Center for Biological Diversity

Media Advisory, November 8, 2016


Jean Su, (415) 770-3187,, (in Morocco)
Patrick Sullivan, (415) 517-9364, (U.S.)

From Standing Rock to Morocco:
Panels to Explore International Movement to Halt Fossil Fuel Extraction

Nov. 14, 16 ‘Keep It in the Ground’ Events Feature Activists From Around World

MARRAKESH, Morocco— Two panel discussions at the United Nations climate conference in Marrakesh will explore the growing global movement to end fossil fuel extraction and usher in a zero-carbon pollution future. On every continent except Antarctica, communities are organizing to fight the fossil fuel industry and demand that keeping fossil fuels in the ground be a core component of plans to implement the Paris climate agreement.

Featuring American Indian water protectors from Standing Rock and other frontline activists and legislators from South America, Asia, Africa, Europe and the United States, the two events are titled “Keep It in the Ground: Global Civil Society and the Political Movement to End Fossil Fuel Extraction.” The panels are cosponsored by the Center for Biological Diversity, PUSH Sweden,, SustainUS, the Greens of the European Free Alliance in the European Parliament, the Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development, the Centre for Environment Justice, Food & Water Watch, and the Society of Catholic Medical Missionaries.

The panels will discuss the global progress of the movement to keep fossil fuels in the ground, explore the growing success of this largely grassroots effort, and examine the essential role of such movements in building political momentum to achieve real progress in the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations and domestic fossil fuel policy.

What: Two panel discussions featuring experts and activists discussing how a civil society movement on five continents is pushing the world toward a zero-carbon future.


  • Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network, Navajo Nation and Dakota Santee, U.S.
  • Kayla DeVault, SustainUS and Arizona State University Delegattet, Navajo Nation, U.S.
  • Martin Vilela, Bolivian Movement Against Climate Change, Bolivia
  • Boniface Mumba, executive director, Centre for Environment Justice, Zambia
  • Lidy Nacpil, coordinator, Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development, Philippines
  • Nicole Oliveira,'s Latin America team leader, Brazil
  • Max Andersson, member of the European Parliament representing Sweden for the Green Party
  • Filip Lovstrom, PUSH Sweden
  • Moderator: Jean Su, associate conservation director, Center for Biological Diversity, U.S.
  • When and Where (the panel meets twice):

  • Monday, Nov. 14, 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m., Green Zone (non-badged panel): Tensift
  • Wednesday, Nov. 16, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., Blue Zone (badged panel):  Mediterranean (300)
  • Admission: COP 22 badge required for Nov. 16 panel

    To avoid climate change’s worst dangers, the world must leave most oil, natural gas and coal in the ground. Yet the Paris climate agreement does not even mention fossil fuels. Scientists say the agreement's pollution-cutting pledges leave the planet on track for 3 degrees Celsius temperature rise, which could inflict catastrophic damage on vulnerable communities and ecosystems.

    A recent Oil Change International study found that just the reserves in currently operating gas- and oilfields alone — even without coal — would take the planet dangerously beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming. The report urges governments to stop granting permits for new fossil fuel extraction or transportation infrastructure like pipelines.

    In the United States, an analysis by EcoShift on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity and Friends of the Earth found that ending new fossil fuel leasing on public lands and offshore areas controlled by the U.S. government, for example, would keep up to 450 billion tons of greenhouse gases from polluting the atmosphere.

    The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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