‘We have not yet been defeated’, claim civil society groups
Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt — Informally known as ‘Africa’s COP’, the 27th United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP27) begins today in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, where civil society groups will bring together voices from communities most affected by climate breakdown, challenging world leaders to finally make the decisions urgently necessary to protect this and future generations.
This year’s UN climate talks are being held amidst a global conjunction of crises: the war in Ukraine that drove up fossil fuel prices and triggered a new race for dirty energy, in particular the dash for fossil gas in Africa; food insecurity crises in the Global South, unemployment and the exorbitant increase in inflation and the cost of living in many places around the globe.
From the 6th to the 18th of November, tens of thousands of people from all over the world will attend COP27 to make it clear that all these crises have the same root cause: fossil fuels. And that the only way forward to achieve the Paris Agreement target of limiting global heating to 1.5°C and safeguarding the sustainable development goals is to halt any new development of coal, oil and gas, and to redirect financial flows towards sustainable renewable energy for all. For peace, food security, and climate justice.
Key demands from 350.org for COP27:
– No public finance for new fossil fuel development;
– Integration of pledges into Nationally Determined Contribution (NDCs) to be in line with Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C goal;
– Increasing the post-2025 climate finance goal, that strikes a balance with finance for adaptation;
– Establishing a Loss & Damage finance facility;
– Achieving clarity on implementation of the Paris Agreement goals.
May Boeve, 350.org Executive Director:
“This COP opens with so much at stake for those on the frontlines of the fight for climate justice. Communities on every continent are experiencing ever-worsening impacts of the climate crisis, and every government has a role to play in securing climate justice. The pathway to mitigation against climate chaos is increasingly steep and challenging, but the cost of inaction is even higher. The longer we indulge our reliance on fossil fuels, the greater the costs to be borne by this and future generations. We are here to remind global leaders of their responsibilities towards a just transition, press them to align finance flows with the goals of the Paris Agreement, and particularly in the case of rich nations, challenge them to pay the debts they owe to countries in the Global South, for decades of exploitation.”
Zeina khalil Hajj, 350.org Head of Global Campaigning and Organising:
“Shifting the multi-billion dollar investments from fossil fuel into renewables is the critical missing step towards actually meeting the global commitments made in Paris. But the reality is that the financial sector and the fossil fuel industry continue to collude, funding further destruction and exploitation by financing fossil fuel projects, particularly in Africa, Asia and Latin America – the same regions that are being hit hardest by multiple climate impacts of water scarcity, food insecurity, drought, flooding, pollution, extreme storms, and displacement. We need to stop throwing billions at the system that has brought us to this climate chaos. Instead, our institutions should be turning resources and energy to build a just transition, full of dignified work, healthcare, and economic justices for everyone.”
Landry Ninteretse, Regional Director of 350Africa.org:
“If there’s one message that needs to be heard through this ‘African COP’, it is that the people of Africa reject any further attempts at the exploitation of our home and resources. We do not need any more extractive projects. We refuse to feed the fossil fuel addiction of the global North, and we remind world leaders of their responsibility to address the three big components of the climate crisis: adaptation, mitigation, and loss and damage. For 27 years, these fundamental issues have been on the negotiating table: halt the development of fossil fuels, invest heavily in renewable energy solutions, and commit funds to helping vulnerable nations deal with the impacts of the climate crisis. As COP27 begins, we expect viable solutions to Africa’s food and energy crises. We expect to see justice delivered, this time in Africa.”
Omar Elmawi, Coordinator of the StopEACOP Coalition:
“We are putting the spotlight on campaigns against all fossil fuel enterprises, and especially, huge projects such as the planned East African Crude Oil Pipeline [EACOP], because it is unacceptable to even consider such projects when rapid and deep emission cuts are needed to avoid catastrophic climate impacts. We do not accept that the need to address the energy crisis can be used to greenlight these risky gas developments. We want this message to be heard as we head to COP, and commitments to be made to halt such projects and instead have finances channeled into a just transition to community-led renewable energy.”
Joseph Sikulu, member of the Pacific Climate Warriors and 350.org Pacific Director:
“Humankind is at a fork in the road. The choices we make now, in this decade, will decide our future. In the Pacific we are experiencing impacts associated with a myriad of extreme and slow onset events which affect our people, economies, and natural resources. We are calling for those who have contributed most to the climate crisis to take responsibility for the damage to our islands. Addressing loss and damage must be framed within a human rights-approach, built on principles of climate justice, and addressing rich nations’ ‘fair share’ of payments based on historical emissions rather than a simple moral obligation. We challenge those present at COP27 to make the bold decisions necessary to protect our futures.”
Eri Watanabe, 350.org Japan Finance Campaigner:
“It’s imperative that rich countries, those most responsible for the climate crisis, step up and put the money on the table. A just transition to a 100% renewably powered world is possible, but we need to make sure it’s equitable. The biggest emissions cuts must happen in the next decade, with the richest countries owning up to their fair share by reaching near zero emissions by 2030, and simultaneously supporting countries least responsible and hardest hit through massive and unconditional climate finance. We need to see far greater ambition by all countries to reduce their emissions. Climate finance is critical to addressing the climate crisis and achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.”