COP28: “We need strong financial commitments not a festival of false solutions” 

4 December 2023

Campaigners call for the immediate release of jailed Ugandan activists 


4 December, Dubai: Speakers at the Climate Action Network (CAN) press briefing today said the rich nations of the global north have an obligation to increase climate finance to alleviate the suffering of the billions of people already being impacted by the climate crisis. 

At this critical moment, they also warned that empty pledges and false promises are failing to protect the human rights of communities and achieve a just transition.

Today’s briefing put a spotlight on the repressive actions by oil majors and state actors, acting in collusion, to suppress, threaten and imprison grassroots movement activists such as from the Stop EACOP campaign in East Africa.

Dr David Boyd, UN Special Rapporteur, on Human Rights and the Environment, said:

“The climate crisis is also a human rights crisis. Wealthy, high emitting States are violating a range of human rights including life, health, healthy environment, food, water, rights of the child and cultural rights by failing to rapidly reduce emissions, end fossil fuel subsidies and provide adequate amounts of climate finance. We need to remember the billions of people who are suffering on a daily basis because of the climate crisis.

“This is a problem caused by countries of the Global North who have an obligation to phase out fossil fuels and assist climate vulnerable nations with sufficient climate finance for mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage. We mourn the fact that they are putting pennies in the jar when what we need are hundreds of billions of dollars annually.”

Lili Fuhr, Fossil Economy Director, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), said:

“Any further investment in fossil fuels is a direct investment in loss and damage. The science is clear, real solutions to the climate crisis exist and are available at scale. Relying on speculative, greenwashing, carbon capture technologies would set us onto a clear path to overshooting the 1.5 degree limit, leading to irreversible climate impacts. 

“Instead of delivering a comprehensive energy package and providing clear guidance for enhancing ambition, we are being flooded with empty pledges and false promises. Governments must not be fooled by sophisticated PR tactics and must resist the dangerous distractions promoted by an army of fossil fuels lobbyists trying to turn this climate conference into a festival of false solutions.”

Iskander Erzini Vernoit, Co-founder and Director, the Imal Initiative for Climate & Development, said: 

“The climate crisis is a crisis of finance. We have countries around the world who have put together painstaking plans for mitigation, adaptation and responding to loss and damage but in most cases these are unfunded.

“On all fronts we are seeing a fearsome lack of finance and a shortfall that grows every year. We have seen a number of pledges being made by countries, notably around the Loss and Damage Fund. On this we would urge caution because these pledges are not necessarily additional and in some cases they are effectively being taken away from funding that might go towards climate adaptation and wider development finance objectives. 

“This is unacceptable as climate finance should be additional. We are at a critical moment and now have a draft text on the new collective quantified goals but there are a lot of unanswered questions on matters around structure and timeframe.”  

Zaki Mamdoo, Coordinator, Stop the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) campaign, said that seven Ugandan student activists remain in prison following attempts to peacefully resist the expansion of the pipeline last month.

He said: “As we sit here at this COP it is imperative that we demand that these injustices and those responsible for them are brought to book. There is no climate justice without human rights and we need the testimonies of communities to be a central consideration in the negotiations process and just transition. 

“Unfortunately this is not happening and time and time again the voices of our communities are excluded from these spaces and decision making while the fossil fuel lobbyists and government actors flirt their way ever closer towards our demise. We have to find ways to include restorative justice within these negotiations.”


Dharini Parthasarathy, Global Communications Lead, Climate Action Network International, / +918826107830  

Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 2000 civil society groups in more than 150 countries together fighting the climate crisis. More information on

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