Dear Community,
Best greetings as we enter 2023!

We hope you are taking good care and finding time for rest and rejuvenation for the year ahead. The Women's Earth and Climate Action Network has been in deep visioning and retreat sessions, reflecting on this pivotal moment in history where we are called into transformative strategies and action.

The world is in a crossroads of great change as we seek to build a healthy and just future, while we diligently work to dismantle the deep roots of structural patriarchy, capitalism, racism, and colonization that continue to fuel the climate crisis and social injustice.

As we look to the year ahead, and beyond, we are holding close the astounding work and great strength of women in all their diversity the world over who are standing to lead movements to protect and defend all we hold dear, calling for systemic change and justice on the issues that we know are inseparable.  

We thank all of you for standing with the Women's Earth and Climate Action Network as we delve into a new year filled with mobilizations; trainings; advocacy and education for climate justice; divestment and just transition campaigns; forest protection and regeneration; rights of nature and Indigenous rights; feminist climate policy advocacy; climate resilience projects and food sovereignty programs; and strong solidarity and collaboration with frontline women and Earth defenders around the world.

We are not defeated! Now is the time for climate justice and systemic change.
 
Please see below for some new year updates and actions you can take at the start of 2023 to support and amplify women’s leadership and solutions.
Take Action January 20
Joye Braun Day of Action
Last year, our movement and our world lost Joye Braun, a true warrior and force of nature. We are calling for collective action in Joye’s honor on January 20th - which is not only Biden’s second anniversary in office, but Joye’s birthday and the second anniversary of the end of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Join us in taking action across the United States against fossil fuels projects, in defense of Indigenous and human rights, and for Biden to stop fossil fuel projects and declare a climate emergency: https://tinyurl.com/Jan20Action-Map

In the words of Joye herself: President Biden: Be a climate warrior not a wimp. Kill the black snakes, reject all fossil fuel projects and declare a climate emergency.
If you are in the Bay Area, please join us! The event will be held at the San Francisco Federal Building , 90 7th street January 20, 11am-1 pm PT. Further details can be found via the Facebook event here.

If you are in New York, please join us at 4:00pm ET at City Hall Park. More details here.
Celebrating Sonia Guajajara
HISTORIC! On January 11, Brazil celebrated the appointment of Indigenous leader Sonia Guajajara as the First Minister of the newly created Ministry of Indigenous Affairs in Brazil! We are celebrating this vital win and what it means for Indigenous rights, the Amazon, and our global climate. Maria Paula, Peace Ambassador of Brazil, represented WECAN on the ground in Brazil, sharing video of the celebration ceremony. Please see the video of the ceremony here.

We have been honored to work together with Sonia Guajajara and Maria Paula for many years fighting for Indigenous rights, protection of the Amazon, defense of women land defenders, and global climate justice. Minister Guajajara's appointment, and the appointment of many other Indigenous leaders, signals deeply needed hope and change as Brazil's new president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva takes office.

For the past 4 years, the previous Bolsonaro regime took action to undermine Indigenous rights and sovereignty while escalating deforestation and violence in the Amazon. We look forward to how this political transition in Brazil will rollback anti-indigenous and anti-environmental policies, and bring much needed and necessary support for Indigenous communities, who are the best stewards and protectors of the Amazon and biodiversity in Brazil. 

WECAN will be furthering our collaborations, projects, and engagements with partners and allies in Brazil throughout 2023 and beyond.
Advancing the Rights of Nature
In 2023, WECAN looks forward to continuing our work to advance the Rights of Nature.

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. Rights of Nature seeks to transform this relationship with nature through a framework and legal system that is instead based on the recognition and honoring of the Earth’s fundamental and inviolable right to exist, live, thrive, evolve and regenerate.

So far this year, we are celebrating the creation of the new Eco-Jurisprudence Monitor, an interactive online platform that compiles ecological jurisprudence initiatives globally and related resources.

The intent of the Monitor is to broadly identify culturally distinct expressions of ecological jurisprudence and create common tools for analyzing them in order to foster global discussion and future ecological jurisprudence expressions and to create a portal that inspires new research and frameworks. Access the Monitor here: ecojurisprudence.org/

WECAN is honored to serve on the Executive Committee for the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature (GARN), and WECAN is looking forward to sharing exciting campaigns and strategies to advance Rights of Nature this year. More on this front soon!
Divestment & Fossil Fuel Resistance Updates
As we enter 2023, WECAN is continuing our diverse strategies to stop fossil fuel expansion. We have worked for many years as part of the global fossil fuel divestment movement, with a focus on highlighting the power and role of women protecting water, land, climate and communities, as we create opportunities for advocacy, action and dialogue with financial institutions and governments.

Our movements to end the era of fossil fuels continue to strengthen and grow, centering those most impacted by fossil fuel extraction. With that, we have seen governments, businesses, and financial institutions alike, continue to cling to the extractive fossil fuel economy and push forward destructive projects that prioritize profits over people and planet. 

Already, it was announced that Sultan Al Jaber, chief of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, will be the president of the COP28 UN Climate Talks in Dubai. This is deeply concerning as civil society continues to fight to banish polluters and fossil fuel lobbyists from the climate talks and push nations for a global fossil fuel phaseout. Tragically but not unexpectedly, fossil fuel lobbyists continue to hold a grip on the negotiations. At COP27, the influence of the fossil fuel industry only escalated, with Global Witness reporting a 25% increase in fossil fuel representation from last year.

Ahead of COP27 last November, WECAN joined over 450 organizations to demand an end to Big Polluter’s influence over global climate policy. We are continuing to strategize around this most recent announcement with our partners engaged in the UNFCCC.

Additionally, these very same actors are looking to greenwash their activities and investments with empty net-zero pledges and false climate solutions. A new study has found that banks and finance institutions that have signed up to net zero pledges are still investing heavily in fossil fuels, making it clear that they are not moving to phase out fossil fuels. 

WECAN is doubling down on our work to ensure no more false solutions and no more fossil fuels. We will continue to work with frontline communities, advocate at international forums, promote Indigenous rights and sovereignty, and uplift community-led advocacy and solutions that build a just and equitable future without fossil fuels. This includes our continued work on the Steering Committee of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.

We share our deep gratitude for all our movements partners in this work. Please see below updates and actions you can take to keep fossil fuels in the ground. 
Submit a Comment to Stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline
The movement to stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline continues in 2023! Currently, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Forest Service are taking public comment on permits to allow the construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a proposed 303-mile-long fracked gas pipeline running through Appalachia.

The MVP is years behind schedule, billions of dollars over budget, and missing multiple federal authorizations. The pipeline has already brought destruction to the Blue Ridge Mountains, and communities impacted by the proposed pipeline are continuing to unite and call for solidarity and support. Please read through the resources below and submit a public comment. Together, we can stop MVP!



WECAN Joins 300 Groups to Urge an End to Oil and Gas Leasing on Public Lands

“As the dire impacts of climate disruption escalate, President Biden must keep his campaign promise to end oil and gas leasing on public lands. Indigenous and frontline communities continue to bear the brunt of the climate crisis, and we are calling for the administration to end fossil fuel expansion and implement a Just Transition. There is simply no time to lose and our public lands need to be a part of the solution.”
Osprey Orielle Lake, WECAN Executive Director
On January 11, WECAN joined more than 300 community groups to send a letter to the Biden Administration urging it to bring public lands and waters management in line with climate science and the president’s own climate promises.

The letter comes on the heels of a recent lease sale in Alaska’s Cook Inlet, the first held by the Interior Department since passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which reinstated several oil and gas lease sales. Although President Biden initially pledged to ban oil and gas leasing on public lands and waters, he issued drilling permits at a rate faster than Trump during his first year in office.

In the letter we outline 9 concrete actions that the Interior Department can take right now:
  1. Phase out oil and gas production on public lands and waters to near zero by 2035
  2. Defend and strengthen the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
  3. Establish guardrails on the leasing program to protect the climate, public lands, oceans and communities
  4. Issue a five-year plan with no new leases
  5. Stop authorizing new exploration, development and drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska until there is a proper analysis of climate damage
  6. Stop issuing new permits to drill on public lands until there is a proper analysis of climate damage and a climate screen
  7. Manage public lands for climate solutions
  8. Halt climate-destroying projects in the Arctic (ex: Willow, Peregrine)
  9. Protect climate and communities from near-term offshore lease sales (ex: Cook Inlet, Gulf of Mexico).
Action in Washington D.C. to Stop the Willow Project in the Artic
On January 10, WECAN participated in a rally in Washington D.C. hosted by SILA to stop the Willow Project in the Arctic. 

Willow is the single largest oil extractive project currently proposed on public lands. If approved, Willow would lock us into another 30+ years of fossil fuel extraction at a time when we need to immediately transition to clean energy. The proposed Willow development would be a disaster for local Arctic ecosystems and our global climate and must be stopped. During the rally, organizers delivered over 100,000 public comments all demanding the US Government stop the Willow project and protect our communities, ecosystems, and global climate. Please see WECAN's livestream of the rally here.

Please visit, support, and follow Sovereign Inupiat for a Living Arctic (SILA), who are leading the fight to stop this project and protect the artic: https://www.silainuat.org/
Young Women Leaders Send a 'Cease and Desist' to Businesses at the World Economic Forum
On January 19, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, young women leaders Helena Gualinga, Vanessa Nakate, Luisa Neubauer, and Greta Thunberg presented CEOs at the forum with a "cease and desist" letter calling for a stop to new oil, gas, and coal extraction, and to stop blocking the clean energy transition.

Financial institutions and businesses are complicit in the ongoing destruction of global communities and planets as they continue to fund fossil fuel extraction. The letter was signed by over 920,000 people worldwide and counting. You can add your name to the letter here.
Feminist Wishes for 2023
To ring in the new year, our friends at Ms. Magazine asked feminists working across movements, what they are wishing for 2023, including Katherine Quaid (Cayuse/Nez Perce/Paiute), WECAN Communications Coordinator. Here is what she shared:
“In 2023 I’m wishing for continued collective action and collaboration to bring forth just climate solutions. As the climate crisis worsens, it is clear through our work at WECAN that women, feminists and gender-diverse leaders are providing the strategies and solutions necessary to meet the urgency of this moment.

I hope for fossil fuel phaseout, the protection of Indigenous rights and sovereignty, the defense of women land defenders and the proliferation of gender equity throughout the climate movement.

“Let us continue to build on the work of powerful leaders to protect forests and biodiversity, build innovative climate solutions, resist oppressive systems and imagine a healthy and just future for me, for you, for our entire planet.”

Please consider supporting WECAN as we continue to uplift the leadership and solutions of women and feminists worldwide fighting for climate justice and the defense of the planet for current and future generations.
For the Earth and All Generations,

Women's Earth and Climate Action Network
(WECAN) International Team
S T A Y C O N N E C T E D