National Congress of American Indians President Fawn Sharp has been invited to join 40 world leaders at the White House Leaders Summit on Climate April 22-23. The virtual summit is a key milestone on the road to the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November and is intended to increase the chances for meaningful outcomes on global climate action at COP26.
One of the White House’s major themes for the summit is to showcase actors at all levels, including Indigenous nations, that are committed to green recovery, share an equitable vision of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius this decade, and are working closely with global partners to advance ambition and resilience.
“As place-based peoples, Tribal Nations have long understood our sacred and timeless values, teachings, and responsibility to care for all things living and steward our lands in a way that honors those traditions. Across this country, we are taking bold, strategic action, implementing climate adaptation, mitigation, and resilience solutions and we look forward to this important dialogue with leaders from around the globe,” said NCAI President Fawn Sharp.
President Sharp will speak alongside Indigenous leaders from Brazil and Chad and local government leaders from Mexico, France, Japan, and the U.S. starting at 12:45 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 22. Her session will highlight the critical efforts of tribes and other Indigenous peoples contributing to the green recovery.
The White House Leaders Summit on Climate reconvenes the Major Economies Forum (MEF) on Energy and Climate, a U.S.-led initiative that played a vital role in delivering the Paris Agreement. The Summit aims to galvanize the world’s economies to reduce emissions by recognizing this decade is critical to the climate fight, and remind countries that the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is within reach.
By adding Indigenous voices to the Summit alongside major economies, President Biden ensures key stakeholders have a seat at the table.
“We applaud President Biden for making sure Tribal Nations are not only included in the climate crisis conversations but also looked at as notable allies working for climate solutions. Tribal Nations are at the front lines of the climate crisis and are a brain-trust of millennia-old ideas and practices that are critical to have at the table,” said NCAI President Sharp.
Climate action has been a lifelong passion and guiding mission for President Sharp, and has been a top priority for her Presidency of NCAI as well. As a former four term President for the Quinault Indian Nation, President Sharp has seen the ocean risings and the seasonal changes adversely impact her community. In the last couple of decades she has worked tirelessly to advance climate action for all of our communities.
The White House and NCAI hope the Summit and upcoming COP 26 will mobilize public and private sector investment in Native communities to advance the transition to net-zero emissions, as Native communities are among the most impacted by climate change.
The summit is also an opportunity to show the economic benefits of climate action, emphasizing job creation and ensuring all communities and workers benefit from transitioning to a new clean energy economy. Including Indian Country in the climate conversation helps ensure an equitable green economy as climate action creates new jobs and opportunities.