IPCC report on mitigation through Climate Justice lens

The IPCC is currently preparing its Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), which among others, consists of contributions from each of the three IPCC Working Groups and a Synthesis Report (SYR), which integrates the Working Group contributions and the Special Reports produced in the cycle. More information on the sixth assessment cycle is available here.

IPCC – Working Group III focuses on climate change mitigation, assessing methods for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and removing greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere.  Members of DCJ and experts from all over the world share their views on the report of this working group from a climate justice perspective:

Lidy Nacpil, Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development: “It is utterly deplorable that governments of the wealthiest and biggest polluter countries claim to be leaders in the fight against climate change and yet are quite shameless in refusing to undertake their fair shares of climate action and blocking demands for equity and justice to be at the center of mitigation actions.”

Meena Raman, Third World Network, said: “Thanks to the efforts of developing countries, attempts by developed countries to undermine references to climate justice, equity and unconditional climate finance as an obligation from developed countries to developing countries to address climate change were thwarted. Without this, the SPM would have been gravely compromised, wiping out climate justice.”

Dipti Bhatnagar, Climate Justice and Energy International Programme Coordinator, of Friends of the Earth International, said: “We do not consent to an overshoot of 1.5 degrees, and there is no justification for pursuing policies or pathways that allow for an overshoot. We used to chant “1.5, we might survive” – 1.5 was already a compromise for frontline communities suffering the worst climate impacts. The IPCC’s WGII climate scientists told us only last month that breaching this guard-rail, even temporarily, could push us over a series of tipping points that would lead to uncontrollable warming. It would be grossly negligent for economists to ignore those warnings and propose inequitable mitigation plans that allow for an overshoot, as is now on the table with this new report.”

Souparna Lahiri, Climate and Biodiversity Policy Advisor, Global Forest Coalition, said: “In the back drop of the findings of the AR6 WGII report pointing out that global warming is likely to reach or exceed 1.5°C and that massive deployment of afforestation, bioenergy, with or without carbon capture and storage, can compound climate-related risk, the IPCC Mitigation report should be bold and decisive in recommending not to rely on false solutions that creates immense pressure on land sector leading to land grab and dispossession and, therefore clearly articulating the impacts on IPLCs and women, their tenurial right and access to land and livelihoods.

IPCC should be instrumental in building up a global consensus (based on science and not political exigencies) on an immediate and rapid phase out of and divestment from fossil fuels, halt to deforestation and biodiversity loss and address their drivers including industrial agriculture and livestock sector and an end to offsets. A global framework for real climate solutions should be community led, based on rights- based gender just approach supported by adequate and timely climate finance.”

Osver Polo Carrasco, Movimiento Ciudadano frente al Cambio Climático – MOCICC: “We hope that the IPCC mitigation Group III report can express as part of the real actions to face climate change the moment of a rapid transition from fossil fuels (oil, gas, coal) to alternative energy, As there are also measures to drastically reduce emissions for air, sea and land transport to limit the temperature of the planet, time is running out, we are in a decisive decade, to make the changes that are needed for the good of our planet ”

Eduardo Giesen, Colectivo VientoSur, Chile: “The report expresses the seriousness of climate change and its impacts, and the urgency of reducing emissions, but does not address the urgency of transforming, together with technologies, the unsustainable patterns of production and consumption in the world, that fundamentally maintain pressure on the global south, its peoples, communities and ecosystems, while the main responsible for the global crisis – the great powers and the multinational corporations – continue to enrich themselves and increase their power.

It is urgent that the IPCC and science listen to the peoples and climate justice movements, claiming for alternatives based on the sovereignty of peoples and territories, and make the work of establishing the difference – in terms of their climatic impacts – between agri-food systems based on peasant agriculture and agro-ecology and those based on export agribusiness and large-scale monocultures; or between energy systems based on mega-renewable energy plants and those based on community-scale micro-grids.

It is necessary for the IPCC to abandon criteria and economic solutions that have no scientific basis, like defining countries’ emission reduction commitments with respect to the emissions curve associated with expected economic growth or promoting carbon offsets and  markets, with priority over a regulatory approach with state support.”

Tzeporah Berman, Chair for the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty: “This report is clear that we are now facing a dangerous lock-in of fossil fuel emissions and stranded assets which will further destabilize our economy and society. This is because governments and companies have continued to recklessly expand oil, gas and coal projects. A new global fossil fuel treaty can help countries manage this risk and constraints production in a way that is fast and fair at the scale required  to tackle this global crisis. You can’t put out a fire with gas and our planet is quite literally on fire.”

Susann Scherbarth, Head of Climate Justice in BUND/ Friends of the Earth Germany said: “The hunger for energy is rising and rising and rising and with that the temperatures on our planet. We have to stop that now – it will be hard, we all know that. A climate- and a socially just 1.5-degree path can reduce climate impacts and geo-political conflicts. The Global North – Germany including – must systematically end a wasteful use of energy and resources in a socially just manner in all sectors. Germany with its G7 presidency now has the opportunity and duty of ensuring a global energy system that is clean, affordable, renewable and socially just.”

Linda Schneider, Senior Programme Officer International Climate Policy at Heinrich Boell Foundation in Berlin, Germany: “The IPCC mitigation report contains much of what is needed to get on track for 1.5°C: Fossil fuel phase-out, wind and solar, widespread electrification, and lowering energy and resource demand, in particular in the Global North, transformations in food systems and diets, protection and restoration of natural ecosystems in line with rights of local communities and Indigenous Peoples. But the IPCC falls short of highlighting the right conclusions from its own findings. The previous two Working Group reports highlighted the severe risks and irreversible damage associated with overshooting the 1.5°C limit and also pointed out the risks and dangers of relying on speculative carbon removal and other geo-engineering technologies. But in the SPM of the new report, the central climate mitigation strategy — phasing out all fossil fuels, starting immediately — is often diluted by references to techno-fixes that are meant to keep the fossil fuel industry alive. Overly vague language on ‘net zero’ emissions thereby obfuscates the most urgent policy responses. One thing is clear: geo-engineering technologies will not be able to reverse climate breakdown.” 

Kjell Kühne, Director Leave it in the Ground Initiative (LINGO), said: “This report makes it very clear that the 2020s are a key phase in the fossil endgame. We have to start looking at tools and mechanisms to end fossil fuel burning not within a century, but within a decade, especially in the Global North. It’s not a task to be left to our children. It’s us adults now who have to accomplish the full transition before our children even grow up.”

Michael E Mann, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State University: “This latest report drives home both the urgency and agency in addressing the climate crisis. While we are already experiencing dangerous climate change impacts, this report shows that we can still avert the worst consequences if we rapidly accelerate the transition from fossil fuels toward clean energy and climate-friendly practices. A Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty can be an anchor for driving forward that transition globally.”