Global Stocktake Has Climate Justice Advocates Decrying Lack of Ambition, Equity

The recently concluded 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), has been marred with criticism from key members of the Demand Climate Justice (CCJ) who have expressed deep disappointment and concern over the outcome of the conference, particularly the Global Stocktake as the world grapples with climate change crisis.

Lidy Nacpil, representing the Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development, laments the refusal of the richest nations to acknowledge their historical responsibility for the climate crisis. She emphasizes that ambition in climate action cannot exist without equity, underscoring the critical importance of fulfilling climate finance obligations to developing nations. The failure to recognize these responsibilities may set the world back, and accountability, especially for the Global North, is imperative.

Meena Raman, Head of Programmes at the Third World Network, called on developed countries to translate their claims of climate championing into concrete actions to avert the crisis outlined by the global stocktake. She stresses the urgency of a rapid phase-out of fossil fuel production and consumption, emphasizing the need for a fair, fast, full, and funded fossil fuel phase-out rooted in equity. Expressing disappointment in the lack of recognition for the support developing countries require, and the global stocktake evidence, she warns that without scaled-up ambition on finance, global targets may remain elusive.

Paloma Jofre, representing Earth in Brackets – Climate Youth, criticizes the Global North’s push for a fossil fuel phase-out, cautioning against loopholes and false solutions. The youth demand a fair, fast, full, and funded fossil fuel phase-out rooted in equity, technology transfers, and grant-based finance. They reject a mere symbolic gesture and call for concrete actions that address the needs of the Global South.

Asad Rehman, Executive Director of War on Want, denounces the watered-down texts as a license to continue pollution, leaving the poor behind. He criticizes countries that claim commitment to the 1.5°C target but refuse to discuss cutting their emissions in line with fairness and science. Rehman asserts that the failure of COP28 lies significantly at the feet of the US and its allies.

Hemantha Withanage, Chair of Friends of the Earth International, expresses concern about the inclusion of false solutions like hydrogen energy, nuclear, and carbon capture utilization and storage. He emphasizes the global stocktake as a revelation and guide for a need for justice, equity, and fairness in any COP28 deal, rejecting dangerous distractions that perpetuate green colonialism and harm communities worldwide.

Teresa Anderson from ActionAid International notes the positive signal that the fossil industry’s days are numbered but criticizes the wealthiest countries for refusing to offer new finance to help developing nations achieve climate targets. She warns of the rocky road toward a fossil-free future due to numerous loopholes and gifts to greenwashers.

The reactions from members of the Demand Climate Justice campaign underscore the disappointment and frustration with the outcomes of COP28 despite the global stocktake undergone. The failure to address historical responsibilities, provide adequate climate finance, and commit to a just and equitable transition away from fossil fuels raises serious concerns about the global community’s commitment to tackling the climate crisis.

As the world faces the imminent threat of climate catastrophe, these voices emphasize the urgent need for genuine international cooperation, accountability, and decisive action to avert the worst consequences of climate change.

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