US Human Rights Network Blog

US Human Rights Network Blog



USHRN opposes Donald Trump’s nomination of Kelly Craft as next United Nations Ambassador

May 23, 2019

PHOENIX — Following the Trump Administration’s nomination of Kelly Craft as United Nations Ambassador, the US Human Rights Network released the following statement:

Kelly Craft’s nomination to the post of UN Ambassador is a direct threat to the human rights of marginalized communities who already experience the worst impacts of climate change. Craft cannot be trusted to put the nation’s interests ahead of her family’s personal financial interests.

If confirmed as UN Ambassador, Craft's position would put her in close proximity to international climate talks that directly impact her husband, coal industry magnate Joseph Craft’s, financial and business interests. Joseph Craft serves as President and CEO of Alliance Resource Partners, the third largest coal producing company in the Eastern United States. Mr. Craft owns or controls over 44 million shares of Alliance Resource Partners, worth over $900 million in March, 2019[1].

Kelly Craft has already been criticized for comments made during her post as Ambassador to Canada where she asserted that there are “good scientists on both sides” of climate science.

The global scientific community has indisputably agreed that human activity from the burning of fossil fuels including coal is the primary source of the climate crisis. The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights has asserted that climate change is a human rights issue which particularly impacts poor communities, poor nations, low-lying coastal lands, and small island nations which have little capacity or resources to adapt to climate change, and for which climate change is often a literal existential crisis.

In many underserved and marginalized communities around the nation and the world, the climate emergency affects human rights including the right to health, to food, to water, and the right to self-determination. Climate change has negative impacts on peace and stability as it contributes to violent conflict over resources and creates refugees; climate disasters are already displacing more people than war due to flooding, droughts, and climate-related famine. The large majority of climate refugees are from poor countries with histories of colonial exploitation, where basic infrastructure, emergency response, and resilience are lacking. They are also the countries that have emitted the least greenhouses gases, thus contributing the least to climate breakdown.

While over 98 percent of scientists agree that climate change is real and is caused by human activity, and while the UN Refugee Agency estimates that 250 million people are at risk of becoming climate refugees by 2050, Donald Trump continues to deny the existence of human caused climate change, and has staffed his cabinet with like-minded climate science deniers and proponents of environmental deregulation who will protect industry over people.

The US Human Rights Network firmly opposes the nomination of Kelly Craft to the post of UN Ambassador and stands in opposition to the Trump Administration’s failure to acknowledge and combat the human caused climate crisis.

[1] Letter to Kelly Craft from Senators Edward Markey, Jeffrey Merkley, and Sheldon Whitehouse


Link to recent USHRN Statements:

USHRN opposes restricting abortion, affirms nation’s obligation to protect the human right to safe and legal abortion

USHRN condemns Chabad of Poway synagogue shooting

USHRN denounces Donald Trump’s attacks on Representative Ilhan Omar

USHRN opposes the perpetuation of racial bias in unregulated facial recognition softwares

USHRN Statement on a Declaration of National Emergency to Build Trump’s Border Wall

USHRN Statement on the Removal of Immigrant Children from Parents at the Border