Who are the climate leaders in this era of emergency? ECO would argue they are typically found outside this conference centre. They are the everyday people on the frontlines of confronting the fossil fuel industry (psst … the biggest cause of the climate crisis), defending human rights, and working to transition their communities to 100% clean and renewable energy.
For example, did delegates know that, just a short train ride from Bonn, 6,000 of these leaders came together in the Rhineland last Friday, with Ende GelÃ¤nde, to peacefully block climate-wrecking coal operations for 48 hours? That 40,000 students took to the streets of Aachen that same day, to strike for a future they can thrive and survive in? And that the next day, 8,000 more people protested in solidarity with German towns threatened to be bulldozed by coal mine expansion?
“Because politicians are failing, we are stopping the diggers ourselves,” said Nike Malhaus, press spokesperson for Ende GelÃ¤nde.
Such protests respond to climate science. The carbon pollution locked in by existing oil, gas, and coal development globally is more than enough to push the world well above 1.5°C. It follows that a baseline for climate action is taking action to wind down the fossil fuel industry in a just and equitable way (i.e., we’re looking at you, developed countries, to lead the way).
The science leads ECO to a pretty simple conclusion: Parties cannot be for the Paris Agreement and for expanding fossil fuel production, burning, and finance at the same time. It really is that simple…
So, ECO would like to ask: Which Parties will follow the lead of the global public and commit to the energy revolution required to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement? Of course, we have some suggestions to take on board as you enhance the ambition of your NDCs:
- How about ceasing new oil, gas, and coal exploration and development immediately? And phasing out those fossil fuel production subsidies (like G20 countries committed to 10 years ago)? That, for one, would stop digging ourselves into a deeper hole.
- How about setting strong targets for 2030 that put the world on a path to be a 100% renewable and clean no later than 2050? And laying out your plans to invest in a just and equitable transition that leaves no one behind?
It would make sense to commit to the solutions that are here now, don’t lock in more pollution, actually put us on a path to limit warming to 1.5°C, and protect people.
ECO has a prediction: This global climate movement taking to the streets all over the world is going to keep the pressure on until you do.
So do it.