For years, Maureen Penjueli, who is Indigenous Rotuman from Fiji, has watched her home country survive devastating cyclones and flooding caused by unusually heavy rainfall. She watched as the coastal village of Vunidogoloa was forced to relocate inland to escape rising seas, and as the long-time head of the nongovernmental advocacy group Pacific Network on Globalization, Penjueli knows climate change will mean more extreme weather events for her Pacific island home.

Still, Penjueli is skeptical when she hears “clean energy” touted as a solution to the climate crisis. She thinks of the clear blue waters surrounding Fiji and how companies are eager to scrape the seafloor for potato-shaped nodules rich with minerals that could be used to build electric cars in wealthy countries, and she worries her people will face consequences from any deep-sea mining pollution.

“It’s super critical that people understand that the transition is anything but just, and anything but equitable,” said Penjueli.

That’s why this month, Penjueli flew from Suva, Fiji, to New York City to meet with fellow Indigenous activists ahead of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, or UNPFII, the largest annual global gathering of Indigenous peoples. Officially, this year’s forum is focused on self-determination for Indigenous youth, but climate change looms large: On opening day, the outgoing UNPFII chair shared a new report on the green transition, raising another alarm about the risks Indigenous peoples and their lands face not only from climate change, but also the projects intended to counteract global warming.

“The current green economy model is a problem rather than a solution for many Indigenous Peoples,” the report said. “The concept of a transition to a green economy maintains the same extractive logic that causes States and the private sector to overlook the collective rights of Indigenous Peoples in pursuit of national interests.”

Read the full article about indigenous advocates and the green transition by Anita Hofschneider at Grist.