United Nations day!

 This event was celebrated as United Nations day. This event was entitled our Planet, our Futures!

This event was located at SUNY Global Center in Manhattan New York. Event took place On October 25, 2019. I was invited to this event by Jeanne Stillman UNA-USA-SNY & and her husband David Stillman who is executive director of Public-Private Alliance Foundation.

Moderator:  

  • Professor Ilgu Ozler is the Director of the SUNY Global Engagement Program in NYC and an Associate Professor of Political Science and International Relations at SUNY New Paltz.

Speakers:

  • Zeke Johnson is the Senior Director of Programs at Amnesty International USA.  He leads the organization’s team of thematic issue experts working to end human rights violations in the United States and around the world.
  • Kavita Desai is an Adviser on Sustainable Development and Global Policy with the United Nations Foundation. She received her Doctorate from Pace University Law School with certificates in environmental and international law.
  • Bruce Knotts is the director of Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO) since 2008. 

All the speakers’ emphased these points:

Millions of people are already suffering from the catastrophic effects of extreme disasters exacerbated by climate change. The effects of the climate crisis will continue to grow and worsen over time, compounding and magnifying existing inequalities, creating ruin for current and future generations. 

Burning of fossil fuels oil, coal, and gas is driving one of the biggest challenges facing the world today: climate change. Extreme weather events, rising oceans, and record-setting temperatures are wreaking havoc on hundreds of millions of lives and livelihoods around the world. Greenhouse gas emissions, primarily from the burning of fossil fuels, have already warmed the globe by more than 1°Celsius since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Unless we can rein in these emissions and ambitiously transition to a just, clean, and renewable energy future – the planet will become unrecognizable as global temperatures soar by 4, 5, or 6 °Celsius and beyond.

To avoid the worst of dangerous climate change, we must keep carbon in the ground. According to the best available science, to have a decent shot at limiting global warming to even

2°Celsius, 80% of the fossil fuels we already have access to must stay in the ground. This number will be even more dramatic for the 1.5 °Celsius Limit that countries, including the U.S., have committed to. This effectively means no major new fossil fuel projects, and phasing out existing fossil fuel production and consumption by the middle of the century, replacing them with a safe, clean, just, and renewable economy that is 100% decarbonized.

Science couldn’t be more precise. According to the latest UN climate report, we have less than 12 years to cut global emissions in half. This means the world must rapidly phase-out of fossil fuels. To get there, major global banks must be held accountable for the massive social and environmental impacts of their financing decisions. They must defund climate change. For me, the discussion on banking and fossil fuel was the highlight of the day, for which Zeke Johnson of Amnesty International was the main speaker.

Banks and Climate:

The latest Banking on Climate Change 2019 report reveals the shocking fact that since the Paris Climate Accord, big banks have increased financing for fossil fuels.

In fact, in the three years since Paris, big banks have pumped $1.9trillion into the fossil fuel sector. This is an insult to logic, science and humanity.

Banks must take responsibility and play an integral part in initiating the pivot away from fossil fuels, but it’s up to us to push these banks to take necessary action. Let’s start with the biggest and worst of them all: JPMorgan Chase.

Indigenous Rights:

Indigenous peoples are among those experiencing impacts from a changing climate first and worst. At the same time, they are at the forefront of movements around the world to protect land, air, and water from fossil fuel production. From the Transmountain pipeline, the Coastal gas link pipeline, the Bayou Bridge pipeline, to the Keystone pipelines, Indigenous peoples was leading the fights against major fossil fuel infrastructure projects that would lock us into decades more of fossil fuel expansion.

The banks supporting the fossil fuel industry have a responsibility to avoid financing projects and companies that violate Indigenous rights, including in particular treaty rights, religious rights, and the right to require free, prior, and informed consent for development that impacts them. And yet, JPMorgan Chase and other banks are backing companies, which are trying to build the Line 3 pipeline despite explicit opposition by impacted Indigenous nations. Chase is also the only bank that is financing ALL OF THE FOUR key areas expansion companies-Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline, Teck Frontier Resources Mine, TransCanada’s Keystone pipeline, and the BlackMountain pipeline. Chase has an outsized role in ravaging the environment and trampling on the rights of Indigenous peoples.

Chase as Banker of Climate Change:

Chase has been funding fossil fuel expansion projects that devastate the environment and violate human rights, particularly indigenous rights.

Amnesty international has decided enough is enough, and is joining communities and organizations around the world in a bold campaign to hold Chase accountable.

With almost two decades of experience with Wall Street banks and building on the momentum from many Indigenous and grassroots-led fights, Amnesty international is undertaking a critical campaign. To get JPMorgan Chase out of fossil fuels to protect human rights, including indigenous rights, and ensure a livable future.

The era of big banks avoiding responsibility for the very real-world consequences of their investment decisions need to be over. Emissions have to drop by almost half by 2030, and going forward, Chase’s fossil financing has to match that trajectory. Chase must take responsibility, and play an integral part in initiating the pivot away from fossil fuels.

I am very conscious that this is a multidecade-long transition — however, a large number of laggards in the oil business have yet to move. And the distance between oil companies and what investors, environmentalists, and electorates expect from them seems destined to widen.

It was said the increase of fossil-fuel production delivers superior returns for shareholders, so there is a strong chance that this will not end anytime soon due to the amount of money that is being produced.

I have gone to a lot of events that speak of climate change. However, those events were not detailed compared to this event I went to.

At the SUNY Global Center event, they have spoken about the connection between the banks and the problems they cause on climate change and the negative impact they choose not to care about.

I’m just amazed by how detailed this event was.

Since I have been attending this course for my criminal justice major and writing multiple papers on my experience, I’ve gained much by going to this event.

Since this event was so astonishing. I would definitely go to more events like this. But I would hope that future events that explained the climate problems will go into details on how climate change is connected to the higher-ups and government entities and then how this affects populations and people of color around the world.

 I am astonished knowing that Chase Bank profits more on climate disaster than any other of the banks in the US. I am also surprised that the bank that I like so much Wells Fargo is also profiting from the climate change disaster, which is very unfortunate because I see Wells Fargo be a unique Bank.

 But once greed is set in place in our culture and society it’s tough for those individuals in power to make the positive change to help everybody on the planet. This event was the most interesting and the most extraordinary event on climate change.   This event was so amazing I’m even thinking about going into environmental law.