Press Releases

CAN is an important, critical voice in the international climate policy process. The network’s regular press briefings and commentary help journalists and their audience make sense of what can be a baffling process, even to those who have been covering it for years.

CAN helps coordinate and amplify the communications work of its 850 members around major international climate processes. CAN also provides an important capacity building role for some members interested in boosting their communications efforts.

You can find a range of our latest resources and releases below:

IPCC Report: Timely, ambitious and enduring political action needed to halt devastating impacts of climate crisis on oceans and ice systems

Scale of threat to these ecosystems and communities dependent on them requires rapid and unprecedented action to stop emissions and to help people adapt  

25 September, Monaco: The latest IPCC Special Report on the Oceans and the Cryosphere (SROCC) lays out the full extent to which the world’s marine life, oceans, glaciers, mountains, polar ecosystems are being disrupted by the climate crisis. These changes, happening at an unprecedented pace and scale, are impacting hundreds of millions of people who are being pushed to dangerous limits of adaptation and suffering the consequences of loss and damage.

The report shows that rising sea levels, rapidly melting ice sheets and the drastic warming of the oceans come with a steep ecological and social price- one that will increase with delayed action and will demand difficult choices with complicated trade-offs to protect people and our natural world. It reaffirms the main findings of the IPCC 1.5C Report on Global Warming.

Coming close on the heels of the UN Climate Action Summit, which specifically called on governments to ‘unite behind the science’, this report once again draws attention to the grim climate facts that world leaders cannot ignore.
It is the third major IPCC Special Report in less than a year sounding the alarm bell for fast and far-reaching decarbonisation to halve global emissions in the next decade, to support adaptation and to protect and restore nature.

Political will must match scientific reality. It is time for timely, ambitious and concerted international cooperation that responds to the millions of global climate strikers who are demanding a better future and refuse to take no for an answer. This report must spur stronger finance commitments for adaptation and loss and damage for those already experiencing the worst of the climate crisis.

Quotes from CAN members 

Fernanda Carvalho, global policy manager, WWF Climate and Energy practice, said:
The three recently launched IPCC reports - on global warming of 1.5°C, land, and oceans and the world’s frozen places - eliminate any doubts about the intensity of the climate crisis and the need for an urgent and ambitious political response by countries. Besides the impacts to the oceans and cryosphere, this report stresses that there will be limits to adaptation for those systems and related livelihoods. This will demand more international and regional cooperation, new governance arrangements and enhanced financial support for building resilience and addressing damages.

Taehyun Park, global climate political advisor, Greenpeace East Asia, said:
“The science is both chilling and compelling. The impacts of human-made carbon emissions on our oceans are on a much larger scale and happening way faster than predicted. It will require unprecedented political action to prevent the most severe consequences to our planet. 

 “Climate action and building the resilience of our oceans need to go hand in hand and governments and industry know the solutions. They must take decisive steps to ditch fossil fuels and submit their national plans to stay below 1.5℃ by next year, when they will also need to deliver a strong Global Ocean Treaty capable of  protecting at least 30% of the world’s oceans as marine sanctuaries.” 

Chris Thorne, Oceans campaigner, Greenpeace UK, said:
“World leaders at the UNSG Climate Action Summit this week pretended to care, but unless words translate into more ambitious commitments to address the climate emergency and forge a strong Global Ocean Treaty, they are failing the millions of climate strikers around the world who came out onto the streets demanding radical change.”

“The IPCC report is another wake-up call for those governments who continue to sleepwalk through the climate crisis. The decisions that world leaders choose to make in the next few years will have profound consequences for the future of mankind in the coming centuries.”

Marko Reinikainen, AirClim, Sweden, said:
The alarming contents of the report cannot make anyone happy. Nevertheless, I am glad that the report is being published, and that thanks to tremendous efforts by the authors, the effects of global warming already at 1.5 degrees (and even at current levels) become visible. It is at the same time regrettable that not all countries have a readiness to listen to the scientists, and that the publication of the Summary for Policy Makers for this report became a lengthy ordeal for the authors at the meeting in Monaco. 

Kristina Dahl, senior climate scientist, Union of Concerned Scientists, said:
“Our oceans have absorbed the vast majority of extra heat added to the planet by heat-trapping gases emitted by humans. As the latest IPCC report shows, the consequences for the health of our oceans and the safety of coastal communities are already grave and will worsen as the planet continues to heat up. 

“The report details how glaciers and ice sheets around the world are rapidly shrinking in response to human-caused warming. This loss of land-based ice will further accelerate rising seas levels, which will have stark implications for communities whose cultures, livelihoods or water supplies are glacier-dependent, as well for coastal communities across the globe more broadly.

“To meet the goal of the Paris Agreement and stave off the most dangerous climate impacts on our oceans, glaciers, ice sheets and the communities dependent on them, all nations need to step up their ambition. This includes developing concrete plans to achieve net-zero global warming emissions by 2050 and ensuring wealthier nations provide greater financial and technological support for developing countries as they transition to cleaner economies. While limiting warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius—in line with the Paris Agreement—is still possible, time to create a better, safer world is quickly running out.”

Stephan Singer, Senior Advisor, Climate Action Network International
"The projected climate impacts on and by warming oceans and ever faster melting ice will be dire to nature and people. In addition to phasing out fossil fuels and primarily coal before mid century and halting all deforestation before 2030, CAN urges nations and international climate finance to significantly upscale their support for resilience building and adaptation. In addition the assessed „limits to adaptation“ require an international Loss And Damage mechanism supporting climate disaster victims in poor countries.“   

Mahir Ilgaz,
"Continuing our fossil fuel addiction is akin to literally drowning ourselves. Unless we start substantially reducing fossil fuel use now and go completely fossil free by 2050 at the latest, hundreds of millions of people will be displaced due to rising sea levels. Our marine ecosystems, already under stress from pollution and overfishing, will not be able to cope with unchecked climate change. We are not only damaging our life-giving oceans but we are also destroying their capacity as a carbon sink, risking even more runaway climate change. It’s time to stop this madness and preserve what we have. This means enacting radical policies to protect marine ecosystems, stop all new fossil fuel infrastructure, and phase out existing ones.”.

Sven Harmeling, global policy lead on climate change and resilience, CARE International:
“The new IPCC report is another clarion call to urgently ramp up climate action. Much greater adaptation and mitigation efforts, and financial support from developed countries and big polluters is needed to ensure affected people in developing countries can protect themselves from glacial melting, more destructive storms and rising sea-levels. As the climate crisis continues to escalate, vulnerable communities in the Global South, particularly in coastal and mountain regions, must not be left behind.” 

Lisa Speer, Director, International Oceans at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said:
“All life on Earth depends on our oceans.  There’s no time to dwell on the grim news in this report:  the time to act is now. We need immediate, coordinated action in the U.S. and abroad on three fronts:  reducing fossil fuel emissions, fully protecting at least 30% of the global ocean from damaging human activities by 2030, and shifting people and economic development away from our most vulnerable coastlines. Only prompt, decisive action can help stave off the dramatic changes this report forecasts and ensure a viable future for our ocean and humanity.”

Harjeet Singh, global lead on climate change, ActionAid, said:
“Millions living in low lying coastal areas and along riverbanks will be forced to flee, as their homes and land are washed away or swallowed up."Fresh water resources will be contaminated, crops and farmlands destroyed and this may lead to conflicts over scarce resources. The world must unite and act urgently or face total chaos.
“Rich countries have a bigger responsibility to dramatically cut their carbon pollution and to help the most vulnerable people prepare for the possible climate catastrophe.”

Speak to CAN members
If you would like to interview CAN members on the IPCC SROCC who are in Monaco,  please contact
Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Officer, CAN International at / +918826107830
About CAN
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1300 NGOs in more than 120 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More information on Twitter: @CANIntl

Major Emitters Failed People at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, Civil Society said

Major Emitters Failed People at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, Civil Society said.

The Climate Action Network calls out rich major emitters that failed to commit to ambitious climate action at the UN Climate Action Summit

Monday 23 September 2019

New York- The UN Climate Action Summit in New York opened with anger. “Nature is angry,” said

Antonio Guterres. Youth activist Greta Thunberg told leaders “How dare you gamble with our future and continue talking about fairytales of eternal economic growth?”

Although keynote speakers reaffirmed that our house is on fire with impacts becoming more intense and frequent across the world, country speeches which ensued showed that governments are still fueling the fire. They continue to ignore the science and fail to present ambitious climate commitments. In the end, the urgency and the emergency did not transpire in leaders’ speeches.

The world did not hear many announcements on enhanced targets or phase out of polluting fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas. The world did not see rich countries bear their historic responsibility by

committing finance to poorer countries that are struggling with impacts, loss, damage and displacement or those with the political will, but with no resources to mitigate climate change.

This is deeply irresponsible. As the youth said, governments are gambling with people’s safety and lives.

Based on the latest science, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres went to great lengths to prompt leaders to present concrete commitments that deliver transformative action over the next decade. Overall, his calls and the voices on the streets, which have been rising every Friday since last year, demanding climate ambition and action and culminating in 4 million people taking to the streets on the eve of the Summit, fell on deaf ears. This as yet another damning scientific report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change detailing the alarming impacts of climate change on the world’s oceans and the cryosphere is being released in Monaco.

Leaders are shamefully absconding their responsibility to solve climate change, leaving the problem to the youth. Failing to listen and respond to the emergency forces the youth to continue striking and

sacrificing their childhood and education. A few small island states and developing countries, as well as businesses, stepped up and committed to enhancing their targets based on science. Others, like Sweden, Denmark and Luxembourg pledged to double their contribution to the Green Climate Fund. These countries demonstrated much-needed leadership and underscored the feasibility of climate action and ambition. They showed that the energy transition is ongoing and irreversible. Soon enough, they will reap the benefits of their choices with more prosperous economies, healthier populations and re-election.

On the other hand, rich countries and large emitters failed to build on the historic opportunity provided by the UN chief to show they stand on the right side of history. Absentees like the US, Australia, Saudi Arabia and Brazil, which snubbed the Summit, have emerged as those that should be held most accountable for sealing our fate. History will judge them harshly and so will the next generations who will soon be marching to the ballot box.

The Summit drew a line in the sand between leaders who united behind the science and those ignoring it and the voice of the people on the streets - siding instead with the narrow interests of fossil fuel corporations.

Despite the alarm of climate change, fossil fuel producers are still allowed to brazenly continue business as usual and generate profits at the expense of people’s lives and livelihoods. They get no push back by government, especially those with whom they hold close alliances. As a result, oil and gas chief executives see no problem with convening meetings on the sidelines of the Summit in New York, prompting activists to continue staging protests.

In light of general disappointment, civil society turns to the upcoming climate conference in Chile (COP25) and its Presidency to push countries to deliver an emergency package that includes ambitious commitments in climate finance - including for loss and damage, strong targets, and rules on trading emissions between countries.

The Chilean and subsequently the UK Presidency of COP26, must ensure that governments deliver the

adequate response to the emergency and ambition that puts the world on a 1.5C degrees trajectory.

COP26 is the deadline. But countries should not wait until 2020. They should start now by stopping coal and other fossil fuels, and investing in a just transition to renewable energy and climate resilience. The pressure in the streets and by civil society will continue until inaction is converted to action and ambition. We will be watching.


Plans for a Carbon Neutral World

Jennifer Morgan, Executive Director for Greenpeace International, said:

“This is a moment unlike anything we have ever seen before in the climate movement, and it’s just the beginning.

Despite Greta’s raw, unvarnished opening plea, and millions of people in the streets on Friday, world leaders did not deliver what was needed in New York. It’s time to address corporate power and the hold it has over politics, challenge the suffocating omnipresence of the fossil fuel industry and demand they take responsibility for the human rights impacts of the climate crisis. This summit is a springboard for 2020, when all countries signed on to the Paris Agreement must pledge to increase the ambition in their nationally determined contribution. It was leaders that agreed to that, and leaders that commissioned the latest science for the IPCC. The difference is, now millions of people are watching to make sure they follow through. We will not stop, and we will keep going, until we see a sustainable 1.5 pathway and a just transition to a cleaner and fairer future for us all.”

Mohamed Adow, International Climate Lead, Christian Aid, said:

“Despite this being called the Climate Action Summit, the concrete outcomes we saw here did not match up with the demands made by science and the schoolchildren who went on strike around the world on

Friday. “The UN Secretary General was right to call it but world leaders clearly failed to live up to the platform he gave them. The few actions that have been announced are far from world changing and that is what is required. As Greta Thunberg told them in her opening speech, how dare they. “Time is running out for countries to drastically strengthen their commitments to reduce emissions and provide the needed finance for poor countries to adapt to the impacts of this climate crisis. Currently they are failing us.”

Harjeet Singh, ActionAid’s Global Lead on Climate Change, said:

"Young people have exposed the shameless lack of leadership from heads of state, who have looked the other way for decades, as the climate crisis has escalated and the planet burned.

"This Summit was supposed to be a turning point. But we have seen an exceptional lack of commitment from the biggest and richest polluting countries that continue to take trivial measures toward solving a life or death crisis.

"Rich countries need to take greater responsibility for the mess they have made. "The UN Secretary General urged world leaders to rise to the challenge and take bold action to ensure a safe future. But the countries that have responded with the most concrete actions are the ones most vulnerable to climate impacts. "At this late stage when the window of opportunity is shrinking, we need leaders to show courage, not cowardice."

Lucile Dufour, International Policy Advisor, Climate Action Network France, said:

“As many leaders arrived empty-handed at the UN Climate Action Summit, French President Macron announced his support to a 55 % emission reduction target by 2030 in the European Union and confirmed that France would double its pledge to the GCF with 80 % of the contribution in the form of grants. These international commitments are welcome, but President Macron forgot to mention the very inconvenient reality of national climate policies: in 2018, France exceeded its carbon budget by 4,5 % and still provides more than EUR 11bn in fossil fuel subsidies. Ambitious targets won’t have any impact if they are not backed up with bold policies to reach them. France, as well as other developed countries, should be reminded that true climate leadership means concrete and urgent actions at home, not shiny speeches in front of world leaders.”

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Leader of WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Practice, said:

Secretary-General Gueterres was courageous in holding the bar high for the Summit. And some important transformational announcements were made, on long-term decarbonisation, and sectoral transformation in the finance, food and cooling sectors. These are exemplary commitments. However, if heavy emitters don’t come on board, the needle will not move. The Summit has been critically important in forcing the world to become laser-focused on the climate crisis. Clearly though, we are yet to see the scale of change and commitment needed to address it. This is the message that must now travel to COP25 and COP26 by which time countries must deliver the ambition we need to ensure the Paris Agreement succeeds.

Vanessa Perez-Cirera, Deputy Leader of WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Practice, said:

Nature-based climate solutions emerged as one of the most promising strands of work moving forward from the Summit. We need to see 3% of climate investment going to nature-based climate solutions to rapidly scale and focus on the most vulnerable people and the ecosystems that sustain their livelihoods.

Alden Meyer, Director of Strategy and Policy, Union of Concerned Scientists, said:

“In her blunt and powerful speech at the Climate Action Summit this morning, Greta Thunberg laid down a clear line in the sand, separating those countries and leaders who are united behind the science from those who continue to place the profits of fossil fuel polluters above the safety of their citizens. Sadly, most leaders from the world’s largest emitting countries failed this litmus test, dodging their responsibility to step up action as is essential to address the climate emergency we now face.“In sharp contrast, many vulnerable nations on the frontlines of climate change joined a growing number of state and local governments, business leaders, investors and others—both in the United States and around the world—by announcing transformational commitments to achieve net zero emissions by no later than 2050, shift investments from dirty to clean energy, get 100 percent of their energy from renewable sources and boost support for climate action by developing countries. “While these announcements are welcome, their collective impact on global emissions falls well short of what is needed. The science is clear: staving off the worst impacts of climate change requires All countries to implement bold actions across all economic sectors to urgently reduce emissions of heattrapping gases, including by immediately halting the construction of new coal plants and eliminating the hundreds of billions of dollars in annual subsidies for production and consumption of fossil fuels.

“History has demonstrated that such a transformation can happen quickly, if there is sufficient political will. It is long past time for so-called ‘world leaders’ to lead—or make room for those who will.”

Rachel Cleetus, Policy Director in the Climate and Energy Program and Lead Economist, Union of Concerned Scientists, said:

“More intense hurricanes and wildfires, rising seas, worsening drought, and record-breaking heat—every day the world’s youth wake up to more evidence that the climate crisis is already here and is having a disproportionate impact on those who have the least resources to cope. This week, led by the youth, more than 4 million people took to the streets to challenge the poor decisions being made by older generations that have left them angry and fearful of their future.

“In New York City today, we saw glimmers of ambition in the announcements made by vulnerable nations, states, cities, investors and businesses, including efforts to stop building new coal plants by 2020 and transition to renewable energy, ramp up energy efficiency, and conserve 30 percent of the Earth’s lands and oceans by 2030. Notably, the Climate Investment Platform will seek to directly mobilize $1 trillion in clean energy investment by 2025 in 20 least developed countries. However, the true test will be whether these promises will be followed by swift action at the scale the world needs. “Despite this ever-present crisis and the clear warning issued by world scientists in the IPCC Special Report on 1.5 Degrees, global warming emissions have risen for the second year in a row and nations still rely heavily on and even promote fossil fuels. The world’s largest emitters continue to act at odds with what the science shows is needed to avert even worse and more costly climate impacts, and many policymakers remain beholden to fossil fuel interests. It’s time for world leaders to heed the clarion call of those that will inherit this Earth when they are gone by taking urgent actions to rapidly transition towards a clean, renewable and climate-resilient future.”

Sven Harmeling, Global Policy Lead on Climate Change and Resilience, CARE International, said:

“The UN Secretary General’s call for countries to come bearing ambitious, new plans was largely ignored. While we welcome a handful of strong commitments delivered at the Summit, countries absent and repackaging old commitments as new did not go unnoticed. Political leaders seem to think the protesters and public outcry is a phase that will run out of steam, but the climate crisis is only gaining pace, and public demands will too, until bold actions are taken. To prevent a rise above 1.5C, we must put pressure on the biggest causers of the climate crisis. Decisionmakers can no longer pass the torch to address the climate crisis. We cannot say next time, at the next meeting, leaders will do better. Flashy speeches will no longer be praised and leaders who fail their people are being held accountable.”

Catherine Abreu, Executive Director, Climate Action Network Canada, said:

Most leaders completely failed to meet the bar for ambitious climate action set by Greta Thunberg and Secretary General Guterres in New York today. What is more telling is that many of those who failed clearly thought they were bringing something worthwhile to the stage. This is the challenge we are faced with: more government and private sector leaders than ever are conscious of the need to respond to the demands for climate action coming from millions of young people and citizens around the world, but they, and the institutions behind them, have no experience mustering the level of conviction this challenge requires. They are used to rolling along with a status quo economy mired in fossil fuel addiction and status quo politics that kowtow to the interests of the fossil fuel industry.

Leadership is a muscle and when it comes to climate action, many world governments - particularly G20 governments - are wildly out of shape. Fortunately, many of the world’s most vulnerable nations, communities, and Indigenous peoples on the frontlines of climate change have a workout plan rich governments can use to get in shape fast, before it's too late.

Jake Schmidt, Managing Director, International Program, Natural Resources Defense Councilsaid:

“With climate damages and global temperatures escalating, world leaders failed to show they fully understand the crisis and that they stand with young people around the world demanding stronger climate action right now. Their words must be followed by deeds. This moment demands much greater ambition in the fight to avert a full-blown climate catastrophe.”

Andrew Steer, President & CEO, World Resources Institute, said:

“While countries were expected to come to the Summit to announce that they would enhance their climate ambition, most of the major economies fell woefully short. Their lack of ambition stands in sharp contrast with the growing demand for action around the world. Many businesses and investors are ramping up their efforts, which should increase momentum. Similarly, smaller nations, especially the most vulnerable countries, are pushing ahead. But we need far greater national leadership on climate action– and we need it now. The Summit must be a springboard for action not the end of the road. “The Summit did produce inspiring signs of progress, especially with the emergence of dynamic partnerships and coalitions. In many cases, the private sector and subnational actors are moving faster than national governments. For example, 87 businesses have signed onto to ambitious 1.5 degree C targets across their operations and value chains. More than 100 cities committed to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The Gates Foundation, the World Bank and several governments announced $790 million to enhance resilience of over 300 million small-holder farmers. More than 130 banks, with $47 trillion in assets, signed onto new climate principles. Fifteen governments and 10 companies committed to accelerate energy efficiency by 3% per year, and others have joined a new initiative to support of zerocarbon buildings. Other commitments ranged from expanding natural solutions and protecting the ocean to investors incorporating climate-risks into their portfolios. “Last week, we saw the largest climate demonstrations in history, with young people leading the way. This is the generation who will face the brunt of climate change. All leaders need to step up their ambition. We can still get ahead of the climate crisis, but we need world leaders to act now.”

Christoph Bals, Policy Director, Germanwatch, said:

"This summit is a special moment in the big struggle to implement a new global social contract based on Paris, human rights, and Sustainable Development Goals. GretaThunberg and Fridays for Future are fighting hard for youth future generations.”

Olga Boiko, Regional Coordinator of the CAN Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia, said:

“NGOs in the Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia region welcome the decision of the Russian government to ratify the Paris Agreement. Russia already feels the negative consequences on itself. Recent fires in Siberia, the drying up of rivers and the melting of permafrost are not only an environmental disaster, but also an economic disaster. We hope that Russia will begin to develop energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, and most importantly, it will cease to produce and export fossil fuels to other countries. It’s time for Russia to get off the oil needle and stop holding others on it.”

Arshak Makichyan, Eco-activist, Representative of the International Environmental Movement Fridays for Future in Russia, said:

“We have long been waiting for the moment when Russia ratifies the Paris agreements, finally this moment has come, but what next? An environmental crisis is taking place in Russia now and we do not see any real action on the part of the government. And plans to build infrastructure for oil production in the Arctic scare me. Is Russia really going to switch to renewable energy sources or does ratification of the Paris Agreements mean nothing and everything will remain as it was? We urgently need to declare a climate emergency and stop hiding the truth about the climate crisis in the media.”

Jennifer Tollmann, Policy Advisor for Climate Diplomacy, Risk and Security, E3G - Third Generation Environmentalism, said:

“This summit has shown that major emitters-particularly the EU and China- still believe delay is politically and diplomatically sustainable. That the backlash from high-carbon interests will be more dangerous than the backlash from the people on the streets. With COP26 on the horizon as the first Paris Agreement litmus test and impacts across the world already significantly worse than expected – their window to gamble with their citizens safety is closing.” “Europe and its largest member state Germany delivered deeply underwhelming contributions to the UN Climate Action Summit. Flying in the face of mounting climate impacts, even in Europe, and the vocal support of their own citizens and youth activists. With Chancellor Merkel taking on the EU presidency in 2020, she will need to make good on rumours of outreach in support of a joint EU-China ambition announcement. As well as moving the foot from the brake to the accelerator of the European drive for ambition in 2030.”

Alejandro Aleman, Climate Change Officer, Centro Humboldt, Nicaragua and CAN Latin America Coordinator, said:

“We heard speeches from 10 countries from Latin America. Some were definitely more encouraging than others. Hearing about the carbon neutrality and the moratorium of fossil fuels are good as headlines but we need sustain actions for a resilient future more than tabloids. There was a vast recognition from leaders about the richness of the region: we have the sources to keep wellbeing in our own territories; glaciers, forest, badland, corals and we are rich in renewable energy sources. So, what is missing them? An accountable system, will, transparency, and a clear understanding that by protecting nature you are also ensuring human rights, nowadays disregarded in many countries from LAC. And, as Greta Thunberg rightly pointed out, we have to be brave and abandon paradigms that were hidden under the absolute truth´s clothes and we must take the risk of looking at our people, our culture and build our own wellbeing. We won't accept otherwise.”

Iain Keith, Avaaz Campaign Director, said:

“Climate courage is on the rise. Millions of kids bravely walking out of school, a UN that challenges its members, and indigenous people’s fighting fires in the Amazon. Everyone in the world wants action on climate change NOW. But it takes courage to take the first step down a new path, and leaders of major polluters need to find it, or be pushed by 15 years olds.”

Sanjay Vashist, Director, Climate Action Network South Asia:

“Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement today to increase India’s renewable energy target from 175 GW by 2022 to 450 GW post-2022 indicates India’s political will to accept the challenge from the UN for more ambitious targets to curb greenhouse gas emissions. But to turn words into action, India will need both financial and technological support from developed countries to speed up its intake of renewable energy currently in the range of 70 to 80 GW. India also can and must demonstrate climate leadership to assist other south Asian countries in their bid to increase their renewable energy targets.”

Climate Finance

Sven Harmeling, Global Policy Lead on Climate Change and Resilience, CARE International, said:

“There will be no climate justice without greater financial support from developed countries to countries most impacted by the climate crisis. CARE welcomes those who have made a range of new pledges to the Green Climate Fund, particularly Sweden. Yet, some major donors, such as Japan and Australia, still have not stepped up. We are disappointed by the complete lack of attention to innovative public finance sources, such as levies on the aviation sector and fossil fuel exploration. Such sources are necessary to raise truly additional money in the order of tens of billions of USD to support poor communities facing climate impacts.”

Liane Schalatek, Associate Director, Heinrich Böll Stiftung Washington, DC, and CSO Active Observer for Developed Countries for the Green Climate Fund (GCF), said:

“Developed countries collectively failed to show that with the climate crisis growing so must their solidarity with developing countries, especially SIDS and LDCs, and their moral commitment to right a polluting wrong by providing adequate, predictable, new and additional financial resources. While we welcome the additional commitments to the replenishment of the Green Climate Fund, as well as new pledges for the LDCF and the Adaptation Fund, few developed countries, with the exception of Sweden or Luxembourg, have provided the kind of ambitious funding support on a per capita basis that would match rich countries’ expectation for developing countries to upgrade their NDCs in 2020. More generous public grant financing support, and especially increased financing for adaptation is needed to take responsibility and provide climate justice.”

Brandon Wu, Director of Policy and Campaigns, ActionAid USA, said:

“We welcome the doubling of pledges to the Green Climate Fund from some European countries, though many of the wealthy countries have been conspicuously silent. Yet we echo Greta Thunberg, who said that nothing would be announced today on the right scale to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees. “Indeed, the finance that rich countries are putting on the table is nowhere near what is actually needed. Looking at the numbers, the inescapable conclusion is that rich country governments do not take this crisis seriously.”

Eddy Pérez, International Policy Analyst, Climate Action Network Canada, said:

The Secretary-General asked leaders to come to the UN Climate Action Summit with concrete plans for a climate-neutral future by 2050. This transition has a cost, particularly when major emitters are still giving up to 5.2 trillion to the oil industry. Vulnerable countries already bear the brunt of the climate crisis. Asking them to also cover all costs for this transition represents a major injustice. We welcome pledges from countries doubling their contribution to the Green Climate Fund and look forward to future contributions from Japan, Australia and other nations at the upcoming pledging conference in France. We also welcome the announcement from the UN-backed asset owner alliance to drive portfolio companies to carbon neutrality by 2050. But we are concerned that finance for adaptation continues to be almost ignored by rich leaders, while adaptation needs are increasing rapidly. Rich, industrialized economies, particularly those absent today, must fulfil their obligation and help vulnerable countries accelerate their transition towards a more just, equitable and climate-neutral world.

Nathaniel Keohane, Senior Vice President for Climate, Environmental Defense Fund, said:

“Millions of students and young people around the world took to the streets on Friday to demand climate action. But while there were promising steps taken in areas like shipping and nature-based solutions, on the whole the Summit failed to deliver the increased ambition we need to see from countries. With the signs of a hotter planet becoming ever more apparent, it’s long past time that leaders in Washington, D.C., and capitals around the world took action. In the United States, that means legislation in Congress that puts us on a path to a 100% clean economy -- producing no more climate pollution than we can remove by 2050 at the latest.” Unlocking the Potential of Nature in Climate Action

Teresa Anderson, Climate Policy Coordinator, ActionAid International, said:

"That statement by dairy giant Danone was an eye-opener. When even the big food corporations admit that their approach to farming is killing the planet, then you know the jig is up for big industrial agriculture. This admission comes when their destructive practices are finally in the climate spotlight. But they should have shown this honesty decades ago. “When they have been part of the problem for so long, they now want to be part of the solution. The question is, can we really trust them to get their house in order quickly enough? Instead of looking to the same damaging corporations for solutions, governments must set policies to ensure a profound change in the way food is produced. “We need policy makers to be courageous. They need to stand up to powerful agribusiness corporations, and make sure that food systems work with nature instead of destroying it."

Genevieve Jiva, Coordinator, Pacific Islands Climate Action Network, said:

Throughout the UNSG Climate Action Summit, the Marshall Islands, Fiji and Palau showed the ambitious and continued leadership of Pacific large ocean states. Through the High Ambition Coalition statement “Uniting Behind the Science to Step Up Ambition by 2020”, the Marshall Islands called for all countries to sign the statement and commit to stronger ambition and action. Fiji showed that they are leading by example, highlighting specific actions including a revised NDC,issuing a Green Bond, relocating vulnerable communities and committing to achieve 100% renewable by 2030. Palau emphasized the importance of partnerships and that we can all be part of the solution. We look forward to seeing this in action when Palau hosts the Our Oceans Conference in 2020. In the lead up to the Climate Summit, the UN held a Youth Summit which was attended by a number of Pacific Youth representatives, climate warriors who brought the voices of their communities to the international arena. Young leaders are calling on all of us to work together to address the climate crisis.

Save the Pacific, save the world.

Towards a Resilient Future

Sriram Madhusoodanan, Corporate Accountability, said:

Billed as a moment to reboot ambition on climate action, the most abiding outcome of the U.N. Secretary-

General’s climate summit is that it has provided yet another greenwashing opportunity for industries that are fueling and exacerbating the climate crisis and the Global North countries failing to live up to their obligations. Let’s not kid ourselves: If we are to rise to the challenge of this historical moment, then governments must embrace the solutions led by communities on the global frontlines and reject the profiteering agenda of the fossil fuel industry and other polluting industries that have enriched themselves while fueling the climate criss. Youth have pointed out something that global movements for climate justice have been saying for decades -- governments that are part of the UN climate policymaking process-- particularly those most historically responsible-- have been more concerned about “money” than about the lives of people impacted by the crisis today. Friday’s strike and Sunday and Monday’s protests demanding an end to fossil fuel industry interference exposed just how deep the divide is between what people want and what actions politicians are willing to take.

Enough press conferences and corporate sideshows. It’s time to kick Big Polluters and make them pay for real solutions.

For further information contact:

Hala Kilani (Ms)

Senior Communications Officer

Climate Action Network International

Mobile: +961 3 567928



François Rogers

Head of Communications

Climate Action Network International

Mobile and WhatsApp: +44 7 585 707 220


About CAN

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1,300 NGOs in more than 120 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More information on

Press Release: The UN Climate Action Summit Must Be A Game Changer for Climate

Civil society expects world leaders to come with stronger emission targets, processes to build resilience and tackle climate impacts, and commitments to shift the trillions that will enable poor countries to cope with loss and damage and set forth the energy transition

Thursday 19 September 2019 

Tele-press briefing recording:

New York - Our house is on fire. Hurricanes, fires, cyclones and other impacts are hitting hard in every corner of the world. Countries must extinguish the fire sparked by global warming through bolder targets, support for impacted people and doubling finance to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to enable poor communities to cope with climate change and transition to clean renewable energy.

The UN Climate Action Summit in New York is an important stop in the journey to crucial zero carbon economies. CAN members expect it to be a stepping stone to transformational change. Governments must demonstrate that they are responding adequately to the climate emergency. The UN Climate Summit is an important moment to honor multilateralism and the calls made by Secretary General Antonio Guterres for stronger ambition.

Consecutive scientific reports are sounding the alarm. The window to act is closing. Current targets take us to 3o C or 4o C warming, which ends any chance for human and other species’ survival. We are seeing deadly impacts at only 1o C . All countries must half emissions by 2030 to keep warming below 1.5o C and they have a year to develop the policy tools to operationalize decarbonization.

Vulnerable people, especially women and girls, are paying the heaviest price for a crisis caused by polluting economies. Rich countries hold the moral responsibility to support those affected by 2 impacts through innovative sources of finance and commitments in the order of at least USD50 billion per year by 2022.”

Climate finance is key to achieving justice. The trillions must shift from financing dirty fossil fuels to energy transition implemented at minimal social costs to workers. Wealthy countries must double their contributions to the GCF and drive progress to meet the finance goal of US$100 billion per year by 2020.

Governments have been lending their ears to powerful corporations in the fossil fuel industry. It is time they listen to the young people rising and striking in the streets demanding the end of coal, oil and gas, the energy sources fueling the climate emergency. They are demanding effective action that secures a safe and prosperous future for everyone.

Voices will continue to rise loudly if governments don’t deliver in New York what the Secretary General and people in the streets asked for in line with the science.


Jennifer Morgan, Executive Director, Greenpeace International

“The UN Secretary-General’s asks are clear, and he has set the bar where it must be at this moment in time - high. There’s still time to be surprised by what is delivered on Monday, but unfortunately there are countries actively trying to slow down progress, while others are claiming to be climate leaders but not showing any signs of following through. Multilateralism is never futile -- to fix the climate crisis, we need everyone -- but the people and youth are increasingly showing the unity, positivity and leadership that is missing at the negotiating table. We’re entering a new era of activism and a new era of accountability for weak governments and the toxic power of the fossil fuel industry. If leaders do fail to deliver at the Summit, they will have to answer to the hundreds of thousands of youth in the streets.”

Sven Harmeling, Global Policy and Climate Lead Climate Change and Resilience, CARE International

“There will be no climate justice and no success at the UN Climate Summit without greater ambition in tackling the climate emergency. Climate impacts are already causing widespread suffering and damage, from the hurricane-hit Caribbean to drought-stricken East Africa and the rising sea level submerging the Pacific islands. The inaction of some is costing us all. At the Summit, governments must commit to pursuing new sources of finance which can generate truly additional money for addressing loss and damage in the order of at least USD50 billion per year by 2022. This is a matter of survival.”

Niranjali Amerasinghe, Executive Director, Action Aid USA

“Rich countries need to commit to much greater financial support for climate action around the world, starting with a doubling of contributions to the Green Climate Fund. Without climate finance, there will not be enough support for people suffering from climate impacts, especially in poorer countries. Without climate finance, there will be no just transition to a sustainable economy. Without climate finance, there will be no climate justice.”

May Boeve, Executive Director,

“The Global Climate Strike begins on September 20th, the politicians gathering in New York at the UN Summit must listen to the children in the streets and start acting like adults in the room. The meeting couldn’t be more important. Its title is “climate action” - what action looks like is increasingly clear it means countries will need to finally talk about the source of the flames engulfing our planet: fossil fuels. What are their plans for phase out coal, oil, and gas production? When are their deadlines and how will they fund the transition so it's fair? Abolishing fossil fuels has become an increasingly central demand for the global climate movement. It’s what the Global Climate Strikes from September 20-27 will be demanding with actions in over 117 countries.

Tasneem Essop, Interim Executive Director, Climate Action Network

“We are in the fight of our lives. Human survival is at stake. Climate change is a human rights issue. Despite the fact that many governments are tone deaf to the science or actively obstructive against what it’s warning about, they cannot ignore the voices of the people. These voices are growing louder by the day. Civil society across the world are not tolerating inaction. CAN International has set benchmarks for what governments, especially major emitters, will need to put on the table in response to the UN Secretary General’s call for ambitious climate action. The level of ambition must include clear commitments to phase out fossil fuels, especially coal; generate enough money to address loss and damage caused by impacts and to shift the trillions away from dirty and polluting industries towards clean and sustainable sectors. Anything less will not be acceptable. We will hold governments accountable and will continue to keep up the pressure and mobilise until our demands for climate justice, in line with the science, are met.”

Contact: Hala Kilani, Senior Communications Officer, CAN / whatsapp +961 3 567928

About CAN Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1100 NGOs in more than 120 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More information on

Media Advisory - On Thursday 19 September 12:00 noon EST - Civil Society set Expectations for the United Nations Climate Action Summit to be held in New York

Tele-press briefing on expectations for the United Nations Climate Action Summit held in New York on 23 September 2019

*** ***

Thursday 19 September 2019 12:00 noon New York local time (Eastern Standard Time) | 16h00 UTC/GMT | 17h00 London | 18h00 Berlin.

Tweet questions to @CANIntl 

Climate Action Network (CAN) will host an online press briefing to set civil society’s expectations for the UN Secretary General Climate Action Summit that will take place on Monday 23 September, 2019.

Consecutive scientific reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have been sounding the alarm about the climate emergency we are currently facing and we are fast approaching irreversible tipping points.

Warming is moving faster than originally forecasted with glaciers and ice sheets melting, forests burning and seas rising at an unprecedented rate. Governments must now act faster than ever to respond to the climate emergency with stronger targets and deeper emission cuts. Delayed action is as good as denial.

In this press briefing, CAN members will outline adequate response measures to the climate emergency and set clear expectations for ambitious government commitments through the coming year and up to the 2020 deadline.  


  • Jennifer Morgan (Ms), Executive Director, Greenpeace International
  • Sven Harmeling (Mr), Global Policy Lead Climate Change and Resilience, CARE International  
  • Niranjali Amerasinghe (Ms), Executive Director, Action Aid US
  • Tasneem Essop (Ms), Interim Executive Director, Climate Action Network


Click here to join:

One tap mobile

+16465588656,,273420927# US (New York)

+17207072699,,273420927# US (Denver)


Hala Kilani / Francois Rogers - CAN communications /

WhatsApp: +9613567928    /   WhatsApp: +447585707220


About CAN

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1300 NGOs in more than 120 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More information on

Civil society calls for end of coal in Asia, stronger climate targets and more commitments on finance

04 September, BANGKOK: As fires ravage vast swathes of forests, sea levels rise, oceans warm up and floods and cyclones become more frequent and severe, civil society representatives from Climate Action Network in Southeast Asia, South Asia, Japan and Australia called on world leaders to halt the climate crisis by ending all new coal-fired power plants, stopping financing to coal and switching to renewables.

Speaking at Asia Pacific Climate Week (APCW) here today, they urged countries to heed the call from UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who is convening the Climate Action Summit in New York on 23 September. Countries must step up climate action and strengthen their national climate targets by 2020 if we are to respond to the climate emergency. 

CAN Southeast Asia, Japan and Asia members specifically called out China, Japan and South Korea for financing fossil fuel in Southeast Asia, and called on Australia to stop exporting coal and to step up as a climate leader.

CAN members were joined by regional youth groups, who like their counterparts from around the world are actively mobilizing to demand urgent action to address the most dangerous threat to their future. Asia Pacific youth groups are joining the Global Week of Action and Climate Strike starting September 20 and led by ‘Fridays for Future’ and other civil society organizations.

CAN is a member of a consortium project called Shifting Financial Flows to Invest in Low Carbon Development in Southeast Asia (SHIFT-SEA) which has been developing multi-stakeholder platforms, comprised of NGOs, private sector, governments, academia and other actors, to actively drive the process of crafting concrete policies and climate action in the region.

Southeast Asia is critical in achieving the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement because it is one of the fastest growing regions in the world but continues to be largely reliant on fossil fuels, particularly coal, despite its wealth of renewable energy resources such as solar, geothermal and hydro.

The conclusions from the APCW, like other regional climate talks preceding it, are expected to feed into the UN Climate Action Summit in three weeks.


Nithi Nesadurai, Regional Coordinator of CAN Southeast Asia (CANSEA) and Program manager for SHIFT-Sea said, “Southeast Asia has relied on fossil fuels to support its economic growth. Unfortunately, some countries are planning to rely heavily on coal for the future. Apart from going against the spirit of the Paris Agreement, this strategy will block solutions for energy efficiency and renewable energy and act as a barrier for finance for renewables. This has to change: new coal projects must be halted and financial flows have to be shifted away from coal into renewable energy and low carbon development.”

Yuki Tanabe, Program Director, Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES) said, “The Government of Japan committed in its Long Term Strategy (LTS) towards the Paris Agreement, to make its energy development in line with the long-term goal of the Paris Agreement. However, Japan is still actively supporting coal-fired power projects in Japan and overseas without any scientific rationale. Thus, Japan should remember its own word, and should end its support for coal energy.”

Sanjay Vashist, Director, CAN South Asia (CANSA) said, “The energy transition era starts now with affordable renewable energy and considering environmental consequences of coal, the South Asian governments need to read the writing on the wall. It’s time to start moving away from coal and provide clean and sustainable energy from solar and wind. We expect no more addition of infrastructure of fossil fuels and an immediate shift in investments to renewable energy.”

Fiona Ryan, Cairns Climate Action Network (CCAN) said, “Coal mining is a threat to the unique  Great Barrier Reef. The Australian government’s complete paralysis on climate action is a frustration to our Pacific neighbours. Australia’s indifference to the survival of those nations and their ancient cultures is a threat to its standing among the community of nations.  Its lack of action on climate change and in stopping fossil fuels such as coal, in particular, is also a threat to the Great Barrier Reef and the $50 billion it delivers to the Australian economy. Investments in coal will result in “stranded assets” with huge consequence on people’s lives and livelihoods in addition to a ruined national environment. The future is renewables.”


About CAN: 
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1100 NGOs in more than 120 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More information on

Nithi Nesadurai
Coordinator of Climate Action Network Southeast Asia (CANSEA) / +60173079313

CAN is a member of a consortium project called Shifting Financial Flows to Invest in Low carbon Development (SHIFT-SEA) Other members of the consortium are; Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), Third Generation Environmentalism (E3G), Mission 2020 (M2020) The national partners in Southeast Asia are: Yayasan Mitra Hijau (YMH) in Indonesia, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) in the Philippines, GreenID in Vietnam
The project is funded by the German International Climate Initiative (IKI)


Countries Must Double Pledges During Green Climate Fund (GCF) Replenishment

Thursday 29 August 2019: As the Green Climate Fund (GCF) - the world’s largest multilateral fund for action on climate change - is holding its second consultation on the first replenishment in Ottawa, civil society welcomes the announcements by those countries including Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Norway that have doubled their pledges in local currency in comparison to contributions made during the initial capitalisation of the Fund. Whilst these developments are encouraging, we urge other countries to follow suit and announce their pledges imminently, starting at the upcoming UN Climate Action Summit during September in New York

In light of the urgency of the climate crisis that the international community is facing and as highlighted by new science such as contained in the recent Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on Climate Change and Land, it is of utmost importance that all developed countries make ambitious pledges. They must at least double the amounts they gave during the initial resource mobilization. In particular, those countries who have contributed less generously on either a per GDP or per capita basis should go well beyond doubling in this round to do their fair share. This can positively contribute to enhancing climate ambition, especially as countries are expected to step-up their national commitments under the Paris Agreement next year.

Every penny counts in the fight against climate change. As countries have agreed that the Fund operates in United States Dollar, as a minimum, countries must announce that they intend to at least double their contributions in this currency.  

Reactions by Members of Climate Action Network:

Sven Harmeling, Global Policy Lead Climate Change and Resilience, CARE International, said: 

“As the climate crisis intensifies and exacerbates hunger and poverty in developing countries, rich countries must at least double their financial contributions to the Green Climate Fund in US dollars. This should come in grants as it betrays the Paris Agreement to provide loans to countries that are already bearing the bulk of the costs. The GCF has become a major funding source to help poor communities, including many vulnerable women and children, deal with harmful climate impacts, such as stronger storms and more severe droughts. Developed countries now must do their part to ensure that efforts to address the climate crisis do not leave developing countries behind.”

Lucile Dufour, International Policy Adviser, Climate Action Network - France, said:

“Emmanuel Macron’s announcement that France will double its pledge to the Green Climate Fund is a positive step forward. But this new contribution must be entirely provided in grants, as this is the only way for France to make sure its money will actually reach the most vulnerable communities, already facing the worst impacts of climate change. In the run up to the Climate Action Summit in New York, we expect France - lead country on climate finance - to rally more contributors around a coalition of the «doublers».”

Liane Schalatek, Associate Director, Heinrich Böll Stiftung Washington, DC, and CSO Active Observer for Developed Countries to the Green Climate Fund, said:

“As prospective contributors are assembling in Ottawa and discussing replenishment scenarios right now, they need to have the courage to more than double the IRM commitments, including by setting an important replenishment target to coincide with November 2020 when developing countries are asked to raise the ambitions of their NDCs. We hope that many developed countries will pledge swiftly and generously – and with the final replenishment outcome of the GCF-1 only to be tallied in December 2023, there is not only room for countries to change their mind from not contributing to contributing as they should, such as the United States or Australia, but also room for those who have already committed to take a second look for opportunities to revise their commitment upward.”

Kiri Hanks, Climate Policy Advisor, Oxfam, said:

“It’s vital that wealthy countries with the highest emissions contribute to the Fund and work together with those most affected to adapt to the changing climate and mitigate its effects. The UK, France and Germany have set the bar by doubling their pledge, sending a strong signal to others that backtracking is not ok. A meaningful replenishment would involve reaching at the very least $15 billion in pledges before the end of the year.”  

Mark Lutes, WWF Climate and Energy senior advisor, global climate policy, said:

“We have only a small window of opportunity to act decisively to address the climate crisis. We need to do more, do it faster and do it at a scale that transforms key sectors like energy and transport, among others. To do that, there must also be sufficient finance available to support the efforts of developing countries to make this transition. We call on developed countries to provide at a minimum double the contributions (in US dollars) made in the first funding round. Without this minimum level of financial support, countries will be hamstrung in responding to the climate crisis. And in the face of urgent and growing climatic disruptions, we know we cannot afford any delay.”

Tara Daniel, Program Manager, Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), said:

“The promise of the GCF to fund and catalyze climate action capable of significantly influencing our worldwide response to climate change, through prioritizing principles of sustainable development, gender equality, and justice for the most affected communities, cannot be realized if the scale and nature of funding is inadequate to the need and insufficient given countries' capacities. That is why we welcome the recent replenishment pledges but urge that countries that have not yet pledged consider how their contributions display their commitment to climate justice, by at least doubling their initial pledges--if they originally pledged their fair share, and by contributing in grants, the most effective mechanism for ensuring the GCF has the transformative impact we all seek.” 

Harjeet Singh, Global Lead on Climate for ActionAid International said: 

 “This year, the world has started to wake up to the scale of the climate emergency. But the global transformation needed to avert climate catastrophe can’t happen unless rich countries contribute their fair share of climate finance. This week’s commitments to the Green Climate Fund are certainly welcome, but we mustn’t kid ourselves that they are in line with the scale of the climate challenge. Serious climate action requires serious climate finance.”

Erika Lennon, Senior Attorney, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) said: 

“As people are increasingly impacted by intensifying climate-driven disasters, countries must ambitiously reple​ni​sh the GCF so that it can fund developing nations to both adapt to the changing climate and mitigate their emissions. The costs to address climate change are in the trillions, and developed countries that are most responsible for the climate crisis must pay their fair share, at a minimum by doubling their initial pledged contributions to the GCF. That some countries have already made this commitment is encouraging, however much more is needed, and additional developed countries must come forward with greater ambition. With the climate crisis upon us, the GCF has the potential to be truly transformative in enabling sustainable development, human rights, and gender equality to be foundational to climate responses. The GCF’s success requires adequate funding that will facilitate the level of ambition necessary to meet the promises of the Paris Agreement.”

Eddy Pérez, International Policy Analyst, Climate Action Network - Canada, said:

“The GCF is the main financial mechanism of the UN Climate Convention helping vulnerable countries and people, including women and girls who are bearing the brunt of the impacts of climate change. Canada’s commitment is welcomed, but to fight this crisis we need to recognize that Canada’s commitments to developing countries in relation to climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals is not reflected by the low ambition demonstrated in this announcement. This meeting should provide positive signals that will indicate that rich countries will contribute at least $15 billion in pledges.”

For further information contact:

Lucile Dufour (Ms)

International Policy and Development Adviser

Climate Action Network - France

Mobile: +33 6 77 27 40 03


Eddy Pérez

International Policy Analyst

Climate Action Network - Canada

Mobile and WhatsApp: +1 514 975 1592


About CAN

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1100 NGOs in more than 120 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More information on

Issued on behalf of Climate Action Network by François Rogers, Head of Communications, CAN International; email:, or whatsapp/call on +44 7 585 707 220

Climate Action Network - response to fires in the Amazon rainforests

23 August 2019: The fires burning in the Amazon rainforest are a crisis on a catastrophic scale that is a result of putting profit and political gains ahead of the planet. Satellite images showed over 75,000 fires- an 84% increase since 2018 when the Bolsanaro government in Brazil started steamrolling aggressive and destabilising policies. These actions, carried out in close alliance with the agribusiness and mining lobbies, have displaced Indigenous communities, harmed the environment and undermined human rights.
Attempts are now finally in place to put out the fires following international outrage against the apathy of the Bolsanaro government, but there has been far too much damage.

The G7 leaders meeting this weekend at the summit in Biarritz, France, are to discuss the Amazon crisis. It is a welcome move to pressure the Brazilian government to retract its harmful policies, but the G7 countries as among the richest in the world must do much more themselves to stop the climate crisis beyond just expressing outrage. They must halt harmful subsidies to fossil fuels and do away with domestic policies that are exacerbating the climate crisis.

As the largest rainforests in the world, the Amazon forests encompass nine countries in Latin America, with 60% in Brazil. A source of natural riches, the Amazon is as an indispensable carbon sink to the planet.
The recent IPCC report on land and climate and the IPBES report underscored just how important it is to protect our primary forests if we are to stop climate breakdown.

Brazil has a legacy of progressive environmentalism- hosting the 1992 Rio Conference that gave birth to the Climate Convention and the Convention on Biological Diversity as well as the 2012 “Rio +20” Conference that heralded the Global Sustainability Goals until 2030.
Climate Action Network stands in solidarity with local non-governmental organisations and Indigenous communities who are working at the frontlines everyday to stand up to powerful lobbies.

Quotes from CAN members:

Suelita Rocker, campaigner,
“The recent data about fires in the Amazon is showing that the current environmental policies are leading us to even more carbon emissions. Scientists, Indigenous Peoples, students, and other groups are clearly saying that they want a quick and thorough transition to clean energy, stronger measures for forest conservation and real participation of the communities in the government decisions” 

Shefali Sharma, Director, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, European office
“This massive destruction of the Amazon comes as both domestic and international pressure is building against the Bolsonaro government for its complete disregard for the climatic and human rights impacts of this disaster. If European governments are genuinely concerned about the devastation taking place, they must send a strong signal to Bolsonaro and urgently stop the EU-Mercosur trade deal—nothing less than the future of this planet is at stake."

Carlos Rittl, Executive Secretary, Observatório do Clima, Brazil
"Ever since they took office, Bolsonaro and his Environment Minister, Ricardo Salles, have dedicated themselves to destroying Brazil's environmental governance and law enforcement agencies. At the same time, they have empowered environmental criminals with promises of opening up Indigenous people’s lands for business and keeping environmental inspectors from doing their job. The increased number of fires this year reflects Bolsonaro's irresponsibility, and turns into smoke not only trees but also Brazil's reputation and the health of its people."

Alejandro Aleman, Centro Humboldt & Climate Action Network Latin America coordinator
It is unacceptable that the largest rainforest in the world, home to nature and many native communities, is on fire for days on end with no clear response or political leadership from the nine countries that are blessed to have the Amazon in their territory. Bolsanaro has once again proven his true colours but this is not a matter for single country anymore. The civil society of Latin American is committed to supporting civil society in Brazil to face up to the challenge and demand that environmental integrity and human rights are protected." 

Nouhad Awwad, CAN-Arab World regional coordinator
"The current fires in the Amazon forest in Brazil are unprecedented and destructive. They exceed last year's number of fires by more than 80% and are still going.  Forest fires are burning in many other parts of the world and many are human-made. This shows we need a unified and strong voice to protect forests and must switch to renewable energy. The level of pollution and ongoing fires exceed the power of nature to replenish itself. We must stand hand-to-hand to implement national, regional and international plans to protect forests."

Virginia Young, Australian Rainforest Conservation Society
"Bolsonaro has unleashed the apocalypse on the Amazon. He has gutted government environmental agencies, demonized NGOs working for sustainable development and protection, and avowed to open Indigenous land to industry and integrate the indigenous people into national society, that is, relegate them to the lowest rung of the poor in a country. The Amazon fires are caused by lack of government enforcement and perceived lack of consequences by ranchers, loggers and miners who are now rushing to grab whatever land and resources they can. Kayapo indigenous lands are at the forefront of this assault and are working hard to secure their borders."

Øyvind Eggen, Head of Rainforest Foundation, Norway
"This is a global crisis, and it is great that the G7 will discuss the unacceptable attacks on the Amazon. However, concrete action must be taken by both politicians and corporations.
Until Brazil has (1) reduced its deforestation and stopped the fires, (2) guaranteed security for environmental defenders and indigenous peoples and (3) reestablished the Amazon Fund with its mandate and transparent governance; politicians, companies, investors, and traders must immediately halt ratification of the EU Mercosur trade agreement, freeze new investments in Brazil and warn current trading partners of further measures."

Nicole Polsterer, Sustainable Consumption and Production Campaigner, Fern
"The European Union is the second largest market for Brazil’s soy and a large importer of its beef. Yet, the EU will be incapable of ensuring that its future imports from Brazil won’t stem from the areas opened by current fires. To ensure Europeans are not complicit in the Amazon’s devastation, the EU must urgently adopt new laws that will guarantee that neither agricultural products sold in the EU, nor the financial markets underpinning them, are destroying Brazil’s forests and driving land grabs."

Josianne Gauthier, CIDSE Secretary General
"For years we have been fighting for ambitious and binding commitments from States and International institutions, on climate justice, on corporate responsibility and accountability, on human rights, and on access to fair and sustainable energy and food systems. All of these questions rise painfully to the surface as we watch the Amazon burn as does our collective responsibility to act."

WWF International
WWF expresses its serious concern about the spread of fires in the Amazon that threatens the existence of the world's largest tropical forest, habitat of thousands of animals and plants and home to more than 34 million people, including around 500 indigenous peoples.
The fires are consuming important areas of forest in the Brazilian and Bolivian Amazon, and in other ecoregions such as the Chiquitano Forest, the Chaco, the Pantanal and the Cerrado, in both Bolivia and Paraguay.
Faced with this ecological devastation, WWF calls on the countries of the region - Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Guyana and Suriname - to protect the Amazon, fight deforestation and reduce the causes behind these fires.
The Amazon plays an important role in the climate regulation of South America, even influencing the rainfall regime of the region [read more].  

Jennifer Morgan, Executive Director, Greenpeace International 
This is a climate emergency demanding urgent action that meets the scale of the challenge. Brazil has a responsibility to the world to protect the lungs of the Earth, but G7 leaders must not use the Amazon fires as a smokescreen to hide their own failures to act at home. G7 leaders must demonstrate to the world the urgency required by rapidly embracing known key solutions to the climate and land crises.
“As fires rage in Siberia and the Amazon, this month’s IPCC land report brought to light the critical need to protect and restore forests and for sweeping changes to the global food system. Meat and dairy consumption must be cut 50% globally by 2050 and rich countries such as the G7 should reduce that even further.
“G7 leaders have a duty to respond with everything in their power to end the use of fossil fuels, protect the world’s forests and lead agricultural change. They can make those national commitments at this Summit. Our forests and our hopes are running out of time. Expressions of regret over the Amazon fires and offers of help are fine, but are woefully inadequate.”

Catherine Abreu, Executive Director, Climate Action Network Canada
My heart is in my throat today thinking of the emergency the Amazon and the animals and people that live there are facing. One in every five breaths we breathe is produced in the Amazon; the Amazon is the heartbeat of the global hydrological cycle. Ecosystems worldwide will quite literally collapse if we fail to protect this incredible place. If that’s not something for the leaders of the world’s richest nations to discuss in Biarritz, along with how to take action on the climate chaos that is egging this and so many other crises on, I don’t know what is. We are also calling in Canada to halt negotiations on the Mercosur trade deal until Brazil puts meaningful policies in place to protect the Amazon." 



Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Officer, CAN,

About CAN

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1300 NGOs in more than 120 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More information on

New IPCC study on land and climate change must spur renewed political conviction to stop climate breakdown

Geneva, 8 August 2019: The IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land released today is another stark reminder that we are in an ecological and climate emergency. This report-- coming after the IPCC Special Report on 1.5C and the IPBES Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity -- brings together the best available science on how the enormous pressure on land is exacerbating the climate crisis.
It offers clear direction to governments to rapidly transform land and food systems, halt deforestation and pursue policies that empower small-holder farmers, eliminate poverty and hunger and protect the most vulnerable from increasingly frequent weather calamities.
Drastically cutting food waste and switching to more balanced plant-based diets, particularly in high-emitting societies, and adopting agroecological farming will go a long way towards curbing emissions and building adaptation.
Governments must unite behind the science. They must substantially increase their national climate targets by 2020 in line with the 1.5°C goal to cut global emissions by half in the next decade. Nature-based solutions must go together with abandoning fossil fuel use and investing in renewables.
This report must form the basis for a renewed political conviction to stop climate breakdown.

Quotes from CAN members

Stephen Cornelius, Chief Advisor on Climate Change and IPCC lead, WWF:
“This report sends a clear message that the way we currently use land is contributing to climate change, while also undermining its ability to support people and nature. We need to see an urgent transformation in our land use. Priorities include protecting and restoring natural ecosystems and moving to sustainable food production and consumption. 

“Good land choices are fundamental to tackling the climate crisis. A shift to sustainable land management must be accompanied by the necessary rapid and deep cuts to fossil fuel emissions if we are to meet the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement. Action on one alone is not enough.

“Delayed action will increase the risk of climate change impacts on food security. Those most at risk are the world’s poorest. Early action to address the climate crisis has the potential to provide multiple co-benefits across the whole range of land challenges, with many options contributing positively to sustainable development and other societal goals.”

Christoph Thies, Forests and Climate Campaigner, Greenpeace Germany:
“Defending and restoring our forests and changing our food system by eating less meat will help turn the climate and biodiversity crisis into new hope for nature and people. Our land and biodiversity are under enormous pressure, as seen by the devastating fires in Siberia. We need to make some hard choices because we cannot use up our land twice and we’re already over-using it. To protect our climate and feed the world demands action now. Governments are now compelled to update and enhance their climate action targets in light of the IPCC’s report.”

Teresa Anderson, Climate Policy Coordinator, ActionAid:   
“The world’s leading scientists are clear – the way we produce food and manage land must change dramatically if we are to avert catastrophic climate change. Farming must work with nature, not against it. “The IPCC’s land report puts a big question mark on the future of industrial agriculture. A major shift to farming methods that work with nature, reduce emissions, empower women farmers and improve resilience to the impacts of climate change, is now essential.  

“It sends a stark warning that relying on harmful technologies such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, which would take up huge amounts of land, are at odds with our need to improve food security and protect our natural ecosystems.  

“Rich, polluting countries cannot expect the Global South to give away swathes of farmland to clean up the climate mess.”

Ashton Berry, Global Climate Change Programme Coordinator, BirdLife International:
“The report makes clear that better land management is urgently needed to tackle climate change, while also highlighting that reducing greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors is essential if global warming is to be kept to well below 2˚C.  Joined-up policy and action to tackle both the climate and biodiversity crises is therefore key – supporting the rapid transition to biodiversity-friendly renewable energy such as wind and solar, while promoting and developing nature-based solutions that support and protect biodiversity at the same time as providing climate change mitigation and adaptation co-benefits.  The science and recommendations from this report provide a solid basis for the upcoming discussions on the content of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, to be agreed by governments in China next year – the success of which, and our very survival, hangs upon rapid, transformational change in the way we value and manage nature.”

Tonya Rawe, Director of Global Food and Nutrition Security Advocacy, CARE:
“Our food systems are broken, driving environmental degradation and worsening the climate crisis while over 800 million people are chronically hungry, and small-scale farmers – particularly women -- struggle to achieve resilient livelihoods. Today, the IPCC joined a chorus of others sounding the alarm for fundamental change in our food systems to solve the climate crisis and end hunger & malnutrition. Scientists agree: we need urgent and ambitious climate action in our food systems or more people will be hungry, public health will continue to suffer, and land ecosystems will see irrevocable loss. But action can only be achieved if local communities, women, and indigenous peoples are empowered to make decisions and lead action. We have solutions: what we need is political commitments and leadership to make them happen – now.”

Shefali Sharma, Director, IATP’s European office:
“The IPCC emphasizes significant emissions reductions from reducing meat and dairy. It’s a call for action for governments to hold agribusiness accountable for its mass production, mass waste model. There are very clear actions that governments can take to begin a just transition towards an agroecological and socially just model of animal husbandry that improve soils, animal welfare and  provides sufficient quantities of healthy animal foods which limit our carbon footprint. These actions include ending both direct and indirect subsidies, tax breaks and other incentives for global grain traders like Cargill, fertilizer giants like Yara and meat producers such as JBS and Tyson. It also means regulating them and making them pay for deforestation, water pollution and soil degradation.”

“We must integrate climate goals for agriculture into free trade agreements and ensure that trade agreements no longer lead to land degradation and deforestation. For example, deforestation has dramatically accelerated in the Amazon, encouraged by the Bolsonaro government. If European governments genuinely take seriously the dire findings of this IPCC report, then they must urgently stop the EU-Mercosur deal that includes Brazil—nothing less than the future of this planet is at stake.”

“The IPCC unequivocally shows that any further delay on land-based adaptation and mitigation actions will severely undermine our ability to produce food and sustain agricultural livelihoods. The IPCC report, together with the recently released report by the Committee on World Food Security that articulates how agroecology can help meet the twin and inextricably linked climate and biodiversity crises must now translate into action, empowering local communities and producers that are on the frontline of addressing food security and building climate resilience.”

Peg Putt, Climate Action Network Ecosystems Working Group Coordinator:
“Nature-based solutions to the climate crisis and the linkage with the biodiversity crisis are recognised. There is a major role for conservation, restoration of natural ecosystems and prioritisation of forests. Ending deforestation and forest degradation is vital. The report emphasises the importance of carbon rich peatlands and coastal wetlands."

"The enormous threat to ecosystems, people, and food security posed by large scale bioenergy and BECCS (Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage) leaps out of the report which points out the huge land area of 15 million square kilometers required for monoculture tree crops, which is actually equal to the extent of global cropland. As we clearly cannot afford to lose or destroy ecosystems vital to life, the report effectively paints large scale bioenergy and BECCS as completely unacceptable and unworkable."

Katherine Kramer, Global Climate Lead, Christian Aid:
“The IPCC report reflected the importance of conserving natural ecosystems, as stores of carbon and for their importance for providing food, feed, fiber and timber. Many of the world’s poorest people rely on natural systems for these resources and it is vital that policymakers recognize this in their land-use decisions.

“How we produce food will become an ever more important task for people needing to survive and thrive in a world facing a triple crisis of climate change, poverty and biodiversity loss. It’s crucial we use land in the most efficient way possible to bring down our emissions, conserve the natural systems on which we rely and boost food security for the most vulnerable.”

Martin Harper, RSPB Director of Conservation:
“We are in a climate and nature crisis- the two are interconnected and must be tackled in tandem.
“Nature-based solutions offer the opportunity to not only restore the natural riches of the world but to also slam the brakes on climate change.
“But we must act urgently to address the way we manage our land and our over reliance on fossil fuels or risk irreversible climate change with disastrous consequences for nature as well as people’s lives.” 

Sara Lickel, Advocacy officer on the Right to food and climate, Caritas France:
“As lands and soils are every time more degraded, there is also increasing pressure from false solutions that are threatening human rights. The IPCC shows us that delayed action means we will have to choose between feeding ourselves, producing bioenergy or sequester carbon. We cannot morally and socially afford this kind of competition on land, and we need governments to ensure rapid and fast emissions reductions.” 

Reyes Tirado, Senior Scientist, Greenpeace Research Laboratory, University of Exeter: 
“The challenge is great, but the solutions are many. Changing the way we produce food and what we eat will protect our climate and promote food security. We can free up vital land space being used for animal feed and grazing through healthier plant-rich diets and ecological farming practices that will help sequester carbon in the soil and increase biodiversity.”

 David Festa, Senior Vice President for Ecosystems at Environmental Defense Fund:
 “Our best shot at a healthy, prosperous and food-secure future requires us to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience to the climate impacts we cannot avoid. Making agriculture more sustainable and preserving our forests will help on both fronts.”

Erika Lennon, Senior Attorney, Center for International Environmental Law:
“The climate crisis is here and getting worse every day. We need urgent action now to reduce CO2 emissions, and land has a critical role to play in addressing the climate crisis and sustaining human life. With its new Special Report on Land and Climate Change, the IPCC once again emphasized the significant threat that climate change poses to the environment and people, including to land and food security. To guarantee that land can continue to fulfill its vital role, countries must ensure and respect the land tenure of indigenous peoples, women, and local communities. Further, public participation in decision-making, including of women, indigenous peoples, and vulnerable groups, is essential to adopting ambitious and effective policies and practices to address the climate, biodiversity, and land crises.”

Jennifer Tabola, Director, Global Climate Strategy, The Nature Conservancy:
“In the same way last year’s IPCC special report on 1.5°C focused global attention on the threats of climate change like never before, today’s new report promises to do the same for the complex challenges of land use. We already knew that humanity’s over-exploitation of the Earth’s lands is a key driver of climate change, and that we need to take urgent, ambitious action to address these issues.  The IPCC’s land report simply puts this situation into sharper focus – and presents us with the opportunity to define our generation.

“As with climate change in general, we have a choice: do we balance the needs of human development and nature, or do we sleepwalk into a future of failing farmlands, eroding soil, collapsing ecosystems and dwindling food resources? Can we look at the powerful tools conservation science has already put at our disposal to help combat these threats and have the courage to take the urgent policy decisions now necessary to see these deployed at scale?” 

Mahir Ilgaz, Research and Grants Coordinator,
“Unless we start substantially reducing fossil fuel use now and go completely fossil free by 2050, the combination of climate change and land degradation will lock even more people into poverty and exposure to climate impacts. The more carbon dioxide and methane we emit now, the higher the risks of breakdown in our food systems, especially in vulnerable areas.  Continuing investments in fossil fuels and fossil fuel extraction, at this point, equals indirectly starving poor people.” 

Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe:
To stop climate breakdown, we need a rapid and far-reaching change in the EU’s land sector, alongside all other sectors of the economy. The EU needs to rapidly increase the rate of emission reductions in agriculture and invest in nature protection. To spur immediate action in this sector in line with the 1.5°C goal, the EU needs to increase its 2030 climate target to at least 65% emission cuts. The perfect opportunity to do so is the UN Climate Action Summit in September.”

Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club:
“Changes to our climate and lands are a global crisis requiring a global solution--one in which we all play a role. The science is conclusive: in the U.S, public land management must be part of our climate solution. We must not only prevent further pollution by stopping new dirty fuels leasing and development, but also keep natural spaces wild to help pull us back from the brink of the climate crisis.

Keeping forests intact to store carbon and protecting public lands will also safeguard wildlife faced with mass extinction and provide protection from flooding and other climate-induced disasters that we’re already seeing. We have an incredible resource -- and incredible opportunity -- in our public lands, but we have to act now before our chance is lost.”

Stephan Singer, Senior Adviser, Climate Action Network International:
“The approved report should lead all governments to significantly enhance their nationally determined contributions with actions in the land sector to immediately halt deforestation, enhance restoration of ecosystems and build resilience for poor farmers and communities. In conjunction with the deep decarbonisation of the energy sector, the findings of the report, if implemented by governments, will lead us to the 1.5C pathway.”

Anton Beneslavsky, expert, Greenpeace Russia
"It’s important that natural fires were named as a factor of climate change, although there is a feeling that the effects of natural fires and agricultural burning are generally underestimated: we are currently observing how climate change leads to the fact that natural fires become more and more intense and frequent, their impact on the climate through carbon dioxide emissions, soot and degradation of landscapes and soils is growing This is a vicious circle that needs to be broken and for this serious changes in the usual ways of managing land must be done."



Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Officer, CAN / whatsapp +918826107830

About CAN

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1100 NGOs in more than 120 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More information on

As heatwaves, floods and fires sweep the world, what are governments waiting for?

Civil society groups call for a concerted political push to raise ambition and deliver support in the coming months   

27 June, Bonn: In a week of record-breaking heatwaves here in Bonn, where negotiators are concluding talks at the UN climate meeting, civil society groups have excoriated governments for their weak political positions on responding to the climate crisis.
The signals emerging from inside negotiating rooms and outside suggest that countries are ready to cave to the short-term interests of a few powerful polluters. They are willing to dismiss the concerns of their citizens who show up in massive numbers at marches, and ignore the large-scale suffering from impacts and loss and damage to maintain a business-as-usual attitude.

With the adoption of the landmark IPCC 1.5C Special Report on Global Warming last year and the Paris Rulebook at COP24, the direction of travel was clear: escalating rapid and transformative actions to stop emissions and limit dangerous warming to 1.5C within the next decade. What we see so far is woefully inadequate.

It is unconscionable that the relevance of climate science is put under the spotlight by Saudi Arabia and some other countries at a time when all governments must be responding to the climate emergency and using the IPCC 1.5C Report to plan for a zero-carbon future.
It is important that more countries defend the IPCC report and are outspoken in their condemnation of those making a concerted effort to undermine the best available science and the Paris Agreement.

The discussions on the technical themes have seen uneven progress overall - on Article 6 on carbon market mechanisms, the process towards the review of the Warsaw International Mechanism on loss and damage, common timeframes and in addressing the influence of vested interests in UN talks. Ahead of COP25, It is important that Parties make progress on these to uphold the intergrity of the Paris Agreement and operationalise it. 

In a week when the UK has enforced a new net-zero law and Denmark committed to ambitious climate targets, the inability of the G20 countries, who account for 80% of global emissions, to find common ground,on climate change, just ahead of the leaders’ summit in Japan, is an alarming sign of backsliding on previous promises to phase out fossil fuel subsidies and once again pander to a few powerful polluters like the United States.

In the next months we call on countries to submit bold and actionable climate plans at the UN SG's Climate Summit in September. Contributor countries must come to the Green Climate Fund's replenishment meeting later this year with pledges that double on existing individual contributions and spur a financial shift that will mobilise trillions into a green global economy. A failure to substantially enhance national climate targets and deliver the support for this will be seen as a conscious decision to abandon the 1.5C goal. 

Members of Climate Action Network react:

Mark Lutes, Senior Global Climate Policy Advisor, WWF said: ‘While there was some action outside of the UN climate talks this week – with the UK putting net-zero emissions by 2050 into law, Denmark committing to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 70 per cent by 2030 – and inside things were more procedural. What did catch attention at the meetings were heated exchanges about how Parties will respond to the IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C. The dispute is a sign of what’s at stake in responding to the climate crisis and the science of 1.5°C. Parties have to take on board the substance of this and other IPCC science reports in revising their national climate plans.’

Sven Harmeling, CARE’s Global Policy Lead on Climate Change and Resilience, said:
“In the wake of the UN Climate Action Summit and COP25, outcries sound from the public demanding climate justice amidst fears of catastrophe and a climate apartheid. While more than 20 countries announced in Bonn to improve their national climate plans, now, more than ever, the big emitters must follow their lead. We continue to reiterate the same message to decision makers: heed our warning before it’s too late. Government leaders must now step up and provide the emergency action required and stop making empty promises.”

 Harjeet Singh, global lead on climate change, ActionAid international, said: 
“Some governments are finally waking up to the threat of catastrophic climate change by setting vague, faraway net-zero carbon targets for 2050. But they are forgetting those already struggling to cope with the devastating effects of global warming. Communities are losing their livelihoods as cyclones tear through Africa, facing water shortages in India and losing farmland to sea level rise in Bangladesh at an alarming rate.

“Despite six years of negotiating, the UN process has failed to face the fact that a new funding mechanism is desperately needed to support people to recover from climate disasters. This process needs to be urgently rebooted in a way that responds to the terrifying reality facing those on the frontline of climate change.”

Catherine Abreu, Executive Director, Climate Action Network Canada, said:
“2019 has so far been characterized by two trends: people losing their homes and their lives at unimaginable rates thanks to the floods, fires and famines caused by climate chaos, and; governments beholden to fossil fuel interests teaming up to hijack these climate talks and multilateral events like the G20 with destructive anti-climate agendas that betray the people who depend on them. It is sickening. Germany shattered its all-time heat record for June yesterday as Parties sat in air-conditioned rooms debating how to receive the best available science on climate change - proof positive that suppressing climate science won’t make the problem go away. Governments of the world listen up: either we confront climate change with you or without you. Act now or become irrelevant.” 

Ulriikka Aarnio, International Climate Policy Coordinator of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe, said: 
“It was positive to see the EU making efforts to defend science and environmental integrity at the Bonn climate talks. However, the EU's failure to agree on reaching net zero emissions by 2050 was clearly a big disappointment for many vulnerable countries who are relying on the EU to show leadership.

We call upon the EU to organise a Climate Emergency Summit to agree on a substantial increase of its 2030 climate target. Otherwise, its empty-handed participation at the UN Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit next September will undermine its role as a global climate champion.”

Alden Meyer, Director of Strategy and Policy, Union of Concerned Scientists, said:
“As superstorms, floods, wildfires, and other climate-related extreme events continue to wreak devastation on communities across the world, people across the world are looking for leadership to address the climate emergency. The United Nations Secretary General has called for a leaders’ summit in New York this September to galvanize much greater political will to decarbonize the global economy, to enhance resilience to climate impacts, and to spur the major shifts in finance and investment needed to achieve these goals. Meanwhile, a growing number of governors, mayors, business leaders, investors and others around the world are committing to transformational climate action.

“By contrast, here in Bonn, there wasn’t much ambition to be found. While some headway was made on several technical topics, sharp political differences remain on issues such as carbon markets, ramping up finance to help developing countries cope with climate impacts, and even on the role of science in informing policymaker understanding of the urgent need for climate action. On this last point, Saudi Arabia blocked the substantive discussions called for by a large number of vulnerable developing countries on the implications of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 Degrees Celsius that was released last October. But while they may have succeeded in short-circuiting formal discussion of the report, the Saudis can’t prevent it from continuing to drive the heightened awareness amongst governments, the business community, and the public of the need for an urgent response to the climate crisis.

“All countries must come to the leaders’ climate summit in New York and COP25 in Santiago prepared to indicate how they intend to increase the ambition of their national actions, as is required to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Developed countries must also provide greater confidence on how they’ll meet their commitment to mobilize $100 billion in annual support for developing country actions, and to ramp up assistance to the most vulnerable countries that are already experiencing devastating climate impacts."

Sriram Madhusoodanan, climate campaign director, Corporate Accountability, said:
“What happened here was an injustice – not only for governments and civil society – but for people around the world who desperately need real climate action. Trump’s delegation, Australia and other Global North countries went to new lows to prevent the undue and proven influence of the fossil fuel industry from even being acknowledged – let alone addressed. Time and again, the U.S has gone out of its way to undermine the talks on behalf of the fossil fuel industry.

This is what corporate capture looks like and why a conflict of interest policy is so vital for the future of this process. But, the call to kick polluters out is not confined to the walls of the UNFCCC. Following the call from countries collectively representing more than 70% of the world’s population, over 600,000 people and hundreds of organizations in more than 130 countries are ensuring this call is inescapable from the UN Climate Summit in September to COP25 in December.”

Erika Lennon, Senior Attorney, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), said: 
As the climate crisis continues to escalate, climate emergencies are declared, and students take to the streets, it is unconscionable that a handful of countries continue to question climate science. Increasing ambition to keep global temperature rise below 1.5°C is essential to the integrity of the Paris Agreement. So too is ensuring that Article 6 mechanisms have strong human rights-based social and environmental safeguards, including meaningful public participation of indigenous peoples, local communities, and women, and an independent grievance body that can address harms if they occur. Anything short undermines the promises made in Paris and further harms communities who are the least responsible for the climate crisis. 

Mohamed Adow, Christian Aid’s Global Climate Lead, said:
“While a record breaking heat wave causes mayhem across Europe, melting roads and buckling train tracks in Germany, key polluting countries at the climate talks in Bonn have attempted to water down scientific warnings and stall progress. Thankfully attempts by Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia and the USA were opposed by most other countries, and especially by vulnerable nations and it’s good to see the findings of the IPCC’s 1.5C report will be used to inform the next round of national pledges to strengthen the Paris Agreement.

"Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia and the United States are rogue nations.  These four major fossil fuel producers are working together against the interests of the set of the world and jeopardising our chances of a safe climate. These countries hardly agree on anything other than undermining climate science. Because their short-term economic interests rely on fossil fuels are at risk this is their last kick back at the rest of the world by suppressing scientific warnings.”

Rixa Schwarz, Team Leader International Climate Policy, Germanwatch, said:
During the UN climate talks, the negotiators remained unaffected by the European heat wave and the youth movement, which at the same time brought 40,000 people onto the streets. Germanwatch considers the pace of negotiations to be insufficient to promote the speedy implementation of the Paris Agreement. This lack of speed at the UN climate talks must be compensated outside the negotiating context. On 23 September, the world will turn its attention to the UN Secretary-General's climate summit in New York. Germany and the EU must respond to the UN Secretary-General Guterres' call for concrete plans. After the failure to agree on a net-zero climate target in June, Germanwatch calls for this decision to be taken at a special EU Council meeting in September. Germany must play a driving role in this.

Jean Su, Energy Director, Center for Biological Diversity, said:
“It’s unconscionable that countries have failed this week to make any meaningful progress to combat the climate emergency. As undertaking the clean energy revolution is now technologically and economically viable, the major obstacle to real climate action is the sheer lack of political will.  We urge world leaders to listen to the millions of people in the streets and act with humanity and courage to turn this crisis around."  

Gilles Dufrasne, Policy Officer, Carbon Market Watch, said:
“Article 6 negotiations progressed marginally, but there is no real sign indicating that countries are ready to adopt rules which will actually safeguard the environmental integrity of the Paris Agreement. At this stage, everything is still on the table, including many proposals which are nothing but foolish accounting tricks which will do nothing to actually reduce emissions.”

Carlos Rittl, executive secretary, Brazilian Climate Observatory, said:
“World governments are still procrastinating on climate even when they are literally feeling the effects of the crisis on their skin, as we saw this week in Bonn. This meeting has started amidst stern warnings of a climate emergency, and you don’t treat an emergency by promising to go carbon-neutral in 35 years. Science is yelling that “now” means “now”, but some parties have chosen to shoot the messenger. “

Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Officer, CAN / whatsapp +918826107830

About CAN

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1100 NGOs in more than 120 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More information on

'Backsliding by G20 nations on climate is alarming when we need an emergency plan'

The world's largest economies must respond with solutions proportionate to the magnitude of the climate emergency 

Bonn, 26 June 2019: In light of the worrying signals that the G20 are sending about their lack of commitment to climate ambition, civil society said that these countries are threatening to exacerbate the climate emergency and push the limits of dangerous warming beyond 1.5C degrees.

Language on climate change and the Paris Agreement of the G20 communique expected to come out of the leaders’ summit in Osaka, Japan this Friday, is looking weak and alarming. Worryingly, it omits the phrases “global warming” and “decarbonisation”. The message coming from the G20 countries indicates that they will continue to support fossil fuel subsidies and overall expansion.

Civil society representatives, who spoke at a press conference in Bonn, said that countries are going against the tide of their citizens' demands and are ignoring the science. This will make these countries irrelevant and their policies incompatible with the reality on the ground.

Countries are increasingly caving to fossil fuels interests and the agenda of rich polluters backing them, which will lead to more intense and frequent climate impacts and loss and damage.


Catherine Abreu, Executive Director, CAN Canada, said:

“So far, 2019 has been characterized by two trends: people losing their homes and their lives at unimaginable rates thanks to the floods, fires and famines caused by climate chaos, and; governments beholden to fossil fuel interests teaming up to hijack multilateral events like the G20 with destructive anti-climate agendas that betray the people who depend on them. It is sickening. Governments of the world listen up: either we confront climate change with you or without you. Act now or become irrelevant.”

Kelly Trout, Senior Research Analyst, Oil Change International, said:

“The latest analysis shows G20 countries are still propping up coal to the tune of $64 billion a year, tripling support for coal plants since 2013. G20 host Japan is one of the worst offenders on coal, and now may be leading the G20 backward on climate commitments in Osaka.”

“Ten years ago, G20 leaders came out of their summit pledging to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. At this stage of climate emergency, every new subsidy that helps lock in fossil fuel pollution is not only inefficient but unconscionable.”

“It’s good to see a growing list of governments declaring climate emergencies. But in the real world, no rational person would pull a fire alarm with one hand and then fan the flames with the other. This is what G20 governments as long as they continue to support and fund the expansion of oil, gas and coal production and burning adding fuel to the fire of the climate crisis. The carbon mass shows we already have enough oil, gas and coal under development globally to push the world well above 1.5C degrees of warming.”

“So it’s time for governments to decide here in Bonn, at the G20 and at the UNSG Summit this September. Are they for the Paris Agreement goals or are they for the expansion of the fossil fuel industry. Those two things are no longer compatible. To limit global warming to 1.5°C, all new investment needs to be in renewable solutions not new sources of pollution.” 

Nouhad Awwad, CAN Arab World Regional Coordinator, said:

“We need transparency in the process and civil society participation in national and regional policy-making and for the private sector to assume its responsibilities. Most importantly, we need progress on finance, which is lacking here. Finance is limited to humanitarian response and no funds are allocated to land rehabilitation, territorial losses and other issues to treat the massive human suffering from climate impacts. For the drought in Madagascar, only 20.7% of the needed amount was delivered and for the drought in Somalia only 21.7% of the needed amount was delivered.”

Sriram Madhusoodanan, Deputy Campaigns Director, Corporate Accountability, said:

“For decades, we’ve seen that the UN climate talks have failed to deliver the kind of action that people are demanding around the world. For years, time and again the influence and interference of the very corporations and industries that have fueled this crisis, that have blocked and undermined progress, is apparent within these walls. This is one of the greatest challenges we’re now facing as we work collectively to address the climate crisis that the same industries here with us are trying to ensure that everything remains business as usual. Fossil fuel corporations like Schell, Exxon and BP have been sending people to these talks themselves and through trade associations to lobby for weaker policy on climate for decades. Since 1995, there’s been more than 6,000 delegates including Schell and Exxon Mobil here at the talks.”

“We see that the US, Australia, New Zealand, Norway and the EU have repeatedly defended the involvement of the same polluting corporations that have known about and driven the climate crisis at these talks. This is completely absurd. It’s like trying to put out a fire by bringing in an arsonist. Unlike the past two years when countries stood unified and made the US stand on its own, this year we’re seeing Japan cave to the US and fossil fuel interests.”

Written by Hala Kilani, Senior Communications Officer, CAN

For follow up informations in Bonn, contact:

Dharini Parthasarathy, Senior Communications Officer, CAN / whatsapp +918826107830

About CAN

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1100 NGOs in more than 120 countries working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. More information on