Statement from global climate justice groups
As we sit in the now nearly empty halls of COP28 in Dubai, governments are locked up in rooms, secretly negotiating texts that will either protect millions of lives or effectively sign the death warrant for so many around the world—communities of color, Indigenous Peoples, frontline and local communities, small peasant farmers, youth, and women. We are shut out, silenced, and left in the dark, even though it is many of our communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis that will be most directly impacted by what those in these halls do, or do not, deliver.
But we know enough from what we have witnessed play out over the past two weeks during this round of UN climate talks to guess what is underfoot. And we know enough from having attended 28 COPs, all of which have failed to deliver the action needed to curb global emissions to Real Zero and implement a just transition along with the needed climate finance. We know enough, because we travel from around the world every year to stand for justice and to resist, while those in power, the political elite, and polluting corporations use this process to orchestrate their ‘get out of jail free’ card.
COP28 is in overtime, but we are here to say—time’s up.
Time’s up to spend hours upon hours “taking stock” when we know we are grotesquely off track and nowhere near the mark.
Time’s up to deliver the fast, fair, funded, false solutions-free fossil fuel phase out—of all fossil fuels—alongside the needed finance and technology for implementation, and without the use of adjectives like ‘unabated’ that mask the intent to actually ramp up fossil fuels.
Time’s up to announce the long overdue delivery of climate finance that those on the frontlines are owed. Finance that is public, community-controlled, and in line with each government’s fair share of climate action. There’s no point having ambition and setting lofty targets without a means for implementation for the Global South.
Time’s up for Global North governments like the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, Norway, Japan, and Australia to cease their climate bullying while proclaiming themselves climate champions, and to stop denying doing their fair share of climate action as the actors that are overwhelmingly responsible for the climate crisis.
Time’s up to reject dangerous distractions and false solutions that are unproven, risky, do not meaningfully reduce emissions, cause great harm, and delay the needed end to the fossil fuel age. No more carbon markets, offsets, geo-engineering, nature-based solutions, nuclear, carbon capture and storage, and hydrogen—all of which continue to enable the extractivist, racist, colonial, capitalist system that has perpetuated the climate crisis.
Time’s up to finally enact just transitions that meet the urgent needs of the Global South and respects workers rights. A just transition that does not take into account historical responsibilities means nothing.
Time’s up for Big Polluters, including the fossil fuel industry and industrial agriculture, to no longer be given the pen to write the rules of climate action, or the power to bankroll these talks and manipulate what happens here. We can no longer allow this process to be poisoned from the inside with Big Polluters’ profit and greed-driven motive.
Time’s up on the complicit silence of the world while not far from Dubai, children, women, elderly, and men are being murdered by heinous acts of crimes against humanity, enabled by the same Global North actors that are here blocking every meaningful outcome these talks could and must deliver. We are over having to shout reminders that there is no climate justice without human rights, and no climate justice on occupied land.
There is no more time for delaying and stalling. There is now only time for acting—urgently, fairly, and justly. The words “fossil fuels” in a text are meaningless if the rest of those pages are riddled with loopholes that not only enable but exacerbate the era of fossil fuels. Climate action is weakened if those who are most responsible are not held to account to lead by example. A phaseout is useless without the tools needed to actually achieve it. Climate action is pointless if it condemns billions to death and destruction.
The Global North as perpetrators of the climate crisis are painting themselves as the victims trying to deliver a package here in Dubai. But what good is a package of false solutions, empty finance, and meaningless promises? COP28, now in overtime, risks setting a death trap for communities around the world.
Climate Justice Now.
From the undersigned organizations:
Alianza Socioambiental Fondos del Sur
Alliance Nationale de lutte contre la Faim et la Malnutrition ACFM Niger
Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD)
Association Nigerienne des Scouts de l’Environnement ANSEN
Casa Socio-Environmental Fund • Fundo Casa Socioambiental Brasil
Climate Emergency Fund
Climate Justice Alliance
Colectivo VientoSur (Chile)
Connected Advocacy for Empowerment and Youth Development Initiative
Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa
Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO)
Debt Justice UK
Debt Observatory in Globalisation (ODG) (Barcelona)
Ecologistas en Acción (Spain)
Emerger Fondo Sociambiental Colombia
Entertainment & Culture Foundation
Fondo Ñeque Ecuador
Fondo Tierra Viva Centro América
Fondo Socioambiental Semilla Bolívia
Friends of the Earth International
Friends of the Earth U.S.
Fridays for Future Spain – Juventud x Clima
Fridays for Future USA
Fundação Grupo Esquel Brasil
Gaia Coalition Network
Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA)
Global Forest Coalition
Global Justice Now
Grupo Ambientalista da Bahia
Help Initiative for Social Justice and Humanitarian Development
Indigenous Climate Action
Indigenous Environmental Network
Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL)
International Student Environmental Coalition
ISPN – Instituto Sociedade, População e Natureza-Brasil
Konsorsium Pendukung Sistem Hutan Kerakyatan (KPSHK)
Oil Change International
Oil Watch Africa
PFC Family Office
Reacción Climática (Bolivia)
RedTailed Hawk Collective
Re:wild Your Campus
The Zetkin Collective
Third World Network
TierrActiva Peru (TAP)
Viernes por el Futuro Perú
War on Want
Women Donors Network
Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN)
World Animal Protection
350 Côte d’Ivoire
7 Directions of Service
Photo Credit: Ja Valenzuela, APMDD