10 December 2018
Dear ECO: We”ve been coming to UNFCCC meetings for 24 years, but we still are not on track to stop climate change. Why is reaching our climate goals so hard?
€“ Sincerely, Parties to the UNFCCC
It is pretty hard to fight anything with one arm tied behind your back. How do you expect to adequately cut emissions without also addressing the primary source of the problem: the production of oil, gas, and coal?
For many years, Parties have admirably worked to reduce the demand for carbon-emitting fossil fuels through policies like promoting energy efficiency, electrifying transportation, encouraging the growth of renewable energy, and more. These are all smart moves, but all the while you”ve been leaving the supply of fossil fuels up to the market. Talk about doing things the hard way!
It is Economics 101: Markets are created by the intersection of both supply and demand, so cutting the demand for fossil fuels while continuing to increase the supply just makes the fossil fuels cheaper. Perhaps, it’s time for you to also start cutting carbon at the point of extraction?
ECO has noticed that some clever countries have already figured this out on their own. New Zealand, France, Belize, Costa Rica, and Spain are all at various stages of addressing the need to restrict exploration and production of fossil fuels. These policies are far from perfect in many cases, and should continue to be improved to address more extraction and protect climate-vulnerable communities and workers €“ but they are a crucial step in the right direction.
When you consider the big picture, we think you will agree. Putting limits on fossil fuel extraction €“ or “keeping it in the ground” €“ is far from a radical demand. It is a core requirement for success.
Over 500 civil society groups have signed onto the Lofoten Declaration, a joint call on fossil fuel-producing countries to address fossil fuel supply and embark on a managed decline of extraction and a just transition.
If Parties are intrigued to learn more, we have an excellent opportunity for you to do so today at the “Fossil Fuel Phase-Out and a Just Transition” event.