Joint Statement: Don’t Fuel the Fire
Don’t fuel the fire!
We need real solutions and real emission reductions: Now, in 2040 and beyond.
We – over 140 organisations – call on the EU to be a true climate leader by supporting real climate action and denouncing dangerous distractions and false solutions like carbon capture and removal technologies.
At COP28, the European Union (EU) supported calls for the world to phase out fossil fuels. But now it has been revealed that the EU’s own planned climate targets for 2040 might rely extensively on dangerous distractions, including carbon capture and storage and speculative carbon removal technologies that will delay the transition away from oil, gas, and coal. EU decision-makers must stop the hypocrisy of calling for a fossil fuel phase-out internationally, while promoting the contrary in their domestic policies.
To avoid the worst effects of climate chaos, we must immediately, equitably, and justly transform the way we produce our food, relate to the Earth’s ecosystems and power our economies. We must urgently deploy evidence-based, socially just and people-led solutions to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, down to Real Zero.
A target that includes not only emission reductions but significantly relies upon carbon capture and carbon and storage – which have a 50 year record of failure – and carbon removal activities hides the lack of ambition in committing to real action and deep emission cuts today. A ‘net’ target gives the false promise that ‘nature-based solutions’ and speculative technologies for ‘carbon dioxide removal’ will one day suck vast amounts of ongoing carbon pollution out of the atmosphere. But both, temporary carbon storage in soils and forest and technological approaches come with massive uncertainties, risks and limits. Some of those approaches could, if they were implemented at scale, even accelerate the climate and biodiversity crises and put rural communities and resilient food systems at risk. Ecosystem restoration is critical beyond its function as a carbon sink but cannot serve as a substitution for emission reductions.
The European Commission’s new plan for so-called ‘industrial carbon management’ is a smokescreen for continued use of fossil fuels. The plan claims to ‘manage’ the carbon emissions associated with fossil fuels through Carbon Capture Use and Storage (CCUS) technologies. These are the fossil fuel industry’s favourite escape hatch towards inaction and delay. Other promoted ‘carbon management’ technologies, such as Direct Air Capture with Carbon Capture and Storage (DACCS) and Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) are unproven, extremely costly and especially destructive if scaled. Attempts to widely scale-up these technologies risk delaying the needed emission reductions, including by diverting energy and resources.
Choosing a pathway that fails to cut emissions adequately in the near term while handing out new subsidies to the fossil fuel industry is an extremely dangerous gamble and an irresponsible and unjust choice. Including so-called biomass-based removals (such as BECCS and biochar) risks creating a new support mechanism for burning wood at an even larger scale, thereby causing more forest degradation and habitat loss, and harming the climate.
Staying below 1.5°C of warming requires real, just, and immediate reductions. Real climate solutions involve empowering communities and stopping – not accelerating – the scramble for land, power, and profit.
It is clear what Real Zero needs to look like: a just and equitably managed phase-out of fossil fuels; a real reduction of energy consumption for the ultra-rich and for industrialised countries; a transition to fair, democratic and sustainable renewable energy; support for small-scale farmers and for a fair transition from industrial food and agricultural systems towards agroecology and food sovereignty; close-to-nature forestry practices and a reduction of the excessive demand for wood and agricultural commodities; recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ and small farmers’ land rights; and the redirection of public subsidies away from fossil fuels and harmful industrial agriculture and forestry systems to support these measures.
1000 Grandmothers for Future Generations
11 maart beweging
Aalem for Orphan and Vulnerable Children, Inc.
African CSO Biodiversity Alliance (ACBA)
Amigos de la Tierra España
ARRCC (Australian Religious Response to Climate Change)
Association For Promotion Sustainable Development
Association pour la Conservation et la Protection des Écosystèmes des Lacs et l’Agriculture Durable
BI “Saubere Umwelt & Energie Altmark”
Break Free From Plastic
Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland e.V. (BUND)
BUND Landesverband Schleswig-Holstein
Center for Biological Diversity
Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)
Centre pour la Justice Environnementale Togo
Citizens’ Institute for Environmental Studies
Clean Air Action Group
Clean Energy Action
Climate Action for Lifelong Learners (CALL)
Climate Action Network Southeast Asia (CANSEA)
Co-ordination Office of the Austrian Bishops’ Conference for International Development and Mission (KOO)
Coastal Plain Conservation Group
Colorado Democratic Party – Energy and Environment Initiative
Comite Schone Lucht
Corporate Europe Observatory
Debt Observatory in Globalisation (ODG)
DISABILITY PEOPLES FORUM UGANDA
Earth Neighborhood Productions
Egyptian Green Party
Empower Our Future
Environmental Defence Canada
Environmental Investigation Agency
Environmental Justice Foundation
European Coordination of La Via Campesina (ECVC)
FDCL – Center for Research and Documentation Chile-Latin America
Federatie tegen Biomassacentrales
FIAN Sri Lanka
Food & Water Action Europe
Friends of the Earth Europe
Friends of the Earth International
Friends of the Earth Ireland
Global Forest Coalition
Global Justice ecology project
Global Justice Now
Global Missions International
Green Global Future
Green Transition Denmark
Healthy Indoor Environment
Hope of Africa (HOFA CAMEROUN)
Indigenous Peoples Global Forum for Sustainable Development, IPGFforSD (International Indigenous Platform)
Ingleside on the Bay Coastal Watch Association
Innovation pour le Développement et la Protection de l’environnement
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Institute for Sustianability, Equity and Resilience,Coventry University
Jordens Vänner / Friends of the Earth Sweden
KLJB Deutschlands e.V.
Konzeptwerk Neue Ökonomie
Landelijk Netwerk Bossen- en Bomenbescherming
Les Amis de la Terre -Togo
Living Oceans Society
No Electricity From Forests
No Plastic In My Sea
NOAH – Friends of the Earth Denmark
Oil Change International
Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum
Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ)
PowerShift Brandenburg e.V.
Publish What You Pay
Quercus Associação Nacional de Conservação da Natureza
Rapid Transition Alliance
Razom We Stand
Réaction en chaîne humaine
Rete Legalità per il clima
Rettet den Regenwald
Rise Up West Virginia (Rise Up WV)
Save Estonia’s Forests
Seas At Risk
SERI Sustainable Europe Research Institute
Shift: Action for Pension Wealth & Planet Health
Stay Grounded Network
Sustainable Development Institute-FOE Liberia
Switch It Green
The Climate Reality Project Europe
The Victoria Secular Humanist Association
Third World Network
United Kingdom Without Incineration Network
Water Justice and Gender
WECF – Women Engage for a Common Future
Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom UK
Zero Waste Europe