Joint civil society statement on COP25:

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Big Polluters and Northern countries are throwing gasoline on the fire of the climate crisis, knowingly paving the way for even more fossil fuels.

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Before COP25 even began, it was clear that Big Polluters — including the fossil fuel, agriculture, forestry, and carbon market industries — plan to lock the world into catastrophic warming in the next few years.  Intended fossil fuel expansion by 2030 is at least 50% beyond a 2C target and 120% beyond what may be compatible with the global commitment to limit heating to 1.5C. The vast majority of this expansion is projected to come from the U.S. and Canada.

Big Polluters brought their agenda straight to the halls of the U.N. at COP25. With the help of governments like the U.S., EU, Australia, Canada, and others historically most responsible for the climate crisis, these polluters are strategically advancing rather than protecting against this deadly agenda:

  • They want to use carbon markets to “offset” rather than cut emissions, by commodifying nature and shifting burdens through carbon trading to the South — burdens that will be disproportionately forced onto and violate the rights of women, youth, indigenous peoples, and frontline communities.
  • Polluting countries and corporations are pushing so-called “nature-based solutions,” which could be a euphemism for large scale biomass burning, carbon storage technologies, the commodification of the ocean, and carbon trading and offsets, that will displace food production and force continued deforestation.
  • Seemingly innocuous language on metrics could open the door to the most dangerous geo-engineering technologies by spraying sulfur into the Earth’s atmosphere to block some sunlight from reaching the planet.

The result of all of this is that food security and the integrity of biodiverse ecosystems would simultaneously be threatened by climate change, by carbon trading projects, and by large-scale geo-engineered disruption of the planet. All this so that Big Polluters can continue digging up, burning, and profiting from fossil fuels.

These polluters know they are wreaking havoc on the planet but seek to extract as much profit as possible in the near term with the vain idea that their wealth will protect them from the impacts of planetary breakdown.

That’s why, in addition to all the above, they are seeking to avoid any liability for this deliberate destruction by attempting to expand a waiver against liability and block compensation and finance in discussions that are designed to protect the communities on the frontlines from harmful impacts: loss and damage.

If these proposals – being rammed through by polluting governments and the corporate interests they are serving – are packaged into a “deal” at the close of this COP, it will surely be a deal only for the corporate elites, while damning people and the planet. Such a deal would completely disregard best agreed science, including that presented by the IPCC.  It would condemn those on the frontlines of the climate crisis, while hiding the crimes of polluters. And it would lead to increased inequality with no increase in ambition, no real emissions reductions, and no pathway to 1.5.

Experts have now assessed that the existential threat of climate change impacts surpasses that of weapons of mass destruction. We need bold, transformative and immediate action: We must prevent the proliferation of fossil fuels. We must fast track a just and peaceful transition to a safe, healthy and sustainable future for all. We must make Big Polluters pay for the damage they’ve caused.

It is not too late for governments to change the outcomes of COP25. In these final hours, it is not too late for developing countries to stand strong, to resolutely refuse the agenda of polluters. The need is clear: Advance real solutions, not carbon markets. Ensure developed countries provide funds and technology to help avert and minimize the worst impacts of climate change. Respect gender, youth and human rights, including the rights of Indigenous Peoples. And, recognizing that these polluters have known full well the harms they’ve caused, protect the right of sovereign nations to hold them liable.

From the Amazon to the Arctic,our world is on fire. Allowing expansion of coal, oil and gas production at this moment of history is throwing gasoline on the fire.

Signed,

ActionAid International
Aksi! Indonesia
Alliance for Future Generations – Fiji
ALTSEAN
Les Amis de la Terre Togo
Arctic Youth Sweden
Articulación de Movimientos Sociales de Nicaragua
Artivist Network
ASEED Europe
Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development
Asociación Cubana de las Naciones Unidas
Asociación Cubana de Producción Animal
Asociación Cubana de Técnicos Agrícolas y Forestales
Asociación Nacional de Economistas y Contadores de Cuba
BankTrack
Center for Biological Diversity
Centre for Environmental Justice, Sri Lanka
CLEAN (Coastal Livelihood and Environmental Action Network)
CLEAN Kulna Bangladesh
Climate Justice Edmonton
Climate Justice Programme
The Climate Reality Project América Latina
Climate Watch Thailand
CliMates
Colectivo Pro Derechos Humanos, PRODH-Ecuador
Colectivo Viento Sur
Collectif Breakfree – Switzerland
Collectif Senegalais des Africaines pour la Promotion de l’Education Relative a l’Environnement (COSAPERE)
Consejo de Iglesias de Cuba
Corporate Accountability
Corporate Europe Observatory
CUBASOLAR
Diko Bigas Institute Nepal
Earth in Brackets
EarthWorks
Eco Justice Valandovo
Ecologistas en Acción
Educar Consumidores
Energy and Climate Policy Institute for Just Transition
ENLACES por la Sustentabilidad
Environmental Rights Action, Nigeria
ETC Group
FIC Argentina
FESAR-Ecuador
Fiji Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Alliance (FYSA)
Foro de Salud Pública, Ecuador
Friends of the Earth Europe
Friends of the Earth International
Friends of the Earth Scotland
Frontera Water Protection Alliance
Fundación Ellen Riegner de Casas
Fundación Salud Ambiente y Desarrollo, FUNSAD, Ecuador
Gastivists
The Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice
Global Forest Coalition
Global Justice Ecology Project
Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
Green Course
Health of Mother Earth Foundation
Indian Social Action Forum
Indigenous Environmental Network – International
Karavali Karnataka Janabhivridhi Vedike
Landesa (Rural Development Institute)
LEDARS Bangladesh
March for Science
Mesa Colombiana de Incidencia por las Enfermedades Crónicas (MECIEC)
MOCICC-Peru
Mom Loves Taiwan Association
National Association of Professional Environmentalists
National Hawkers Federation India
Oil Change International
People’s Coalition on the Right to Water Indonesia (KRuHA)
Planète Amazone
Plataforma Boliviana frente al Cambio Climático
Proyectando un Ambiente y Sociedad Verde A.C.
Red Uruguaya ONGs Ambientalistas
Sacred Stone
Schaghticoke First Nations
Seeding Sovereignty
Semilla Warunkwa
SERUNI Indonesia
Servicios Ecuménicos para Reconciliación y Reconstrucción
Sierra Club BC
Sociedad Amigos del Viento (Uruguay)
Sociedad Cubana para la Promoción de las fuentes renovables de energía y respeto ambiental
Society of Catholic Medical Missionaries
Südwind
Sukaar welfare organization Pakistan
SustainUS
Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services
UKYCC
United Confederation of Taíno People
War on Want
Women Engage for a Common Future
Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN)
Women’s March Global
Young European Greens
Young Friends of the Earth Macedonia
Youth Volunteers for the Environment
350.org

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