In light of the just released AR6 Summary Report, we are outraged that the governments and corporations most responsible for global warming emissions remain actively invested in fossil fuel expansion.
IPCC reports have warned repeatedly that a climate catastrophe is closing in on all of us. The warnings have had no effect on those with the greatest responsibility and power to do something about it. The slow progress and commitments to cut down emissions and enable people and communities to build resilience and adapt and cover losses and damages we can no longer avoid is evident of the great injustice at the heart of the climate crisis.
The Global South historically has the least contribution to climate change, and yet it is where the worst impacts of climate change are being felt. We are living with the worst ravages of the climate crisis that undermine our safety, health, livelihoods, food security, water supply and economic growth. The Global South is also where the largest finance gaps for climate action can be found.
Instead of immediate action by developed countries to cut down emissions, we are seeing massive oil and fossil gas development and continued efforts to push the narrative that fossil gas and Carbon Capture and Storage technologies can drive a reduction in emissions. This narrative is a blatant lie and a deadly plan to mitigate emissions that is only compatible with capitalist interests and with allowing oil and gas production for developed countries. It is not compatible with the findings of the IPCC on what is required to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius: at least 43% emissions reductions by 2030 compared to 2019 levels, and at least 60% by 2035.
Instead of being primary beneficiaries of urgent climate action from developed countries, Global South countries are being led down a path strewn with new fossil fuel infrastructures that would lock in decades of emissions and lock out any potential to attain energy security and sustainable development through clean, renewable energy systems.
We vehemently object to the plans for, and the continued promotion of, new fossil fuel infrastructures in the Global South financed by wealthy countries – the big polluters that, due to their historical and continuing emissions, have an obligation to swiftly end reliance on fossil fuel, deliver adequate climate finance, and just transition to renewables. We echo the Synthesis Report’s call for an end to new fossil fuel exploration and for developed countries to quit coal, oil, and gas by 2040.
We call for climate justice for all vulnerable peoples and communities. The IPCC report has highlighted the importance of equity, social justice, inclusion and just transition processes in implementing climate actions. We are aware that a key fight in the IPCC discussions is on securing the language and framing the context in terms of equity and the principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities. Developing countries, highlighting the fact that the assumptions in the modeled scenarios and pathways do not factor in equity, had to fight for adaptation, resilience, loss and damage, development and implementation challenges in developing countries as key issues alongside the need for deep, rapid, sustained emissions within this decade.
We deplore the constant attempts by wealthy nations like the United States to water down and even remove references to equity, fairshares and the principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities, which is a central principle in the Climate Convention. We urge policy makers and government leaders who are steadfast in upholding justice and fairness to continue to resist these attempts. We call on citizens worldwide to hold their governments to their duties to place people and the planet above the interests of elites and corporations.