September 26, 2022

IMG 3541


In the face of rapidly intensifying climate impacts – with compelling evidence provided by the UN’s own Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) year after year – most governments around the world now gathered at the UN General Assembly are failing to take bold and decisive actions towards the systemic changes that need to be made.  

The devastating impacts of the climate crisis is most dramatically and tragically demonstrated by the recent catastrophic flooding that saw a third of Pakistan under water. The floods, attributed to the climate crisis by scientific modeling, have killed more than 1,500 people, displaced 33 million, destroyed homes, livelihoods, public health facilities, water systems, and schools. Pakistan’s climate change minister, Sherry Rehman, said the country is overwhelmed with the cost of rebuilding and adapting to new extreme weather. Just providing for baseline disaster needs such as shelter and food requires billions in immediate funding, and billions more in funding are needed to rebuild livelihoods. She implored: “It is not unreasonable to ask why countries with a negligible carbon footprint, like Pakistan, must pay for global warming catastrophes we had no part in creating.” 

Trillions of dollars are needed annually by developing countries (the Global South), to adapt and build resilience in the face of climate change impacts, recover from the loss and damage, and ensure a rapid and just transition to fossil fuel free and equitable economies that give primacy to  the rights and well being of people and the health of the planet.  

Rich, industrialized countries (the Global North) are obligated to provide new, additional and adequate climate finance for the Global South for these needs, as stipulated in the legally binding UN Framework Convention on Climate Change  (UNFCCC) that they agreed to and ratified more than 3 decades ago. They are not fulfilling these obligations, even failing to meet the $100 billion per year which they pledged more than a decade ago which is only a very small fraction of what is needed. The climate finance that was counted as delivered includes other financial flows that should not have been counted. For instance, $78 billion climate finance was supposedly delivered in 2018. But it is estimated that public climate financing may actually be at only $19 billion–$22.5 billion in 2017–2018 because some countries incorrectly count development aid as part of climate finance.

Their perverted priorities are clear. Governments of rich countries were quick to bail out banks and corporations in the trillions of dollars during the global finance crisis. They give subsidies to fossil fuel industries multiple times more than their actual climate finance delivery and their support for renewable energy.  Public financing for fossil fuels by the G7 nations alone totalled over USD 100 billion from 2018 to 2020, four times its support for renewable energy.

We condemn the deception, delays and inaction of the governments of the Global North to evade the delivery of their climate finance obligations. 

We strongly call for action to address food in the context of the climate crisis.

We call for a sustainable, climate-resilient agroecological system aimed to produce adequate and healthy food for all. Unsustainable industrial agricultural production systems are significant contributors to climate change, with high emissions of greenhouse gasses – in particular from concentrated livestock facilities and excessive use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer.

Much of the current responses to the food and climate crisis rely heavily on technologies that promise to increase agricultural yields, improve crop resilience and ultimately address food scarcity at the expense of our land, oceans and forests, further threatening the livelihoods of small food producers, rural communities and indigenous peoples. These corporate-led and profit-driven responses are not real solutions to the problem. 

We strongly call for scaled up climate finance that will fund adaptation and provide a separate financial facility dedicated to the Loss and Damage needs of vulnerable countries.

There is an urgent need to step up climate adaptation finance. The climate finance that has been delivered has been disproportionately directed to mitigation efforts. Adaptation accounts for just 7% of total climate finance that has been delivered. We urge world leaders  to scale up adaptation programs and financing alongside their actions to reduce emissions. 

Climate change impacts that cannot be avoided either by mitigation, adaptation or other measures like disaster risk management are called Loss and Damage. There is currently no financial target set for loss and damage. The projected economic cost of loss and damage by 2030 is estimated to be between $290 and $580 billion in developing countries alone. 

Addressing Loss and Damage is at the core of the climate justice fight. Countries that are least responsible for the climate crisis should not bear the costs alone. We need funds to rebuild and recover from the damages, but these funds must be provided through non-debt-creating climate finance, as part of the reparations for the huge climate debt owed by the Global North.

We condemn the promotion of false solutions packaged under the concept of Net Zero pledges of rich countries.

The world’s biggest polluters are pretending that they are responding to the climate crisis urgently and sufficiently. In truth, they use false solutions through Net Zero pledges which are nothing but a façade to disguise weak climate targets and evade responsibility for business-as-usual practices. 

The Net Zero scheme is heavily based on the assumption that unproven technologies and mechanisms can offset continued GHG emissions by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. We call for radically reducing emissions to Real Zero, which requires rapid and drastic cuts in emissions, and challenging economic models and powerful interests that are at the root of the climate crisis. 

Climate change is causing horrific impacts worldwide, especially in the Global South. It is crucial for the UNGA77 to deliver climate justice for developing countries immediately.  We don’t want more band-aid solutions to the climate crisis.