In the face of multiple struggles to build a new and better world, the climate crisis is one of most urgent challenges confronting all of our peoples. To stabilize the Earth’s climate system, prevent planetary catastrophe and secure a safe, sustainable, just and equitable future, we must fight for comprehensive social, economic, and political transformation in our countries and globally.
Current levels of global warming – 0.8 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels – is already causing massive destruction, displacement and loss of lives, and worse impacts in the near future is already certain. We are fighting to prevent much worse, and it is a fight we cannot afford to lose.
People are waging this fight in every dimension of their lives — food, energy, health and security, jobs and livelihoods — defending their rights, the communities and the commons, and asserting people driven solutions and alternatives. These alternatives recognize there must be a redistribution of power and wealth, a shift to sustainable systems of extraction and production, and a limit to the consumption of resources if we are to live well, with justice and dignity and in harmony with nature.
The latest report from the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is telling us that with timely and sufficient global climate actions there is still a chance to keep warming to below 2.0 degrees Celsius – the official target ceiling of the international climate talks – and even below 1.5 degrees Celsius, which is the maximum ceiling acceptable for many of us given the loss and damage posed by further climate impacts. The IPCC report also confirms that the window of time that allows for the possibility of keeping global temperature to below 1.5 or 2 degrees is short and quickly closing.
Now more than ever, we need to intensify and speed up our efforts to build our power and fight for a fundamental transformation of the system. While we are fighting to transform the system, we urgently need to win immediate and concrete victories that will enable our people to deal with current as well as future inevitable impacts of climate change, and victories that translate to significant reductions in emissions that will keep us on track to preventing catastrophic climate change.
In this light, and as part of broader struggles, we are fighting for the following demands for fair, just and equitable sharing of ambitious and adequate global efforts to confront the climate crisis:
1. We demand that ALL governments commit to
· a global goal of limiting warming to the safest levels still possible based on science
· a pathway and targets for Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions reductions that will make it possible to achieve this goal without potentially devastating geo-engineering
· a fair and equitable sharing of the global emissions budget and the effort to keep within the budget, based on science, historical responsibility and capacity – and without loopholes and offsets
The science shows that there is a definite limit to GHG emissions the earth can take to keep below these ceilings. This limit, referred to as a “global emissions budget,” has already been largely consumed, mostly by elites, corporations, and the “developed” countries of the North. This historical overconsumption is the core driver of the climate crisis, and represents the climate debt owed to people and communities who have not been responsible for the crisis but bear its worst impacts.
To avoid overshooting the limited remaining budget and to have a good chance of keeping below 1.5 degrees Celsius without resorting to untested and potentially devastating geo-engineering technologies, the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions must take place at the scale and pace that would
· Limit global GHG emissions from 2014onward to a total of, at most 700 gigatons. This is the remainder of the “global emissions budget” which, starting in the 1800s, was no more than 3000 gigatons.
· Pursue a “pathway” of reductions that would make this limit possible. Drastic reductions are urgently needed in the immediate future to have a chance of keeping within the remainder of the budget. Thus, global GHG emissions by 2030 must be at least 26% lower than 1990 levels, and by 2050 should be at least 71% lower than 1990 levels. This means that by 2020 – in less than 6 years – GHG emissions should be at least 15.5% lower than current levels. The current most ambitious pledges are still far short of these targets.
The limited remaining “global emissions budget”, and the effort to keep within this budget, should be shared equitably taking into account historical responsibility and capacity and repayment of climate debt.
2. We demand that governments of the North, of “developed countries”, stop further delays and deception, and commit to and deliver fully and unequivocally their fair share of the effort to solve climate change, ensure a full repayment of the climate debt owed to the peoples of the South, and shift to sustainable and equitable economies through just transitions
Current Northern or “developed country” pledges for mitigation actions and climate finance – such as the recent pronouncements by the U.S. – are still very short of their fair share, of fulfilling their obligations. The bigger the shortfall in the fulfilment of mitigation obligations in the North, the greater the suffering in the South.
We demand that governments of the North, of “developed” countries commit to and comply with domestic mitigation targets that represent the full extent of their capacity to carry out domestic mitigation through just transitions and without loopholes, offsets and geo-engineering. However, their accumulated excessive GHG emissions are so huge that even extremely ambitious domestic actions will not be enough to fulfil their fair share of the effort.
Therefore, we demand that they also commit to and deliver adequate, additional climate finance and technology that will make it possible for the remainder of their mitigation obligations to be undertaken in the South. This should be separate from and in addition to climate finance and technology for adaptation, and reparations for loss and damage owed to the peoples of the South. The pledge of annual $100 billion should be the floor not the ceiling, should be additional to other commitments, and transfers should start immediately. Climate finance should be public, non debt creating and should go directly to peoples of the South. The $9.3 billion so far pledged in the GCF is shockingly dismal to say the least, not only for the paltry amount, but because there are persistent intentions to deliver these funds to big corporations and private financial intermediaries.
3. We demand that governments of the South, of ‘developing’ countries, stop following the same path of profit-led, destructive high carbon growth that benefit only the elites and taken by the North, by ‘developed’ countries. Instead they should shift to equitable, just and sustainable development pathways, start taking on South countries’ fair share of the global effort, and be unrelenting in claiming climate finance and technology from Northern governments for Southern countries to undertake mitigation actions over and beyond their own fair share of the global effort.
Thus far, Southern or “developing” countries bear far less and for many like the Least Developed Countries hardly any historical responsibility for the climate crisis. However, the business-as-usual projections of governments of developing countries show that all will reach a point of exceeding their fair share of the global emissions budget. This will come sooner for some countries than others, with Least Developed Countries (LDCs) taking a much longer time.
All Southern or “developing” countries should shift as quickly as possible to more equitable, just and sustainable pathways. Even as they should double the intensity of their demands for deep and drastic cuts from the North, they should also take on the GHG emissions reductions necessary to avoid exceeding their fair share of the global carbon budget – this constitutes their fair share of the global effort. They must commit to clear long term emissions reductions goals. This means, among other actions, desisting from starting new projects that will lock in developing countries to dirty fossil fuel energy for decades.
Developing countries are also compelled to assume part of the mitigation obligations of developed countries, the part which the developed countries can no longer achieve, even with extremely ambitious domestic actions. Because our peoples are the first to suffer and suffer the worst of the impacts of lack of action, Southern governments must not waver in demanding climate finance and technology from developed country governments in order to undertake mitigation actions with just transition, over and beyond the fair share of developing countries. And they must similarly demand the climate finance owed by developed countries to enable peoples of the South to deal with adaptation, loss and damage to climate change’s impacts.
We also demand governments of the South ensure that the “right to sustainable development” and “development space” being invoked in the international climate negotiations is really for the people and communities of the South and not for private big business and elites.
We demand that mitigation commitments by all governments be immediately translated into concrete policies for transformation of energy systems away from fossil fuel
Global reduction of GHG emissions require a rapid transformation of energy systems.Governments should begin with an immediate ban on new fossil fuel projects, a stop to the expansion of the fossil fuel industry, immediate reduction of energy consumption by elites and corporation, a swift and just transition to renewable and clean energy for people and communities, and delivery of climate finance and technology for this to happen in the South.
5. We demand all governments to put a stop to false solutions to the climate crisis
In the face of the climate crisis — saving the system rather than changing the system has been the predictable response from the world’s elites, their corporations, and the governments and institutions they dominate. They continue to delay actions and insist on solutions that do not address the causes and instead are mainly aimed at generating profits and capitalizing on peoples’ suffering. Many of these false solutions commodify nature and deepen corporate capture of the commons.
We say no more further delays, no more deception, no more false solutions.
We are movements and organizations from the South, engaged in many struggles for the survival of our people, for a better world. We are determined to step up our efforts in the multitude of spaces in which to fight for and demand climate justice at the local, national, regional and global levels to get at the root cause of the climate crisis.