Civil Society Advocates Urgent Global Transition to Renewables and Fossil Fuel Phaseout

At COP28, a diverse coalition of parties and civil society organizations has united to emphasize the critical need for a swift and equitable transition to a renewable energy-powered world, aiming to keep the global temperature increase within the 1.5°C target. Key members of this collective include 350.org, the Pacific Climate Warriors, Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines, the Indigenous Environmental Network, and the International Trade Unions Confederation.

During a walk-in at the Blue Zone at COP28, the civil society organization coalition delivered a powerful message to policymakers and negotiators, calling for a just transition that leaves no one behind. Central to their plea is a firm demand for a comprehensive financial package to facilitate a full, fast, and fair shift away from fossil fuels.

The urgency of this transition, underscored by Joseph Sikulu, Pacific Managing Director of 350.org, emphasizes the potential consequences of allowing major polluting countries to obstruct a fossil fuel phase-out at COP28, describing such an outcome as indicative of a flawed UNFCCC process. Sikulu asserts that the call for action extends beyond survival, emphasizing the need for justice as vulnerable communities bear the disproportionate impacts of climate change.

The Pacific Climate Warriors, represented by spokesperson Brianna Fruean, stressed the overdue necessity of a fossil fuel phaseout, cautioning against delays that perpetuate climate injustice. Lavetanalagi Seru, Regional Coordinator for Pacific Islands Climate Action Network (PICAN), urged a just and equitable fossil fuel phaseout in line with a 1.5°C-compatible timeline, highlighting the emerging opposition as a threat to global stocktake negotiations.

Cansin Leylim, Associate Director of Global Campaigns at 350.org, pointed out that a renewable energy target at COP28 must be accompanied by a full, fast, and fair phaseout of fossil fuels to be deemed a meaningful win for the climate movement. The civil society coalition emphasizes the importance of preventing renewable energy goals from becoming an excuse for continued fossil fuel dependency, advocating for a clear implementation plan and financial commitments to the Global South.

Portia Adu-Mensah, National Coordinator of 350 Ghana Reducing Our Carbon, reminded COP28 decision-makers of the urgent needs of communities in the most climate-vulnerable regions. Substantial financing is seen as crucial to unlocking renewable energy potential and building a just energy system while actively working toward phasing out fossil fuels.

As COP28 unfolds, civil society has in unison a voice that intensifies, urging transformative action to address the climate crisis. The call for a renewable energy transition and fossil fuel phaseout is unequivocal, emphasizing that the decisions made at COP28 will shape our ability to secure a sustainable and just future for generations to come.

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