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CRITFC's plan to bring UN Agenda 2030 guidelines to the PNW dam debate – Idaho Dispatch

reported on the Northwest Intertribal Food Sovereignty Summit held in Worley, Idaho, earlier this year. We explained that some of the literature shared at the summit included topics such as the history and traditions of the Columbia River fishery, “climate-smart gardening,” and recipes based on “First Foods” (the staples in the diet of tribes native to the Northwest). ), climate change adaptation projects, the Lapwai Food Trail and conservation.

Abridged print materials were distributed during the Food Sovereignty Conference explaining CRITFC's vision for our region and plans to use the UN Agenda 2030 Guidelines on Climate Change and Renewable Resources as a roadmap to transform the PNW. This included a 13-page brochure entitled Energy Vision for the Columbia River Basin. The full version of this document, available on the CRITFC website, consists of 208 pages. You can find, read and download it here.

In a section labeled SummaryAccording to CRITFC, the PNW faces four critical issues:

You can read the Idaho Dispatch's coverage of the PNW dams, salmon health and energy debate here, here, here and here.

“A key theme of this energy vision is to ensure that renewable resources, combined with increased storage, peak demand reduction and increased energy efficiency, can provide clean, sufficient, reliable and affordable electricity, support the recovery of healthy, harvestable salmon populations,” and prevent future damage of salmon, steelhead and other tribal resources caused by the electrical system.”

In a section highlighting the key steps they believe need to be taken to address the four “critical issues” described above, CRITFC says:

“Improve river configuration and operations: The region must plan changes to reduce the harm to migratory salmon and steelhead caused by Columbia Basin dams, including breaching the four lower Snake River dams.”

In the printed materials and on the website, the CRITFC describes itself as follows:

“The CRITFC was founded in 1977 by the Nez Perce, Umatilla, Warm Springs and Yakama Tribes. CRITFC provides technical, policy coordination and enforcement services to the four tribes.”

However, when searching on two different online search engines, CRITFC is described as a government entity.

Many of the 43 specific recommendations of the Full Energy Vision 2022 recommendations align directly with the goals and plans described in the United Nations 2030 Agenda.

Under “Reduce peak loads (energy)”

Recommendation 5: Public utility communities in the Northwest should adopt time-of-use tariffs to send an appropriate pricing signal that takes into account the dramatically different costs of using electricity at different times of the day.

Recommendation 7: Car manufacturers should install systems that allow electric vehicles to schedule charging during off-peak hours.

In the subsection “Maximize energy efficiency”

“Recommendation 19: All tribal homes and operations should be fully weatherproofed by 2025 and all tribal homes and operations should receive solar panels and battery systems that provide zero net energy by 2030.”

In the section “Use of renewable resources and integration/synergy with electricity storage”

Recommendation 24: Utilities and BPA should continue to advance wind development and related wind energy integration efforts, consistent with tribal concerns and the protection of fish, wildlife, and cultural resources.

Recommendation 25: The region should increase efforts to promote utility-scale solar energy.

“Dealing with the climate crisis” contains three recommendations:

Recommendation 39: Federal, state, and local policymakers should develop programs to reduce fossil fuel use.

Recommendation 40: Federal and state governments should end all fossil fuel subsidies.

Recommendation 41: Utilities, tribes, agriculture, and nongovernmental organizations should conduct carbon sequestration pilot projects.

The final divided section entitled “Additional Considerations” contains the following:

Recommendation 43: Utilities and public utility commissions should adopt a policy to deny service to cryptocurrency mining in the Northwest.

The printed brochure ends with CRITFCs Call to action. It can be found online here. It says,

“The North West is at a critical crossroads, facing challenges for the health of the planet and the future of its iconic fish and wildlife. These challenges are particularly important to the tribal resources that have historically sustained tribal peoples.

One path leads to affordable, CO2-free energy that harmonizes with the ecosystem. In this future, energy efficiency, renewable resources, new storage technologies, peak demand reduction, and other strategies consistent with the needs of fish and wildlife would be prioritized. These efforts would reduce the impact of renewable resource and transmission line projects on tribal resources and save consumers money.

The other path creates conflicts between renewable resources and tribal resources and results in higher costs for consumers.

Choosing the first path requires the courage to act, shared solutions and commitment of resources to tackle the hard work ahead. It also requires the humility to regularly evaluate and adjust the course based on new information and insights.

CRITFC and its member tribes are committed to working with other regional interests to move the region toward a better and healthier future. Affordable and reliable electricity is important to regional families and businesses, tribal and non-tribal. The true wealth of our region begins with the health of our rivers, fish and the ecosystem they support, which represents our culture, history and future.”

The United Nations Agenda 2030 can be found and studied here. The Water Action Agenda You will find here. These include goals such as:

“By 2030, strengthen international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and clean fossil fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology.”

In this February 2024 article, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service describes the Biden administration's involvement:

“…the Biden-Harris Administration is investing $20 million to support federally recognized tribal and Alaska Native businesses and villages as part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda.” The funding provided through the Inflation Reduction Act enabled by President Biden and distributed through competitive USDA Forest Service grants will help recipients access new private markets for forest resilience, climate change mitigation, water quality, carbon sequestration and more.”

It is further explained,

“In fiscal year 2023, the USDA Forest Service and Tribes entered into more than 120 co-management agreements, representing a total investment of $68 million, more than three times the investments made in fiscal year 2022. The agreements include $37 million in 12 self-determination agreements – up nearly 90% compared to fiscal year 2022.”

Found and labeled here Agenda 2030 and indigenous peoples,

“Due to the strong engagement of indigenous peoples in the 2030 Agenda process, the final resolution “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” (A/RES/70/1) refers to indigenous peoples six times, three times in the political declaration ; two in the targets under Goal 2 on Zero Hunger (Goal 2.3) and Goal 4 on Education (Goal 4.5) – and one in the follow-up and review section, which calls for the participation of indigenous peoples. Check out this overview of references to indigenous peoples: Indigenous peoples and the 2030 Agenda infographics

Beyond the direct references, many of the Sustainable Development Goals and associated targets are relevant to indigenous peoples. In addition, the overarching framework of the 2030 Agenda contains numerous elements that can help express the development concerns of indigenous peoples. What is significant is the fact that human rights principles and standards are strongly taken into account in the 2030 Agenda (A/RES/70/1 paragraph 10). Furthermore, the overall focus of the 2030 Agenda on reducing inequalities is of particular importance for indigenous peoples, who almost invariably find themselves in a disadvantaged situation compared to other population groups.

The global indicator framework, which measures progress towards the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), includes two indicators directly related to indigenous peoples (Indicator 2.3.2 and 4.5.1) as well as several other indicators particularly relevant to Indicators 1.4.2 and 5.a.1 on land rights are relevant to indigenous peoples. “In addition, much emphasis has been placed on the need for data disaggregation, which has been advocated by the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, among others.”

Article photos courtesy of the United Nations

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Tags: Agenda 2030, Columbia River, Congressman Mike Simpson, dam failure, dams, energy, fossil fuels, native people, Native Americans, Pacific Northwest, PNW, renewable energy, Snake River, solar energy, United Nations, wind farm


Anna Harden

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