Following on the heels of the powerful NM climate strike demanding an end to false climate solutions led by YUCCA last week in Albuquerque, our No False Solutions Coalition members led a 50 strong New Mexico delegation in New York at the March to End Fossil Fuels with 70,000 climate protesters from around the world who convened to demand an end to extraction and subsidizing of fossil fuels as the UN General Assembly meets for a first ever Climate Ambition Summit. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres specifically barred any country from participation if they failed to bring new plans and commitments for discussion, stating only those with “credible, serious and new climate action and nature-based solutions that will move the needle forward and respond to the urgency of the climate crisis” were welcome. Tellingly President Biden, President Xi and the UK prime minister Sunak are not attending.
In a press release the New Mexico delegation wrote "A collective of grassroots movements across the state of New Mexico is joining other frontline movements who mobilize around a No False Solutions narrative to bring light to the financialization and continued commodification of our natural and cultural resources,” said Julia Bernal, executive director of Pueblo Action Alliance. “We're bringing a unified grassroots message to the international platform to demand our elected leaders take bold climate action that doesn’t continue the legacy of harm and extraction that has negatively impacted our ancestral territories for generations.”
New Mexico is the second-largest oil-producing and seventh-largest gas-producing state in the country. Over the past three years, New Mexico has experienced the highest growth in oil production in the U.S. Of the 6,430 drilling permits the Biden administration approved in its first two years, nearly 4,000 are on public lands administered by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s New Mexico Office. Climate pollution from the combustion of oil and gas extracted in New Mexico contributes significantly to the climate crisis.
“As governor of the country’s second-largest oil-producing state, Michelle Lujan Grisham is detonating one of the world’s most dangerous carbon bombs,” said Silas Grant with the Center for Biological Diversity. “As New Mexicans, we marched to tell her she can become a real climate leader by preventing further oil and gas expansion in our state. The future of our planet depends on it.”
New Mexico is already experiencing the catastrophic consequences of the changing climate, including wildfires, record-breaking temperatures and aridification. Almost all of New Mexico’s climate pollution comes from the state’s oil and gas industry.
The Climate Scorecard published by the Center for Biological Diversity last week found that our Governor has failed on every important climate count except one.
And a recent report from the Environmental Defense Fund found Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham's actions on New Mexico's climate emissions have put us on track for just a 1% reduction by 2025.
New Mexico delegates also delivered a grassroots climate justice declaration to the United Nations and federal and state leaders. Endorsed by more than 20 Indigenous and environmental organizations, the declaration outlines actions the Biden and Lujan Grisham administrations must take to secure a just and livable future for New Mexico and the planet. These include stopping all new fossil fuel projects and revoking existing permits, immediately phasing out existing fossil fuel extraction, rejecting false solutions like hydrogen and carbon capture and sequestration, centering Indigenous traditional ecological knowledge, and declaring a climate emergency to pave the way for a just transition.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez put it perfectly when she said "what we’re not going to do is go from oil barons to solar barons. This belongs to the people." A capitalist approach to the transition we need cannot work - economic justice and climate justice are deeply interconnected. Until the people own the means of energy production, the profit motive will always supersede all other considerations. “Coalitions like Frack off Chaco and NM No False Solutions are composed of organizers who are from their respective communities, and we are leaving our homes in New Mexico to make our messaging known, “ said Alejandria Lyons, coordinator of NM No False Solutions. "If we want to preserve our collective knowledge for future generations then we have to protect the land to protect the people and the culture. The fossil fuel industry is a threat to our land-based ways of life, and these proposed ‘solutions’ give false hope to people when they are nothing more than climate finance scams.”
“New Mexico is blessed with abundant solar and wind resources, but rather than actualize that potential too often politicians have pandered to the financial pressure of their donors, especially the oil and gas industry, and promoted false solutions like dangerous hydrogen and carbon capture and sequestration,” said Mariel Nanasi, executive director of New Energy Economy. “We have no time to waste and people are desperate for leadership that brings renewable results.”