CANG8 Environmental Committee – Vision Statement & Call to Action

“Another World Is Possible: Peaceful, Equitable & Sustainable!”

We stand in solidarity with rural and urban communities of the global North and South who are exposed to the hazards of climate change; ecological degradation and contamination; and land and resource grabs. We believe in food, resource and climate justice rooted in sustainability and democracy. We call on activists, concerned citizens, farmers, indigenous peoples and environmentalists to join us in Chicago in non-violent protest of the closed-door NATO and G8 summits and to participate in an open, civil society discussion of the G8’s environmental impacts and community-based alternatives.

What is CANG8?
The Coalition Against the NATO/G8 (CANG8) is a broad-based coalition of civil society groups—including environmental, interfaith, labor, LGBTQ groups and others—formed in opposition to the NATO/G8 “war and poverty agenda.” Representatives of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) military alliance will be coming together for a private summit in Chicago on May 20-21, 2012. Leaders and finance ministers of the Group of Eight (G8) economic powers were originally scheduled to meet on May 19-20, 2012, in Chicago, but have moved to the more isolated US Presidential retreat center at Camp David. The policy priorities of these two bodies have enormous influence on communities throughout the world, yet their summits are closed to democratic participation. By sponsoring a parallel Peoples’ Summit May 12-13 and a rally and march on May 20,  CANG8 aims to raise the voices of civil society groups to articulate their own needs, experiences and priorities for global development and security.

What is the CANG8 Environmental Committee?
The CANG8 Environmental Committee was formed to highlight the environmental impacts of G8 policies and NATO resource wars at the NATO/G8 protests in Chicago. The goal is to amplify the voices of affected communities and social movements—locally, nationally and globally—fighting to protect their lands, natural resources and biodiversity from destructive and exploitative development policies. We also seek to help connect the dots between war and militarism; the extractive, expansionist development model; and the global environmental and climate crisis. What CANG8 calls the “war and poverty” agenda is also an agenda of environmental destruction and climate chaos.

As of 2010, the G8 countries represented 51 percent of global energy production, 55 percent of global energy consumption and 42 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. The Keystone XL pipeline is perhaps the highest profile recent example of the expansion of extractive industries, which is moving increasingly into high-risk environments like the Alberta Tar Sands, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, shale oil and gas fields around the world, and deepwater reserves like the Gulf of Mexico and West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea. Families and children affected by hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” for natural gas suffer grave illness from water contamination and the destruction of their rural economies based on tourism, agriculture and recreation.

Meanwhile, degradation and climate change are devastating millions of livelihoods, particularly in the global South. Indigenous peoples and subsistence farmers face floods, droughts and other extreme weather events. As many as 200 million people will be displaced by worsening natural disasters and climate change. Without a radical change in our global energy use and economic system, such “climate chaos” is expected to worsen, with devastating consequences for the world’s most vulnerable people. The global environmental and climate crises require that we rethink “business as usual,” respect natural limits to economic growth, and rebuild sustainable local economies.

We denounce…

Resource warswaged over the control of land, water, minerals, oil, gas and other natural resources. In Africa, for instance, over 35 million hectares (86m acres) of prime farmland and forests have been violently grabbed for export production or speculation since 2008. We strongly condemn the forced displacement and military and police repression of communities struggling to defend their lands and resources. We also strongly condemn the use of depleted uranium and white phosphorus munitions, the targeting of water and public health infrastructure and other practices that leave lasting damage in war-affected countries.

Free trade agreementsthat open the door to the unfettered corporate exploitation of natural resources; destroy locally-based economies and food systems; and promote a corporate “race to the bottom” towards countries (and “free trade zones”) with lower or non-existent environmental and labor regulations.

False solutions to climate changethat allow the biggest polluters to pay their way out of genuinely reducing emissions and other environmental impacts. While we recognize the good faith efforts of some corporations to “green” their supply chains, we reject sustainability certifications based onlyon voluntary compliance, which are difficult to enforce and leave large gaps for abuse. We reject agricultural biofuels as a false solution to climate change and energy security that is leading to deforestation, human rights abuses, increased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and rising food prices, especially in the global South.

We support…

Community-oriented sustainable developmentthat promotes local, democratic control over resources; provides high quality, living wage jobs; supports workers and immigrant rights; reduces energy consumption; and contributes positively to community well-being. We support private businesses—as well as cooperatives, public enterprises and other economic models—that place people and ecosystems before profits.

A binding climate agreementin which G8 countries live up to their historical responsibility for global climate change and commit to legally bindingobligations to dramatically cut GHG emissions, without conditions or mechanisms that allow big polluters to evade regulations. Climate commitments must also include support for poor countries and vulnerable communities to build sustainable, climate resilient economies.

Peoples’ right to food sovereignty, meaning the right of rural and urban communities to healthy, affordable and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. Food sovereignty means protecting food-producing resources from agrochemicals, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and other industrial technologies that in the long term deplete soil, pollute water, reduce biodiversity, contaminate native seeds and worsen climate change.

Call to Action
We believe that the current environmental crisis requires a broad convergence of social movements to demand environmental regulations and meaningful climate commitments, especially from the world’s most powerful countries. We call on activists and communities, rural and urban, North and South, to join the Cangate Environmental Committee in protest of the May 2012 NATO/G8 summits in Chicago and participate in an inclusive, civil society discussion of the environmental impacts of G8 policies. Activities will include workshops, alliance-building sessions, non-violent protest and special events to be determined.

  • For more information about the Coalition Against the NATO/G8 War and Poverty Agenda, please contact:
  • To participate in or help organize a Cang8 Environmental Committee workshop or activity in Chicago, or for more information, please contact: or call 520-243-0381
  • To join the Cang8 Environmental Committee email list, send an email to:

ENDORSERS (*: organizational affiliations for individual signers listed for identification purposes only):

Noam Chomsky, *Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, Massachusets Institute of Technology

Medea Benjamin, *Co-founder of Code Pink

Coalition Against the NATO/G8 War and Poverty Agenda

PERRO (Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization)

Rising Tide-Chicago

Martha Ojeda, *Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras

Dan Kovalik, *Senior Counsel to the United Steel Workers

Alliance for Global Justice

Food First

Banbose Shango, *All-African People’s Revolutionary Party (GC)

Andy Thayer, *Coalition Against the NATO/G8 War and Poverty Agenda and Co-founder of the Gay Liberation Network

Tanya Kerrsen, *Food First

Stephanie Dernek, *8th Day Center for Justice

Mike N. Durschmid, *Rising Tide-Chicago

Midwest Coalition Against Lethal Mining

Joe Iosbaker, *United National Anti-War Coalition

8th Day Center for Justice

Coalitions of Mutual Endeavor

Media Island International

Chuck Kaufman, *National Co-Coordinator, Alliance for Global Justice

Pat Hunt, *Chicago Code PINK

Dr. Julian Kunnie, *Voices of Opposition and Professor of Africana Studies, University of Arizona

Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras

Nicaragua Network

Voices of Opposition

Elane Spivak Rodriguez, *3rd Space

Fr. Bob Bossie, SCJ

Helen Jaccard, *Veterans for Peace

Beth Adams, *United National Anti-War Coalition

James Jordan, *National Coordinator, Alliance for Global Justice Eco-Solidarity Project

Nick Egnatz, *NW Indiana Veterans for Peace

Dave Ewoldt, *Sr. Analyst, Coalitions of Mutual Endeavor

Raquel Mogollón, *Pan Left Video Collective

NW Indiana Veterans for Peace

Latin America Solidarity Coalition

Lee Siu Hin, *National Coordinator, National Immigrant Solidarity Network

Barbara Larcom, *Casa Baltimore/Limay

Paul Teitelbaum, *Tucson International Action Center

Joe Bernick, *Director, Salt of the Earth Labor College

Kathy Hoyt, *National Coordinator, Nicaragua Network

Tim Jeffries, *Bend-Condega Friendship Project

Dr. Arnold Matlin, *Alliance for Global Justice

Bruce Wilkinson, *Media Island International

Shelley Scribner, *Alliance for Global Justice

Midge Quant, *Nicaragua Network

Dick Kaiser, *Occupy Tucson

Julius Gordon, *Tucson Activist Network

Tucson International Action Center

Campaign for Labor Rights

Respect for Democracy Campaign