December 8, 2023

COP28: Civil society unites to demand a global Power Up of renewables and phase out fossil fuels to keep 1.5 in reach

COP28: Civil society unites to demand a global Power-up of renewables and phase out fossil fuels to keep 1.5 in reach

A consortium of parties and civil society organizations have today joined forces to call for a rapid and just transition to a renewable energy- powered world. Led by and the Pacific Climate Warriors, members of Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines, the Indigenous Environmental Network, the International Trade Unions Confederation and other partners staged a walk in at the Blue Zone at COP28.

Participants demanded that a renewable energy target outcome at COP28 be accompanied by a robust and comprehensive financial package that would see the full, fast, and fair transition away from fossil fuels and into renewable energy in the Global South. Crucially, the energy package must also be coupled with a complete phaseout of fossil fuels. 

Joseph Sikulu, Pacific Managing Director says,

“If we allow major polluting countries to block a phaseout of fossil fuels at COP28, then the UNFCCC process is broken. We are here every year, fighting for our survival and are undermined at every point by the polluting nations and corporations. Don’t tell me a phaseout of fossil fuels is complex when our people are finding ways to raise entire islands. We want the energy transition to happen and we want finance to scale up renewable energy in our islands, but those are empty promises if we have no islands to come home to. It absolutely must be done, and those blocking the inclusion of a fossil fuel phaseout, or the energy package as a whole, are showing themselves for the climate change perpetrators they truly are.”

Brianna Fruean, Pacific climate activist says,

“Having a fossil fuel phaseout in the text is already 28 COPs late. We’re on borrowed time. We need to have a real commitment to stay below 1.5 and phaseout fossil fuels in the final text of these negotiations, otherwise we are just repeating the cycle of climate injustice within COP walls”

Lavetanalagi Seru, Regional Coordinator for Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN) says,

Overnight, we have seen negotiations on the global stocktake take a turn for the worse, held hostage by an emerging list of fossil fuel phaseout opponents who have finally revealed themselves. While there were a growing number of options on mitigation, we want to be clear that there is only one viable option:  A just and equitable fossil fuel phaseout in a 1.5C compatible timeline, with a tripling of renewable energy, doubling energy efficiency with developed countries going further fastest and providing the significant means for others to follow suit.

We reject any false solutions and unnecessary language loopholes that divert from genuine climate action. At COP28, our call for a robust fossil fuel phase-out is not just a plea for survival; it is a demand for justice, a powerful ripple against the blockers of change.”

Cansin Leylim, Associate Director of Global Campaigns says:

“A renewable energy target at COP28 will only represent a meaningful win for the climate movement, and real progress for global communities, if it is accompanied by a full, fast, and fair phaseout of fossil fuels. We can’t allow a renewable energy target to be used as an excuse for the continued fossil fuel dependency and all of the human, ecological, and financial injustices that fossil fuels perpetuate. In order to implement the energy package we demand of COP28, we need to see a clear implementation plan that includes financial commitments to the Global South.”

Portia Adu-Mensah, National Coordinator, 350 Ghana Reducing Our Carbon says:

“Those of us on the frontlines of the climate crisis have come to COP28 expecting concrete actions that will, in the end, afford us some relief from the devastating impacts plaguing us. The cries of communities in the most climate vulnerable regions should be the voice in the heads of decision makers and parties at COP28. It is time to lay the foundation that will allow our continent to leverage our renewable energy potential to build an energy system rooted in justice, while actively working towards phasing out fossil fuels, to secure a liveable future for all. To realize this, we need to commit substantial financing to the transition.”

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On site: Kim Bryan / [email protected] / +44 7770881503

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