Letter from ​Leading Environment and Human Rights Groups​ on ​Ending Amazon Crude | Amazon Watch
Amazon Watch

​​Letter from ​Leading Environment and Human Rights Groups​: ​Ending Amazon Crude ​Is ​Key to Fossil-Free Movement

March 5, 2018 | Campaign Update

To: United States-based corporations and California policymakers –

We, the undersigned organizations, write to you – entities involved in the processing, use, regulation, and financing of Amazon crude – to request that you take action to stem the influx of Amazon crude oil into the United States. Expanding oil drilling in the Amazon rainforest runs counter to the scientific imperative to keep at least two-thirds of fossil fuel reserves in the ground to avoid reaching two degrees Celsius of warming and to have a fighting chance at escaping the most catastrophic effects of climate change. Continuing to expand the fossil fuel frontier in places like the Amazon will lead the world to drastically miss the Paris Accord targets, with severe consequences for our climate.

The negative implications of continued oil drilling in the Amazon are particularly egregious given the region’s global ecological and cultural significance. The Amazon sequesters large quantities of carbon dioxide and plays a critical role in regulating the global climate. It contains one-fifth of the world’s flowing fresh water, produces one-fifth of the planet’s oxygen, and houses one-tenth of its biodiversity. It is also home to hundreds of indigenous nationalities, including dozens living in voluntary isolation.

Oil extraction in the western Amazon Basin, where the vast majority of oil drilling in the Amazon occurs, causes negative community health impacts, environmental contamination, deforestation, and biodiversity loss. To make matters worse, these projects often occur on or near the territories of indigenous nations that have not been properly consulted per national and international laws, or have explicitly rejected the presence of oil companies on their land. In spite of community resistance and the scientific imperative of placing a moratorium on new oil and gas projects to prevent climate chaos, Amazonian governments continue to auction off new oil concessions to the highest bidder.

United States institutions and companies can and should play a role in stopping the expansion of the fossil fuel frontier in the Amazon. About 60 percent of crude oil exports from the Western Amazon come to the United States, largely to California, where it is refined and enters the fuel streams of end users. This means that U.S. corporations – whether oil refineries processing Amazon crude or companies with large truck fleets using Amazon crude in their transport operations – -are creating the demand that justifies the continued expansion of fossil fuel extraction in the Amazon. In addition, various U.S. financial institutions are bankrolling oil companies exploring and extracting oil from the Amazon and California policymakers have remained silent regarding the presence of Amazon crude in the state’s fuel mix.

In order to stop Amazon destruction, respect indigenous rights, and prevent runaway climate change, we join Amazon Watch in calling on United States institutions to do their part to End Amazon Crude:

  • Financial institutions: publicly disclose company investments in climate-related holdings, divest all portfolios from any financing of exploration or drilling of Amazon crude, and, if you are an Equators Principles Financial Institution (EPFI), urge fellow EPFIs to adopt new, stronger principles.
  • Companies with large transport footprints: identify and eliminate company use of Amazon crude in transport operations and issue a public statement regarding steps taken to go Amazon crude-free; expand company commitments to clean, renewable energy.
  • California policymakers: curb the importation of Amazon crude to California through legislation and/or regulatory action; support legislation that seeks to accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels.

Thank you for taking action to ensure a safe and livable planet for present and future generations.

  • 350.org

    350.org

  • 350 Bay Area

    350 Bay Area

  • Alameda Interfaith Climate Action Network

    Alameda Interfaith Climate Action Network

  • AlphaSource Climate Fund

    AlphaSource Climate Fund

  • Amazon Frontlines

    Amazon Frontlines

  • Amazon Watch

    Amazon Watch

  • Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)

    Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)

  • Ballona Creek Renaissance (BCR)

    Ballona Creek Renaissance (BCR)

  • The Borneo Project

    The Borneo Project

  • California Environmental Justice Coalition (CEJC)

    California Environmental Justice Coalition (CEJC)

  • Californians Against Fracking & Dangerous Drilling

    Californians Against Fracking & Dangerous Drilling

  • California Student Sustainability Coalition

    California Student Sustainability Coalition

  • Center for Biological Diversity

    Center for Biological Diversity

  • Center for Environmental Health

    Center for Environmental Health

  • Community Food and Justice Coalition

    Community Food and Justice Coalition

  • Communities for a Better Environment

    Communities for a Better Environment

  • Connecticut Citizen's Action Group (CCAG)

    Connecticut Citizen’s Action Group (CCAG)

  • Corporate Accountability

    Corporate Accountability

  • CREDO Action

    CREDO Action

  • Cultural Survival

    Cultural Survival

  • Defenders of Mother Earth – Huichin

    Defenders of Mother Earth – Huichin

  • EarthRights International

    EarthRights International

  • Earthworks

    Earthworks

  • EcoViva

    EcoViva

  • Environmental Justice Coalition for Water

    Environmental Justice Coalition for Water

  • Food Empowerment Project

    Food Empowerment Project

  • Food & Water Watch

    Food & Water Watch

  • Fossil Free California

    Fossil Free California

  • Friends of the Earth – US

    Friends of the Earth – US

  • Global Exchange

    Global Exchange

  • Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

    Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

  • Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice

    Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice

  • Green America

    Green America

  • Greenpeace USA

    Greenpeace USA

  • Harrington Investments, Inc.

    Harrington Investments, Inc.

  • Idle No More SF Bay

    Idle No More SF Bay

  • Indigenous Environmental Network

    Indigenous Environmental Network

  • InterAmerican Clean Energy Institute

    InterAmerican Clean Energy Institute

  • MLK Coalition of Greater Los Angeles

    MLK Coalition of Greater Los Angeles

  • Movement Rights

    Movement Rights

  • Nicaragua Center for Community Action

    Nicaragua Center for Community Action

  • Oil Change International

    Oil Change International

  • Pachamama Alliance

    Pachamama Alliance

  • El Pueblo para el Aire y Agua Limpia de Kettleman City

    El Pueblo para el Aire y Agua Limpia de Kettleman City

  • Rainforest Action Network

    Rainforest Action Network

  • Rootskeeper

    Rootskeeper

  • The Rules

    The Rules

  • Santa Barbara Standing Rock Coalition

    Santa Barbara Standing Rock Coalition

  • Sierra Club

    Sierra Club

  • SoCal 350 Climate Action

    SoCal 350 Climate Action

  • Soil Not Oil Coalition

    Soil Not Oil Coalition

  • Sunflower Alliance

    Sunflower Alliance

  • SustainUS

    SustainUS

  • Topanga Peace Alliance

    Topanga Peace Alliance

  • West County Toxics Coalition

    West County Toxics Coalition

  • Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN)

    Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN)

Add Your Signature

We invite other organizations to voice their support for the End Amazon Crude campaign by adding their names to this sign-on letter. The campaign calls on U.S.-based corporations and California policymakers to take action to stem the influx of Amazon crude oil into the United States.

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