Press Statement: Global North Must Immediately Divest From False Climate Solutions
Global North Must Immediately Divest From False Climate Solutions
Corporate co-opting of global climate policy is leading us to a climate catastrophe
BONN, June 6, 2023 – UN member states must immediately end the financing of false climate solutions and their support via subsidies and other incentives, and shift flows towards genuine, gender-just and rights-based solutions capable of tackling the root causes of the climate crisis, the Global Forest Coalition (GFC) said today.
Negotiators are gathering in Bonn, Germany from June 5-15 for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)’s Bonn Climate Change Conference (SB 58), where they are due to discuss key outcomes from last year’s UN Climate Change Conference (COP 27) in Sharm el Sheik and negotiate agreements for adoption at COP 28, to be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in December this year.
“Despite three decades since the UNFCCC and its sister conventions were formed at the 1992 Rio Conference, our world faces escalating emissions, alarming biodiversity loss, and rapid land degradation and desertification,” stated Coraina de la Plaza, GFC Forests and Climate Campaign Coordinator. “The crisis lies not in the absence of solutions to these existential threats, but in, among other things, the deliberate corporate hijacking of the climate agenda, thwarting genuine pathways to a sustainable future; it’s time to break free from their grip!”
It is high time the UN and our governments stop extending excuses to destructive industries, allowing them to perpetuate emissions and bring us perilously closer to a climate catastrophe.
In a campaign briefer released today, GFC outlines key findings and recommendations regarding climate policy, including detailed information on the negative impacts of false solutions and recommendations for gender-just and rights-based approaches to climate change.
“Carbon offsets and false solutions are increasingly being exposed for what they are—greenwashing exercises pushed by corporations and climate-destructive industries to further enable their relentless harm,” said Souparna Lahiri, senior climate adviser for GFC.
Article 2 (a) of the Paris Agreement aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by “holding the increase in the average global temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.” According to the IPCC Synthesis Report released earlier this year, continued greenhouse gas emissions will lead to increasing global warming in the near term, which is estimated to reach 1.5°C between 2030-35. The assessment also indicates that limiting warming to around 1.5°C requires global greenhouse gas emissions to peak before 2025 at the very latest, and be reduced by 43% by 2030.
It is therefore evident that we require real and immediate climate solutions backed by adequate climate finance, technology transfer, and policy and legislative support at all levels, including support for adaptation. The Paris Agreement goals cannot be achieved without an equitable, gender-just and rights-based approach to climate change, GFC said.
“Listen to the resounding voices of scientists and climate campaigners in Bonn. The truth is undeniable: Geoengineering, monoculture tree plantations, burning forest biomass for energy, and carbon offset schemes are nothing but illusions. They offer false solutions that fail us,” said Peg Putt from the Environmental Paper Network. “It is high time the UN and our governments stop extending excuses to destructive industries, allowing them to perpetuate emissions and bring us perilously closer to a climate catastrophe.”
State subsidies and support for destructive industries including industrial livestock farming, extractive and fossil fuel industries, large scale biomass energy, market-based and other false solutions reach into the multi-billions of dollars annually. If that money and focus is switched to genuine, rights-based solutions that enforce emissions cuts in line with IPCC recommendations, we may just have a chance of mitigating the worst impacts of global climate change, GFC said.
“Corporate lobbyists, fueled by wealth and a legacy of colonial, capitalist dominance, are trying to silence the courageous voices of women, Indigenous Peoples, local communities in countries and cities and others fighting for climate justice. It is truly deplorable that our so-called leaders, in the face of a global existential crisis, remain susceptible to the allure of money and power, disregarding the long-term well-being of our planet,” stated Andrea Echeverri, GFC’s Unsustainable Livestock and Agriculture Campaign Coordinator.
The IPCC reports have recognized that support for gender-just community conservation and restoration of forests and other ecosystems, including by strengthening land tenure rights, is one of the most effective ways to mitigate climate change. This is what policymakers must support and push for, GFC said. There is a clear need to bridge the gap between some of the IPCC’s findings and the way they are often interpreted by governments and corporations.
“The deception ends now. By ignoring both the voice of the people and the undeniable scientific evidence, governments bear the responsibility not only for future generations’ plight, but also for the ongoing suffering of marginalized communities worldwide, who endure the brutal consequences of climate change today. They ruthlessly seize or devastate their lands, trampling upon their rights in the guise of false solutions,” declared Camila Romero of Colectivo VientoSur, Chile.
For more information:
Ismail Wolff, +33 7 88 85 28 59, firstname.lastname@example.org
Megan Morrissey: Megan@globalforestcoalition.org +1 202-365-6900
Photo by Moritz Kindler