From the Coalition's Executive Committee:
The Grand Rapids Climate Coalition envisions a just transition to renewable energy here at home and around the world, leading to social justice and human wellbeing.
Because everything is interconnected, recent and ongoing global violence highlights the need for organizations like ours to not shy away from speaking out about these connections and to oppose all forms of violence, war, genocide, colonization, and dehumanization—including Islamophobia and antisemitism around the world, in the US, and in Grand Rapids.
We join organizers around the world and close to home in urging all parties to seek peaceful solutions—and specifically, for permanent ceasefires in Israel-Palestine, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We share the sorrow and outrage of everyone mourning the suffering of innocent civilians and assert all peoples’ right to live in freedom, dignity, and peace. We condemn war in all its forms. We specifically decry the United States of America’s financing of global war efforts with our tax dollars because military spending perpetuates violence and accelerates climate breakdown.
War makes climate chaos worse. It does lasting harm to land, water, air, and animals, and, of course, to people—especially to those with the least structural power (just like the climate crisis). Researchers, journalists, and activists now rightly identify war’s climate harm alongside its humanitarian, cultural, economic, and other environmental impacts: the world’s total military carbon footprint is estimated at 5.5% of global emissions—mostly through burning fossil fuels derived through extractive practices.
The US military is the single largest climate polluter on the planet. (More below.)
We urge our nation’s leaders and elected officials to redirect funding and efforts toward analyzing and drastically reducing the U.S. military’s emissions, and to resist and abstain from war. And we encourage our members to work together with wider movements for justice, peace, human rights, and accountability.
This statement was approved by the GR Climate Coalition’s Executive Committee. We encourage our member organizations to consider, use, and act upon it as they see fit. (Note: this statement was updated on February 11, 2024 to include further examples below.)