Media Briefing Johannesburg

Global Environmental Justice Leaders Urge World Summit Negotiators to Address Environmental Racism Representatives from US, Brazil, Africa, and Asia Hold Press Briefing on
Environmental Racism and Principles for a Just Climate Policy

What: Global Environmental and Climate Justice Press Briefing

When: Thursday, August 29 11.30 AM-12.30 PM

(lunch reception to follow)

Where: Liberty Theater on the Square, in Sandton (next to
the Sandton Library)

Who: Mr. Cecil Corbin-Mark, West Harlem Environmental Action (US)

Mr. Rubens Born, Brazilian Forum of NGOs and Social
Movements (Brazil)

Mr. Ako Amad, Pan Africa Program on Land Rights (South

Mr. Kalyan Shresta, Judge (Nepal)

Dr. Beverly Wright, National Black Environmental Justice
Network (US)

Henry Clark, West County Toxics Coalition from Richmond,
California (US)

Mr. Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network (US)

WHY: Sustainable development cannot be achieved in the world without
addressing racial, social, economic and environmental injustice. Communities
of color and poor communities in the U.S. and around the world are advocating
for equal environmental protection and the vigorous enforcement of
environmental laws, civil rights, and human rights.

The press briefing will address primarily two topics. The first four speakers
will discuss the failure of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD)
to address environmental racism and how global environmental problems
disproportionately affect the poor and people of color. The last two speakers
will unveil ten principles for a just US climate change policy.

The systematic destruction of the environment where people of color and poor
people and indigenous peoples live, worship, work, and play takes place
worldwide. The struggle for environmental justice includes demands for
improved health systems and the removal of toxic chemicals and air pollution
sources from communities of color. The global environmental justice network
calls upon the negotiators to adopt concrete and enforceable mechanisms for
achieving environmental justice.

It is widely accepted that the impacts of global climate change will fall
disproportionately on minority communities. For example, low-income
communities are the first to experience heat related deaths and illnesses,
respiratory illnesses, infectious diseases and economic and cultural
displacement. The absence of the U.S. from the Kyoto protocol and president
Bush's absence from the summit are unacceptable abdications of US's
responsibility as a nation. The US is responsible for almost 35% of all
greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere today. The ten principles directly address
how the US must address its global responsibilities.