rights violations, land theft, health implications, and food insecurity.


Ultimately, these alleged "solutions" enable polluters to keep polluting, while Indigenous, Black, Brown and Global South communities suffer the most severe consequences.


At COP28, we spoke with negotiators who expressed to us their lack of awareness of the ineffectiveness or harmful impacts of Net Zero approaches and how they were interested in learning more about this critical analysis. Of course, there are many government, industry, and financial institution leaders who are well aware of the delay tactics of Net Zero and false solutions, but we also see the need for significant, ongoing education and awareness-building for decision-makers regarding these issues.


During COP28 in Dubai, Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director presented the WECAN Policy Analysis, “The Need for Real Zero Not Net Zero” to US Senator Ed Markey who was interested in supporting Real Zero solutions and approaches. Photo Credit: WECAN International


We are in a dangerous moment right now, as Net Zero and false solutions, like CCS and carbon offsets, are being promoted now more than ever, and are being firmly built into government mandates and processes. It is urgent that we expose the problems with Net Zero and false solutions, to ensure they do not distract from real solutions. In the UAE Consensus, many of the actions outlined are explicitly reliant on Net Zero approaches and unproven or ineffective techno-fixes.


Our world is on the precipice of irreparable climate chaos, and we need government leaders to listen to civil society and global climate movements to invest in Real Zero approaches that include a just and rapid phaseout of fossil fuels, a fair and democratic renewable energy transition, a shift to agroecology and small-scale farmers, Indigenous and community-led forest protection, an end to all fossil fuel subsidies, policies that halt fossil fuel expansion, and prioritization of women's leadership. Please see our report for a full analysis of Real Zero.


We will continue fighting against false solutions, and sharing our Real Zero policy analysis broadly, alongside many other reports and analyses from Indigenous and frontline groups.  


ARTICLE 6 STILL ON A DANGEROUS COURSE

An advocate holds a sign that reads “ Carbon Markets = False solution!” during the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice at COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


Article 6 of the Paris Agreement is concerned with how countries mitigate and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by operationalizing market and non-market based mechanisms, specifically global carbon market schemes. 


Parties have been focused on further negotiating the global carbon pricing and offset mechanisms in Article 6.2 and Article 6.4. At COP28— governments continued to be at a standstill. 


Article 6.2 and 6.4 both concentrate on creating various platforms to price, trade, track, and monitor carbon offset trading and projects. After intense negotiations, with strong opposition and interventions from Indigenous, frontline leaders, and global advocates, countries failed to reach any agreements on these agenda items and will resume negotiations next year at COP29. For more in-depth analysis and background on Article 6, please see this article by our colleagues from Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN). 


WECAN does not support market-based schemes and programs— the financialization and commodification of Nature is not a solution and perpetuates the current systems that are at the core of our polycrisis. Because of this, we welcome the delay in a decision as a success. In this case, no decision is better than a bad decision. Article 6.2 and 6.4, if finalized, will expand carbon trading to a level unseen before, and will threaten global climate justice and government action to address the climate crisis. 


Carbon markets lead to dangerous distractions that do not address root causes nor support efforts to stay below the 1.5°C guardrail. Voluntary carbon markets continue to expand despite no final decisions on Article 6.2 and 6.4. Multiple studies and independent research have shown how carbon offset projects are not only ineffective but also consistently violate Indigenous and human rights. One 2023 study found that the majority of leading global carbon offset projects are “likely junk.”


Also many “solutions” touted under carbon market mechanisms do not include grievance mechanisms or mandates to adhere to Indigenous rights or human rights. A global map by Carbon Brief of carbon offset projects from the past five years shows 72% cause harm to Indigenous or local communities.


We need to enact policies and programs that align with a Just Transition, Indigenous sovereignty, feminist principles, and implement successful frameworks already created by civil society, that invest in just, renewable and regenerative energy and economies, while disrupting and challenging predator capitalism. It is imperative that governments and financial institutions adopt Just Transition policies and frameworks moving forward.


FIRST OUTCOMES FROM THE JUST TRANSITION WORK PROGRAM

Global climate justice leaders hold a sign demanding an equitable Just Transition during the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice at COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


Throughout COP28, WECAN closely followed the negotiations for the Just Transition Work Program. Last year at COP27, it was agreed that Parties would set up a temporary Just Transition Work Program (JTWP) to explore potential work program activity. At COP28 the JTWP released its first text, which outlines its work through 2026. 


The WECAN team engaged in the negotiations focusing on the Just Transition Work Program alongside the Women and Gender Constituency (WGC) to ensure significant civil society engagement in this first iteration of the negotiations. Since this was the first time the work program met at a COP, following its creation at COP27, it was imperative to ensure strong interventions to advocate for a good foundation reflecting a definition of Just Transition in alignment with climate justice frameworks. 


Throughout the first week, civil society advocated for international cooperation, Indigenous rights, gender equity, a broad understanding of Just Transition, financing mechanisms, and other components to be included in the text. Unfortunately, after several closed door negotiations in the second week, much of the language on gender equity, care work, children’s rights, labor rights, and Indigenous rights was watered down from the draft text. While the JTWP does recognize labor rights and affirm social protections, much more is needed to center and strengthen rights-based language within the JTWP.


Additionally, while we had hoped for the scope of the definition to be more inclusive of a Just Transition with a systems transformation perspective, the final text does not go far enough in defining a Just Transition beyond an explicit labor transition. 

The WECAN Team with the Women and Gender Constituency at a meeting on the Just Transition Work Program negotiations at COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: WECAN International


From a feminist perspective, a Just Transition requires the recognition, understanding and transformation of the dominant social constructs that lie at the root of gender inequality and climate change. These include the systems of capitalism, patriarchy, commodification of nature, colonialism and militarism, which reveal themselves in large-scale environmental destruction, resource extraction and the exploitation of unpaid labor. In September 2023, WECAN released the report, “Prioritizing Care Work Can Unlock a Just Transition for All,” which demonstrates how investment in high-quality care jobs can help mitigate the worst impacts of the climate crisis, increase funding for public infrastructure, and support economies within a Just Transition framework. 


Along with a fossil fuel phaseout, we know countries must commit to an equitable Just Transition that centers care and health for people and planet. We do not accept countries’ efforts to water down the transformative power of a Just Transition. It was decided that the JTWP will continue to work on its objectives through 2026, meaning there will be future negotiations to push forth the feminist vision of a Just Transition we know is needed for true transformation. 


LOSS AND DAMAGE FUND OPERATIONALIZED BUT NEEDS SIGNIFICANT FINANCIAL COMMITMENTS

A civil-society led action urging governments to fully finance the Loss and Damage Fund. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


On the first day of COP28, governments reached an agreement on operationalizing the Loss and Damage fund. At COP27 in Egypt last year, we celebrated the decision for countries to adopt a Loss and Damage financing mechanism, which resulted from decades-long advocacy by climate-vulnerable countries and the climate justice global movement. Throughout 2023, as mandated at COP27, governments assembled a Transitional Committee that met to establish new funding arrangements and make recommendations at COP28 on how to operationalize the Loss and Damage Fund.


At its core, Loss and Damage is a term that refers to both financial and nonfinancial losses and damages as a result of the climate crisis, which require a financial investment for repair. Loss and Damage describes how climate change causes irreversible impacts in vulnerable communities despite adaptation and mitigation efforts. L&D is about making funds accessible for vulnerable and impacted nations to address the effects of climate-related catastrophes. Frontline countries and communities have not yet been compensated for the consequences of a crisis that they did not create. This is an unjust cycle, as vulnerable countries are forced to put funds towards disaster response, resulting in less funds going toward resilience, mitigation, or adaptation efforts. 


At COP28, governments agreed on a plan to operationalize the Loss and Damage fund, with several countries offering financial pledges totaling $792 million USD. While this fund has been hailed as a significant step forward, the millions pledged are enormously inadequate for the scale of what is needed. Estimates suggest that loss and damage in developing countries is already greater than $400 billion a year and is expected to grow.


Climate experts and advocacy groups have also expressed concern that contributions from high-polluting countries will be voluntary, unsustainable, unfulfilled, and inadequate compared to their historic responsibility as significant contributors to the climate crisis. It is critical to note that wealthy countries, most responsible for the climate crisis, have continued to fall short of their commitments to climate finance. In 2009, wealthy countries committed to mobilizing $100 billion USD per year by 2020 to support developing countries on climate action. The OECD reports that this goal may have finally been reached in 2023. However, data will not be confirmed until 2025, and civil society groups have examined how the OECD often overestimates actual climate financing. 


Additionally, governments agreed to administer the Loss and Damage Fund through the World Bank, which causes great concern due to their track record with developing countries. The World Bank has consistently driven countries into debt with their practices and also regularly incentivizes harmful expansion projects that favor wealthy countries and allow for continued expansion of fossil fuels, deforestation, and land degradation that harms Indigenous and frontline communities. WECAN will continue to monitor and leverage intervention points throughout the coming year as governments establish and build out the Loss and Damage Fund.


FOREST PROTECTIONS IN THE GST

Global climate justice leaders carry a sign that says, “Stop the Attacks against People and the Planet,” during the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice at COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


As part of the Global Stocktake decision text, we saw specific language on protecting forests and addressing deforestation. Specifically governments agree to enhance “efforts towards halting and reversing deforestation and forest degradation by 2030… while ensuring social and environmental safeguards, in line with the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework,” which was agreed to in December 2022 during the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. 


While this marks an important moment where governments have agreed to the value of forests and biodiverse ecosystems in addressing the climate crisis, this text does not go far enough in outlining financial mechanisms to support forest protection, and keeps the door open for harmful and ineffective carbon credit schemes, which we discuss in the previous section on Article 6. 


Global forests remain vital to efforts to combat the climate crisis. Living forests create and maintain the cycles of air, water and soil that sustain the Earth and our communities. Forests are also home to more than 80% of the world’s plant, animal, bacteria and fungi diversity, and more than 1.6 billion people rely directly on forests for food, fresh water, clothing, traditional medicine, and shelter.


It is vitally important as part of forest protection efforts, to support and protect land defenders, who are at great risk for protecting forest ecosystems and territories. Global Witness reports that in 2022, at least 177 land and environmental defenders were killed protecting their territories. Of those killed, 36% were Indigenous Peoples who steward over 80% of the remaining biodiversity left on Earth, and have proven successful in reducing deforestation in their territories more so than non-Indigenous stewarded forests. As such, their rights and sovereignty must be respected and safeguarded when discussing efforts for forest protection. 


As mentioned in the previous section on false solutions, studies have shown how previous forest conservation programs, like REDD+, and false solutions like carbon offset schemes, lead to land grabs in Indigenous territories and increased violence towards Indigenous communities and environmental defenders, who are already doing the work to protect their territories. 


While it is significant that countries have finally agreed to act on deforestation and forest protection, ultimately, without safeguards in place, or effective, equitable, or safe financing mechanisms, the decisions in the final text could have dire consequences for global forests, the millions of people who rely on them for their livelihoods, and for the many defenders worldwide we are risking their lives to protect forests and other biodiverse ecosystems. 


FOSSIL FUEL NON PROLIFERATION TREATY GAINS FURTHER MOMENTUM AT COP28

Members of the Fossil Fuel Non Proliferation Treaty team gather together at a strategy meeting held during COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Courtesy of the Fossil Fuel Treaty



The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty is a proposed international mechanism that would complement the Paris Agreement by managing a fast and fair global transition away from coal, oil and gas. The Treaty has three clear pillars: end expansion of fossil fuel production; phase down existing production in line with 1.5ºC; and enable a global just transition for every worker, community and country.


The push for a Treaty to manage a global Just Transition draws significant lessons from other treaties to manage global threats, such as nuclear weapons, landmines and ozone depleting substances. The Fossil Fuel Treaty has been gaining momentum in recent years, as more and more countries endorse the need for a specific mechanism to end the era of fossil fuels.


In the first week of COP28, at a high-level event, President Gustavo Petro announced Colombia would formally join the bloc of nation-states seeking to negotiate a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. Colombia is the first Latin American country and the largest producer of coal and gas to endorse the Treaty. In his announcement, President Petro stated:


“We are confronted with a struggle between fossil capital and human life, including the life of our planet. And we must choose a side. And any person, anywhere in the world, would understand that the only stance to take is in favor of life. Therefore, as the President of the Republic of Colombia, even though our nation still relies on oil and coal and we are striving to transition away from them, I have no doubt about the stance we must adopt. Between fossil capital and life: we unequivocally choose life.”


Following Colombia’s inspiring endorsement the Island Nations of Samoa and Nauru also announced that they would endorse the Fossil Fuel Treaty, meaning there are 12 nations from 4 continents that are now endorsing the Treaty. The Treaty proposal has also been endorsed by the World Health Organization, the European Parliament, 101 Nobel Laureates, 600+ parliamentarians in 83 countries, 2,100 civil society organizations, 3,000 scientists and academics and over 90 cities and subnational governments, including most recently the State of California, the fifth largest economy in the world, and 9 Peruvian Indigenous Nations. 


We celebrate the tremendous efforts of the Chair of the Treaty, Tzeporah Berman and the entire Treaty team for this growing momentum!


Left: President Gustavo Petro at the COP28 event where he announced Colombia would formally endorse the Fossil Fuel Treaty. Photo Credit: WECAN International

Right: Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director with women parliamentarians who support the Fossil Fuel Treaty, at COP28 in Dubai. Photo Credit: WECAN International


In addition to the exciting COP28 announcements, Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director, was able to connect with women parliamentarians who endorse the Treaty at a press conference, “Parliamentarians for a Fossil-Free Future Address Need for Ambitious Action at COP28 and Unveil Initial Global Inquiry Outcomes”. 


WECAN also participated in a strategy session held by the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty network to continue the overall effort in the coming year.


As the struggle to end the era of fossil fuels within the UNFCCC process continues, the Fossil Fuel Treaty serves as a complement to the Paris Climate Agreement, offering an explicit mechanism for ending fossil fuel expansion. As this COP has shown, international advocates had significant success in advancing the Fossil Fuel Treaty. WECAN serves on the Steering Committee for the Treaty, and it was part of our advocacy efforts at COP28 to promote the Treaty, and we will continue to engage in this campaign throughout the coming years. 


CHAMPIONING RIGHTS OF NATURE

Indigenous leaders and members of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature at COP28 in Dubai. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


As part of our ongoing advocacy efforts, WECAN brought calls for Rights of Nature to COP28 this year with our partners at Global Alliance for Rights of Nature (GARN), Movement Rights, Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), and many others. WECAN is honored to serve on the Executive Committee of GARN.


Rights of Nature is a framework and legal system based on the recognition and honoring of the Earth’s fundamental and inviolable right to exist, live, thrive, evolve and regenerate. The majority of the world’s legal frameworks treat nature as property, meaning that life-giving rivers, forests and mountains are seen as objects to be sold and consumed. Legal systems built on the premise of Rights of Nature challenge the idea that natural communities and ecosystems are property to be exploited endlessly by humans, and instead recognize the Earth as a living, rights-bearing entity.


Kicking off COP28, WECAN participated in a co-hosted event "Rights of Nature as a Global Movement Advancing Systemic Change for Real Climate Solutions," which brought together esteemed leaders of the Rights of Nature movement to discuss the power of Rights of Nature, and how it can accelerate action to protect biodiversity, communities, and our global climate. Watch a recording of the panel here


During the event Danielle Kehler (Kawacatoose First Nation) announced the collective launch of the Antarctic Rights Initiative, to recognize the region's fundamental legal rights. Osprey Orielle Lake, representing WECAN, is a co-founder of the Antarctic Rights Working Group, and WECAN looks forward to continuing our advocacy for Rights of Nature globally. Learn more about the launch of the Antarctic Rights Initiative here.


Danielle Kehler (Kawacatoose First Nation) and Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director after the collective launch of the Antarctic Rights Initiative at COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


WECAN also hosted a press conference at COP28 on the importance of Rights of Nature as a systemic solution to the climate crisis. Speakers discussed the recent successes from the Rights of Nature movement globally, how this legal framework can be implemented to stop fossil fuel extraction and other harmful projects, and how Rights of Nature can be enacted at the local, regional, and national levels. You can watch a recording here.


During the press conference we released a new report by WECAN, Movement Rights and the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, “The Rights of Nature: Redefining Global Climate Solutions & Environmental Protection for Systemic Change, Second Edition.” Read the report here


Nnimmo Bassey, Director of Health of Mother Earth Foundation, during the WECAN press conference, “Rights of Nature: A Systemic Solution to the Climate Crisis,” held during COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


In the 2019 “Harmony with nature: report of the Secretary-General,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres stated, “Over the last decade, Earth jurisprudence can be seen as the fastest growing legal movement of the twenty-first century.” This includes the Rights of Nature movement as a key contributor.  


At COP28 we continued our efforts to call for the UN to adopt a Universal Declaration for the Rights of Mother Earth, of Nature, to run in parallel with the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.


Recognizing the Rights of Nature places obligations on humans to live within, rather than as owners of, the natural world, and to protect and replenish the ecosystems upon which our mutual well-being depends. In essence, it is necessary to transform our human relationship with nature from a property-based system to one of reciprocity that includes recognizing ecosystems as rights-bearing entities.


PUSHING FOR AMBITION ON GENDER


Global advocates lead a panel during the Global Conference on Gender and Environment Data, "Counting on a Sustainable Future,” which was held November 28-29 ahead of COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: WECAN International


Ahead of COP28, WECAN was on the ground in Dubai to participate in the Global Conference on Gender and Environment Data, "Counting on a Sustainable Future."


The conference was convened by the Offices of the President of the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP 28) and the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions, UNFCCC, UN Women, IUCN, and WEDO to address data gaps that remain in the understanding of the gender and environment nexus. Global leaders spoke to several interlocking issues related to gender and environment, including working with Indigenous communities, data sovereignty, translating data into climate action, financing gender-disaggregated data, and calling for global action for further support research led by and for women and impacted communities. The conference outcomes were utilized throughout COP28 to urge government leaders to finance and use data at the intersection of gender and the environment.


During the conference, Jacqui Patterson, Founder and Executive Director of the Chisholm Legacy Project, stated: "Statistics are the stories with the tears wiped off." Data can be a double-edged sword if the people impacted by climate and environmental injustices are not the ones who are framing and telling the story of the data. However, we know that governments, businesses, and philanthropic institutions often require data from communities to deploy financing and capacity building. As a member of the newly created Gender + Environment Data Alliance (GEDA) coalition, WECAN is working to uplift this intersection and support efforts for feminist research models that support communities in collecting their data and telling the stories of their solutions, resilience, and process ethically. 


In addition to government and civil society collaboration for the GEDA Conference, governments also made plans for the next iteration of the Gender Action Plan (GAP). 


Agreed to at COP25, the GAP highlights objectives and activities under five priority areas aiming to add to the knowledge and understanding of gender-responsive climate action. The GAP also works to implement gender-responsive climate action coherently in the UNFCCC and the work of Parties, the secretariat, United Nations entities, and stakeholders at all levels. As a part of this effort, the GAP aims to ensure women's full, equal, and meaningful participation in the UNFCCC process.


At COP28 in Dubai, the specific Gender Action Plan (GAP) discussion did not progress much, but Parties confirmed that it would be renegotiated at COP29. As part of COP28's Gender Equality Day, the COP28 Presidency launched the Gender-Responsive Just Transitions & Climate Action Partnership, which 68 Parties endorsed. The Partnership included a package of commitments on finance, data, and equal opportunities but not on the GAP.  


Understandably, civil society and gender justice groups worldwide are unhappy with this lack of progress on the GAP. Governments are not reaching their goals on gender-responsive climate policies or supporting gender justice throughout the negotiations, and we need to continue to hold them accountable for action and investment in women's leadership from the grassroots to the negotiation rooms of COP. 


INDIGENOUS WOMEN FROM BRAZIL LEADING THE WAY TO COP30

“We are here to say that there is no way to stop the crisis of climate change without considering our territories as the first and foremost solution."

Célia Xakriabá, First Indigenous Woman to be elected to the Member of the Chamber of Deputies from Minas Gerais, Brazil, and WECAN COP28 Delegate


Indigenous women leaders from Brazil celebrate together during COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


Part of WECAN’s advocacy at COP this year involved supporting the agendas and calls to action of Indigenous women leaders from Brazil. We were honored to have three Indigenous women from Brazil participate as WECAN COP28 delegates who represent communities from the Amazon and connected biomes. 


Indigenous women from Brazil held a powerful presence at COP28 this year, preparing to lead the way to COP30. Brazil will be the host of COP30, described as the ‘Tropical Forest COP,’ which is slated to be held in Belem, a city just outside the Amazon Rainforest. 


As part of our efforts, we hosted two events to specifically center the voices of Indigenous women from Brazil and the Amazon to share strategies, stories, and solutions.


On December 2, WECAN hosted a UN Press Conference, "Indigenous Women from the Amazon: Calls for Urgent Action," featuring Indigenous women leaders from the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil, and other Amazonian countries. The leaders brought forth calls to action and advocacy efforts to uplift Indigenous rights and protect forests, water, communities, and the global climate.


On December 8, WECAN and our close allied organization, Amazon Watch co-hosted, “Calls for Climate Action From Indigenous Women Leaders From Brazil,” at the Women and Gender Constituency (WGC) Pavilion. During this event, Indigenous women leaders from Brazil, shared their expertise, stories, and calls for climate action from COP28 to COP30. Particularly, the event highlighted the leadership of women from the National Articulation of Indigenous Women Ancestrality Warriors (ANMIGA) in Brazil.


Left: WECAN and Indigenous women leaders at the WECAN and Amazon Watch event “Calls for Climate Action From Indigenous Women Leaders from Brazil,” at COP28 in Dubai. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International. Right: Paula Vargas, Brazil Program Director, Amazon Watch opens the WECAN and Amazon Watch event “Calls for Climate Action From Indigenous Women Leaders from Brazil,” at COP28 in Dubai. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International.


WECAN was honored to have Braulina Baniwa, the Executive Director of ANMIGA participate as one of the WECAN COP28 delegation. Throughout COP28, Braulina and ANMIGA powerfully advocated to bring their calls for action from their territories and communities, and to amplify the power of women’s leadership from the grassroots to the halls of government. ANMIGA is working to ensure women’s participation and leadership at all levels of decision-making. We are inspired by and stand in solidarity with these amazing women warriors, and WECAN is honored to support their efforts as we look toward COP30 and beyond.


Also during COP28, we celebrated the work of Congresswoman Celia Xakriabá, who launched “Bancada pelo Planeta” or The Planet Caucus, a global campaign to unite parliamentarians in defense of the climate, biodiversity, and the rights of Indigenous peoples and traditional communities. Throughout COP28 Celia shared her broad call to members of parliaments from the Global North and South to join the campaign.


Congresswoman Celia Xakriabá during the official launch of the “Bancada pelo Planeta” or The Planet Caucus at COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


Taily Terena, an Indigenous Youth climate activist from the Pantanal region of Brazil also joined us as a WECAN COP28 Delegate. At COP28, she helped launch the new International Indigenous Youth Forum on Climate Change (IIYFCC),a structured space for Indigenous youth under the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC).


Overall, we are very excited about the leadership of Indigenous women in Brazil, and their efforts to protect their territories, advance climate justice, and uplift women’s leadership. We want to highlight that on December 3, Sonia Guajajara, Minister of Indigenous Peoples in Brazil, became the first Indigenous leader to become the lead of the Brazilian Delegation. 


While we are deeply concerned over President Lula’s announcement that Brazil is joining OPEC+, we hold hope in the powerful organizing of Indigenous women in Brazil, from the grassroots to the offices of government. 


ADVOCATING WITH OFFICIALS AND DEEPENING RELATIONSHIPS WITH COLLEAGUES FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE

Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation), Ponca Environmental Ambassador and WECAN COP28 Delegate, and Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director meet with Mary Robinson, Former President of Ireland and member of The Elders at COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


Throughout the two weeks WECAN engaged with government and UN officials from around the world to advocate for climate justice, Indigenous rights, an end to fossil fuels, community-led solutions, Rights of Nature, and feminist climate policies and frameworks. This is a critical aspect of participating in the UN Climate Talks, where there is an opportunity to engage with government leaders directly.



Left: Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland and member of The Elders meets with the Women and Gender Constituency during COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: WECAN International

Right: Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director, presented the WECAN Report, “Prioritizing Care Work Can Unlock a Just Transition for All,” with Canadian Party Delegates while at COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: WECAN International


WECAN was invited to participate in a high-level dialogue on the Global Stocktake and Nature with HE Razan Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion. Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation), Environmental Ambassador for the Ponca Nation and COP28 Delegate, and Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director, made interventions during the meeting uplifting the need for 1) Indigenous rights to be implemented and included in conversations regarding climate solutions and biodiversity protection, and 2) the need for clarity and challenges to false solutions to encourage real action and a Just Transition.


WECAN presented to HE Razan Al Mubarak two important WECAN reports: "The Need for Real Zero Not Net Zero: Shifting from False Solutions to Real Solutions and a Just Transition,” and the report, "Prioritizing Care Work Can Unlock a Just Transition for All," which demonstrates how investment in high-quality care jobs can help mitigate the worst impacts of the climate crisis, increase funding for public infrastructure, and support economies within a Just Transition framework.


The meeting builds on previous engagements with the offices of the High-Level Champions and COP Presidency, and WECAN will continue our engagement to advocate for climate justice frameworks.


Left: The WECAN team joins a high-level dialogue on Nature with HE Razan Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion. Photo Credit: WECAN International

Right: Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation), COP28 Delegate and Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director, share WECAN reports with HE Razan Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation), WECAN COP28 Delegate, also spoke at several events hosted by UN offices, where she gave powerful testimony to Party representatives, on the connections between climate change and violence against women, and how fossil fuel extraction and climate chaos has impacted her community in Ponca, Oklahoma. Her interventions called for implementation of the Rights of Nature, respecting Indigenous rights and sovereignty, and ensuring a full phaseout of fossil fuels.


Left: Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation), Ponca Environmental Ambassador, WECAN COP28 Delegate speaks out during the event, “Climate change and violence against women: Zero degrees of separation,” hosted by the Spotlight Initiative during COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International; Right: Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation), Ponca Environmental Ambassador, WECAN COP28 Delegate presents during “The Global Climate Action (GCA) High-Level Closing Event,” hosted by several departments of the UN and COP28 Presidency. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


These advocacy efforts are a critical part of WECAN’s work at COP28. We know that we must disrupt and intervene in the rooms where civil society is often left out or considered as an afterthought. We are leveraging relationships and connections to further collective efforts for a fossil fuel phaseout and for just climate solutions. 


COPs are also an important space where we can connect with global partners and colleagues to share analysis and strategies for climate justice throughout the year. We organize collectively for actions and events, and take time together to discuss the negotiations. This is also a special time to deepen relationships and bonds, despite working in different parts of the world. We hold sincere gratitude for the many amazing organizers and leaders we are honored to work with for climate justice!


Left: Ayisha Siddiqa, Youth Climate Activist, and Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director connect at COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: WECAN International

Right: Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation) with good friend Gloria Ushigua from the Sápara Nation in Ecuador, with her daughters and other members of her community at COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: WECAN International


SPEAKING OUT FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE: WECAN EVENTS, PRESS CONFERENCES AND COLLECTIVE ACTIONS

WECAN hosted, and co-hosted over 11 events while at COP28, and engaged in actions almost every day of the negotiations. Please see information and resources for all WECAN events, press conferences, and collective actions, in chronological order.


 

Event - Rights of Nature as a Global Movement Advancing Systemic Change for Real Climate Solutions

Speakers at the “Rights of Nature as a Global Movement Advancing Systemic Change for Real Climate Solutions,” held on December 1 at COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


Kicking off our WECAN events at COP28, WECAN co-hosted this event on December 1 with the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature (GARN), and other Rights of Nature partner organizations, which brought together esteemed leaders of the Rights of Nature movement to discuss the power of Rights of Nature, and how it can accelerate action to protect biodiversity, communities, and our global climate.


During the event Danielle Kehler (Kawacatoose First Nation) announced the collective launch of the Antarctic Rights Initiative, to recognize the region's fundamental legal rights. Osprey Orielle Lake, representing WECAN, is a co-founder of the Antarctic Rights Working Group, and WECAN looks forward to continuing our advocacy for Rights of Nature globally. Learn more about the launch of the Antarctic Rights Initiative here.


 

Event - Tackling the Maternal and Reproductive Health Harms of Fossil Fuels and Petrochemicals

Panelists at the “Tackling the maternal and reproductive health harms of fossil fuels and petrochemical” event held on December 1 at COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


During this WECAN co-hosted event on December 1, speakers presented on the impacts of fossil fuels on maternal and reproductive health. Worldwide, the increased risk of maternal and reproductive health harm from exposure to fossil fuel and petrochemical operations has been well-documented, though, like most health harms experienced by women, receives inadequate attention from policy makers, health care providers, researchers, and advocates.


This event was co-hosted at the WHO Pavilion by Center for Biological Diversity; RISE St. James, Human Rights Watch, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN), Amazon Watch, Association of Brazil’s Indigenous Peoples (APIB), Women’s Earth and Development Organization (WEDO).


in North America and Complicit Financial Institutions, Second Edition," on the disproportionate gender and race-specific health and safety impacts as well as human and Indigenous rights issues of fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure.


Speakers included: Great-Grandmother Mary Lyons (Band of Ojibwe), Ojibwe Elder, Women of Wellbriety, International, United Nations Observer on Women/Indigenous Issues; Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director, Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN); Juliana Kerexu Mariano, Association of Brazil’s Indigenous Peoples, Executive Coordinator representing the Guarani Yvyrupa Commission (CGY); Paula Vargas, Brazil Program Director, Amazon Watch; Tara Daniels, WEDO, SRHR and Climate Justice Coalition; Kelley Dennings, Center for Biological Diversity; with moderation and comments by Karuna Jaggar, Center for Biological Diversity.


 

Event - Indigenous Women's Time: Weaving strategies to stand together against the climate crisis

Katherine Quaid (Confederated Tribes of Umatilla), WECAN Communications & Outreach Coordinator with Indigenous women leaders at the “Indigenous Women's Time: Weaving strategies to stand together against the climate crisis” event held on December 2 at COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: Women of the Métis Nation


On December 2, WECAN participated in this event, hosted by the Women of the Métis Nation at the Indigenous Peoples Pavilion on how women are bringing together multiple strategies, solutions, and stories for climate justice.


Katherine Quaid (Confederated Tribes of Umatilla), WECAN Communications & Outreach Coordinator and COP28 Delegate, spoke during the panel alongside Indigenous women leaders from Canada and Brazil. Topics included the impacts of colonization on Indigenous communities, women’s leadership within the context of the climate crisis, and how we can work together, across boundaries, to support ongoing advocacy and resistance efforts of Indigenous women worldwide.


 

Press Conference - Accelerating Feminist Solutions

to the Climate Crisis

Panelists at the Feminist Green New Deal Press Conference, “Accelerating Feminist Solutions to the Climate Crisis” held on December 2 at COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: FemGND Coalition


On December 2, the Feminist Green New Deal (FEMGND) Coalition hosted a UN Press Conference highlighting the voices of FemGND coalition members. WECAN is a kickstarter member of the FemGND Coalition, and honored to support the advocacy efforts of the FemGND coalition at COP28.


​​To address root causes of the climate crisis it is imperative to ensure the inclusion of feminist principles in a Just Transition. Speakers discussed feminist policies and frameworks that are necessary for advancing just climate policies, focused in the United States with global implications.


Speakers included: Jacqui Patterson, Founder and Executive Director, The Chisholm Legacy Project; Katherine Quaid (Confederated Tribes of Umatilla), Communications Coordinator, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN); Mara Dolan, US Program Manager, WEDO; Dr. Frances Roberts-Gregory, Feminist Political Ecologist at Harvard University; and Julia Bernal (Sandia Pueblo/Yuchi), Executive Director at Pueblo Action Alliance.


 

Press Conference - Indigenous Women from the Amazon:

Calls for Urgent Action

Indigenous women leaders speak out at the WECAN Press Conference, “Indigenous Women from the Amazon: Calls for Urgent Action” held on December 2 at COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


On December 2, WECAN hosted a UN Press Conference where Indigenous women leaders from across the Amazon brought forward calls to action and advocacy efforts to uplift Indigenous rights and protect forests, water, communities, and the global climate.


​Indigenous women are continuing to powerfully mobilize to protect Indigenous rights and biodiversity in the Amazon, and to protect the forest and combat the climate crisis, governments must respect and listen to the solutions and expertise of Indigenous women leading their communities.


​Speakers included: Célia Xakriabá, Indigenous Activist and Member of the Chamber of Deputies from Minas Gerais, Brazil; Fany Kuiru Castro, General Coordinator of the Coordinating Body of Indigenous Organisations of the Amazon Basin (COICA), Colombia; Elaine Shajian Shawit, President of the Regional Coordinating Committee of Indigenous Peoples of San Lorenzo (CORPI SL), Peru; with moderation and comments by Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director of Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN), USA.


 

Action Calling for Ceasefire Now

Climate Justice advocates host a ceasefire action on December 3 at COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


On December 3, civil society held a cross-constituency action on the links between militarization and the climate crisis, and called for a ceasefire now! We do not ignore the unspeakable violence in Gaza and Israel.


In every sphere of global society, we know deep systemic change is needed to stop interlocking root causes of oppression and egregious harms to people and planet. Throughout the two weeks, banners in support of a ceasefire could be seen at many actions throughout the COP28 venue. 


A cross-constituency led mass action at COP28 in Dubai bringing together calls for a ceasefire and climate justice. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International.


 

Civil Society Engagement with Financial Institutions


Civil society representatives spoke out during an engagement with bank officials about the need to divest from fossil fuels during COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


As part of our advocacy at COP28, on December 3, WECAN convened a high-level engagement between civil society representatives and representatives from the Equator Principles Association, a consortium of over 130 financial institutions in 38 countries that have adopted the Equator Principles (EP), a risk management framework.


WECAN convened this engagement in which frontline and Indigenous leaders and advocates made interventions about how their communities and ecosystems are being disastrously impacted by the financing of fossil fuel projects in their regions. During the conversation we made it clear that just as we are demanding from governments to phase out fossil fuels, so too must financial institutions make explicit plans to phase out fossil fuel financing.


This engagement builds on ongoing interventions and workshops between WECAN and other civil society organizations, and the EP Association. Civil society representatives who participated included: John Beard, Founder and CEO of Port Arthur Community Action Network, USA; Olivia Bisa, Chapra Nation, Vice President of the Chapra People of Peru; Zaki Mamdoo, StopEACOP Campaign Coordinator, South Africa; with moderation and comments by Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director of the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN, USA).


Left: Civil society representatives and representatives from the Equator Principles Association during a high-level engagement convened by WECAN at COP28 in Dubai, 2023.

Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International

Right: Olivia Bisa, Chapra Nation, Vice President of the Chapra People of Peru shares about the impact of fossil fuels and mining in her community during a high-level engagement between civil society representatives and representatives from the Equator Principles Association convened by WECAN at COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


 

Open Dialogue: Conspiring Around Feminist Global Energy Justice

The FemGND Coalition leads discussion during “Open Dialogue: Conspiring around feminist global energy justice,” hosted on December 4 at COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: WECAN International


On December 4, as part of our efforts with the Feminist Green New Deal (FemGND) Coalition, Katherine Quaid, WECAN Communications Coordinator, co-facilitated, with FemGND partners, an open dialogue at the WGC Pavilion to envision feminist global energy justice.


Participants came together to discuss core tenets of a feminist global energy justice, and what we can do to transition while addressing past harms and injustices.


This knowledge exchange fostered connection amongst global feminist energy advocates, and will flow into consultations that will shape the FemGND’s policy briefs and campaigns aimed at US policymakers working on energy policy.


 

Actions to Ensure a Fast, Fair & Equitable Fossil Fuel Phaseout!

Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation), Ponca Environmental Ambassador and WECAN COP28 Delegate, and Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director at an action to demand a fossil fuel phaseout.

Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


December 5 was Indigenous Peoples day and Finance day inside COP28, and civil society took action to demand an end to the era of fossil fuels! As we fight for the protection of people and planet, it is vital to ensure that those in the decision-making spaces are those most impacted by fossil fuel extraction and climate chaos, not the fossil fuel industry who is continuing to profit off the harms of fossil fuels and false solutions. 


Actions continued to take place throughout the COP negotiations, all carrying the call for a fossil fuel phaseout!


Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation), Ponca Environmental Ambassador and WECAN COP28 Delegate speaks out during an action on the impacts of fossil fuels and why we need a fossil fuel phaseout.

Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


 

Formal UN Side Event: Women Implementing Climate Justice Solutions to Mitigate and Adapt to the Climate Crisis

Women leaders speak out during the WECAN COP28 Side Event, “Women Implementing Climate Justice Solutions to Mitigate and Adapt to the Climate Crisis,” in Dubai, 2023.

Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN International


On December 5, WECAN hosted our formal UN Side Event, “Women Implementing Climate Justice Solutions to Mitigate and Adapt to the Climate Crisis.” During the side event, grassroots, Indigenous and frontline women, and representatives of global organizations presented climate justice strategies and solutions, including forest and biodiversity protection, Indigenous rights, agro-ecology, renewable energy and a Just Transition, fossil fuel phase out and divestment, and protection of women land defenders.


Speakers included: Lucy Mulenkei (Maasai), Executive Director, Indigenous Information Network, Kenya; Eriel Tchekwie Deranger (Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation), Executive Director, Indigenous Climate Action, Canada; Braulina Baniwa (Baniwa), Executive Director, National Articulation of Indigenous Women Ancestrality Warriors (ANMIGA), Brazil; Taily Terena (Terena Nation), Indigenous rights activist, WECAN Coordinator in Brazil, Brazil; Casey Camp Horinek (Ponca Nation), Ponca Nation Environmental Ambassador and WECAN Board Member, Turtle Island, USA; Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN), USA.


During the event we also had a special appearance by Sonia Guajajara, Minister of Indigenous Peoples in Brazil, who shared a powerful testimony to the leadership of women in Brazil and globally. We are honored to have worked with Minister Guajajara for the past several years, and to continue to support her advocacy efforts in her newly appointed position.


Sonia Guajajara, Minister of Indigenous Peoples in Brazil during the WECAN COP28 Side Event, “Women Implementing Climate Justice Solutions to Mitigate and Adapt to the Climate Crisis,” in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid | WECAN International


 

Pay Up on Loss and Damage Actions

Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation), Ponca Environmental Ambassador and WECAN COP28 Delegate speaks out during an action on Loss and Damage. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


During the first week, we took action to demand governments pay up for Loss and Damage and fill the Loss and Damage Fund, which was agreed to at the beginning of COP28. $700 million USD has been pledged, but this falls far short of the estimated $400 billion needed.


 

Press Conference - Rights of Nature: A Systemic

Solution to the Climate Crisis

Panelists at the WECAN Press Conference, “Rights of Nature: A Systemic Solution to the Climate Crisis” held on December 6 at COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


Rights of Nature articulates a new legal framework and economy based on living in balance with Earth’s natural systems. During this press conference on December 6, presenters shared successes from the Rights of Nature movement, and how it can offer a systemic framework for defending biodiversity, communities, and our climate.


Speakers included: Nnimmo Bassey, Director of Health of Mother Earth Foundation, Nigeria; Casey Camp Horinek (Ponca Nation), Ponca Nation Environmental Ambassador and WECAN Board Member, Turtle Island, USA; and Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director of Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) and Executive Committee, Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, USA.


 

Event - Can the law save the Arctic sea ice? ~ The case for a 10-year Moratorium to protect the Polar Ice Shield

Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director on how Rights of Nature can support the Arctic during the event, “Can the law save the Arctic sea ice?,” at COP28 in Dubai, 2023.

Photo Credit: WECAN International


On December 6, Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director joined this panel, hosted by Global Choices, to share about how Rights of Nature can be a tool for protecting the Arctic. 


We are losing our Central Arctic Ocean Ice shield at an alarming rate at the same time commercial interest in exploiting this unique biome is growing. During this panel speakers shared the stark reality of why we need urgent action and suggested ways the law can help to protect our Global Commons—we can't plant ice!


 

Youth-Led Climate Strike

Young people speak out to demand an end to fossil fuels and connections between climate justice and human rights during the Friday Youth Climate Strike at COP28 in Dubai, 2023.

Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


On December 8, global youth activists held a Climate Strike during COP28 to make clear that there is no climate justice without human rights. 


Speakers from Pakistan to Ecuador and more spoke out to bring light to the impacts of the climate crisis and harms happening in their communities, and demand climate justice, an immediate ceasefire, and an equitable fast and fair fossil fuel phaseout! 


Left and Right: Young people speak out to demand an end to fossil fuels and connections between climate justice and human rights during the Friday Youth Climate Strike at COP28 in Dubai, 2023.

Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


 

Event - Calls to Action from Indigenous Women

Leaders from the Brazilian Amazon

Indigenous Women leaders from Brazil share about their collective organizing efforts during the “Calls to Action from Indigenous Women Leaders from the Brazilian Amazon” event at COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


On December 8, WECAN and Amazon Watch co-hosted an event at the Women and Gender Constituency Pavilion highlighting the calls to action from Indigenous Women Leaders in Brazil.


During this event, Indigenous women leaders from Brazil, shared their expertise, stories, and calls for climate action from COP28 to COP30. Particularly, the event highlighted the leadership of women from the National Articulation of Indigenous Women Ancestrality Warriors (ANMIGA) in Brazil.


We were also honored to have Puyr Tembe, Secretary of Indigenous Peoples in Para State, Brazil make a special appearance at the event to share further about her role and the vision leading towards COP30. Congresswoman Célia Xakriabá, Indigenous Activist and Member of the Chamber of Deputies from Minas Gerais, Brazil joined us at the end of the event to share her support for the leaders from ANMIGA. 


Left: Puyr Tembe, Secretary of Indigenous Peoples in Para State, Brazil at the “Calls to Action from Indigenous Women Leaders from the Brazilian Amazon” event at COP28 in Dubai, 2023.

Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International

Right: Congresswoman Célia Xakriabá, and Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director at the “Calls to Action from Indigenous Women Leaders from the Brazilian Amazon” event at COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


 

Global Day of Action for Climate Justice

Global South activists lead the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice with a banner reading “Ceasefire now!” on December 9 at COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


On December 9, we joined people worldwide for the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice. Civil society marched inside the COP28 venue to collectively raise our voices for an immediate ceasefire, fossil fuel phaseout, Indigenous rights, and climate justice. 


Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation), Ponca Environmental Ambassador, and WECAN Board Member & COP28 Delegate led an opening prayer at the beginning of the March. 


Left: Casey Camp-Horinek (Ponca Nation), Ponca Environmental Ambassador and WECAN COP28 Delegate and Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director at the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice on December 9 at COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: WECAN International

Right: A Climate Justice advocate holds a sign reading “Kick Fossil Fuels Out!” during the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice on December 9 at COP28 in Dubai, 2023.

Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


Climate Justice leaders hold a banner reading “End Fossil Fuels, Fast Fair Forever” during the Global Day of Action for Climate Justice on December 9 at COP28 in Dubai, 2023.

Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


 

Press Conference - Women Leading Fossil Fuel Phaseout

and A Just Transition

Women leaders at the WECAN Press Conference, “Women Leading Fossil Fuel Phaseout and A Just Transition” held on December 9 at COP28 in Dubai, 2023.

Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


On December 9, following the Global March for Climate Justice inside the COP28 venue, WECAN hosted the UN Press Conference, “Women Leading Fossil Fuel Phaseout and A Just Transition.”


During this press conference, Women leaders shared vital reports and critical strategies to advance a fossil fuel phaseout and accelerate a Just Transition while supporting communities and ecosystems impacted by extractive industries and human and Indigenous rights violations.


Speakers included: Tzeporah Berman, Chair, Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, Canada; Mitzi Jonelle Tan, Convenor and International Spokesperson for Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines (YACAP), Philippines; Eriel Tchekwie Deranger (Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation), Executive Director of Indigenous Climate Action, Canada; Lorraine Chiponda, Don’t Gas Africa Co-Convenor, and Africa Movement Building Space, Zimbabwe; and Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director of Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN), USA.


 

Indigenous Rights Day of Action

Indigenous leaders host an action advocating for Indigenous Rights and stopping fossil fuel extraction on December 10 during COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


December 10 was Indigenous Rights Day in COP28. Civil society led powerful actions uplifting Indigenous rights as a climate solution, and the harmful impacts of fossil fuel extraction within Indigenous communities. 


In the morning, we participated in an action that focused on fossil fuel extraction projects in the United States, specifically the Dakota Access Pipeline and Mountain Valley Pipeline projects. 


In the afternoon, Indigenous groups coordinated a vigil in remembrance of Missing, Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and People. Indigenous women continue to face huge risks as they stand up against corporations and governments polluting and degrading Mother Earth in their territories. First hand experiences and ample evidence shows a link between the presence of resource extraction workers who live in temporary 'man camps' and violence against Indigenous women and girls, further exacerbating the MMIW epidemic.


Left & Right: Indigenous women speak out during a vigil in remembrance of Missing, Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and People on December 10 at COP28 in Dubai, 2023.

Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


 

Press Conference – Women for Climate Justice Leading Solutions

Women leaders at the WECAN Press Conference, “Women for Climate Justice Leading Solutions.” held on December 10 at COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


On December 10, WECAN hosted our final COP28 press conference, “Women for Climate Justice Leading Solutions.” ​​International women leaders shared the impacts of international climate policies, women’s leadership in the negotiations, and discussed the urgency for transformative strategies and solutions to address the climate crisis and advance a just transition. ​


Speakers included: Taily Terena (Terena Nation), Indigenous rights activist, WECAN Coordinator in Brazil, Brazil; Zukiswa White, Coordinator, Women and Gender Constituency, South Africa; Casey Camp Horinek (Ponca Nation), Ponca Nation Environmental Ambassador and WECAN Board Member, Turtle Island, USA; Brianna Fruean, Youth Climate Activist and Environmental Advocate, Samoa; and Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director of Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN), USA.


 

People's Plenary: People Power for Climate Justice!

The main plenary room is filled to capacity with civil society during the People’s Plenary, where climate justice leaders and constituency delegates share interventions, demands, and testimony on the negotiations at COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


On December 11, nearing the end of the negotiations, civil society groups convened a People's Plenary to raise our collective demands and demand that governments respond urgently to the multiple interlocking crises.


Demands included: No Climate Justice without Human Rights, Ceasefire Now, Adopt a Fossil Fuel Phaseout, No False Solutions, Support Indigenous Rights, and Gender Justice. 


Left: Great Grandmother Mary Lyons opens the People’s Plenary on December 11 at COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International

Right: Constituency co-chairs and advocates together at the People’s Plenary on December 11 at COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: Katherine Quaid / WECAN International


 

Virtual Event: Global Voices and Women-Led Calls to Action

in Response to COP28


On Monday December 11, WECAN hosted a virtual event to share our calls to action from COP28 with our global network and community. Around the world, peoples’ movements are responding to the escalating climate crisis, rising to address the urgency and needs of people and the planet.



This virtual event covered a wide-ranging conversation from women on the ground at COP28 who reported on negotiations, shared highlights, reported releases, calls to action, and demands from women globally. 


 

Actions to Demand Governments Hold the Line for

Fossil Fuel Phaseout

Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director, with other members of civil society during a Hold the Line action at the end of negotiations at COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: WECAN International


As the negotiations intensified near the end of COP28, WECAN participated in cross-constituency actions outside the negotiating rooms, to keep the pressure on governments to ensure a fossil fuel phaseout and hold the line for communities, ecosystems and our global climate.


Civil society in action, demanding governments hold the line on a fossil fuel phaseout at the end of negotiations at COP28 in Dubai, 2023. Photo Credit: WECAN International


CELEBRATING THE COP28 DELEGATION

WECAN International was honored to facilitate, accompany, and uplift the presence of an incredible group of frontline and Indigenous women leaders at COP28, who advocated for climate justice and led and participated in powerful actions, announcements, advocacy interventions, press conferences, high-level engagements, and events over the duration of their time in the UAE.


 

CASEY CAMP-HORINEK

Ponca Nation, Turtle Island, USA



Casey Camp-Horinek of the Ponca Nation is a community leader, long-time Native rights activist, environmentalist and actress. She is the Ponca Environmental Ambassador and a WECAN Board member. Casey also serves as the chair of the Indigenous Council for the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature. As traditional Drumkeeper for the Ponca Pa-tha-ta, Woman’s Scalp Dance Society, she helps maintain the cultural identity of the Ponca Nation of Oklahoma for herself, her family and her community.  


Follow Casey on Instagram and Facebook: @caseycamphorinek


 

CÉLIA XAKRIABÀ

Xakriaba, Brazilian Amazon


Célia Xakriabá is a teacher and Indigenous activist of the Xakriabá people in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. In 2022 she became the first Indigenous woman to be elected federal deputy for Minas Gerais. She has a Master’s degree in sustainable development from the University of Brasilia, and is part of the Articulation Rosalino Gomes, present in the North of Minas Gerais, being one of the founders of the National Articulation of Indigenous Women Warriors of Ancestrality (ANMIGA).


Follow Célia on Instagram: @celia.xakriaba


 

XIYE BASTIDA

Otomi-Toltec from Central Mexico, based in USA


Xiye Bastida is a youth climate justice activist based in New York City. She is an organizer with Fridays For Future and the co-founder of Re-Earth Initiative, an international youth-led organization that focuses on highlighting the intersectionality of the climate crisis. Bastida was born in Mexico and was raised as part of the Otomi-Toltec Indigenous community. Bastida was the recipient of the 2018 UN Spirit Award and currently attends the University of Pennsylvania.


Follow Xiye & Re-Earth Initiative on Instagram: @xiyebeara @reearthinitiative


 

BRAULINA BANIWA

Baniwa, Brazilian Amazon


Braulina Baniwa is the Executive Director for the National Articulation of Indigenous Women Ancestrality Warriors (ANMIGA) in Brazil. She is an Indigenous rights activist and anthropologist, focusing on the need for Indigenous women to organize and defend their territories and rights.


Follow Braulina & ANMIGA on Instagram: @bwbraulina


 

TAILY TERENA

Terena, Brazil


Taily is a young Indigenous woman from the Terena nation of Brazil and a passionate advocate for the environment and Mother Earth. Since a young age, Taily has been an advocate for the rights of Indigenous women in Brazil. She belongs to the Enlace Continental de Mujeres Indígenas (Continental Network of Indigenous Women of Americas) and is the President of the General Assembly of the ACT-Brasil. She is a WECAN Coordinator in Brazil.


Follow Taily on Instagram: @tailyterena


 

OSPREY ORIELLE LAKE

USA


Osprey Orielle Lake is the Founder and Executive Director of the Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International. She works nationally and internationally with grassroots and Indigenous leaders, policy-makers and scientists to promote climate justice, resilient communities, and a just transition to a clean energy future. 


Follow Osprey on Instagram: @ospreyoriellelake


 

KATHERINE QUAID

Confederated Tribes of Umatilla, Turtle Island, USA


Katherine Quaid is the Communications Coordinator for the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN). She was born and raised in rural central Oregon and is a citizen of the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla. Her dedication to climate justice is tied to the lands of her ancestors and the many communities nationally and around the world that are fighting for a healthy future.


 

MEDIA ROUND UP

Media requests for the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network regarding our events and advocacy at the UNFCCC COP28 UAE can be directed to: katherine@wecaninternational.org


Below is a selection of the media highlights for the WECAN COP28 Delegation and the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network overall:






























Comments


bottom of page