People's Stories Democracy

Ukraine war unleashing a 'perfect storm' of crises
by United Nations News, agencies
Apr. 2022
1.7 billion people are facing heightened exposure to spiking food, energy, and fertilizer costs
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has presented the first policy briefing issued by the Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance (GCRG), which was set up to examine the impacts of the war in Ukraine on the world’s most vulnerable.
The Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance is a 32-member group, which includes heads of UN agencies, development banks and other international organizations. It was launched in March, in response to concerns over the potential consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as the continuing wide ranging impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The group is tasked to advance collaboration across governments, the multilateral system and a wide range of sectors, to help vulnerable countries avert large-scale crises.
Speaking at the launch of the brief, Mr. Guterres pointed out that, whilst most attention is focused on the effects of the war on Ukrainians, it is also having a global impact, in a world that was already witnessing increased poverty, hunger and social unrest.
“We are now facing a perfect storm that threatens to devastate the economies of developing countries”, said the UN chief.
The Ukraine crisis risks tipping up to 1.7 billion people — over one-fifth of humanity — into poverty, destitution and hunger.
Ukraine and the Russian Federation provide 30 per cent of the world’s wheat and barley, one-fifth of its maize, and over half of its sunflower oil. Together, their grain is an essential food source for some of the poorest and most vulnerable people, providing more than one-third of the wheat imported by 45 African and and least-developed countries. At the same time, Russia is the world’s top natural gas exporter, and second-largest oil exporter.
The war has compounded the challenges many developing countries are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as historic debt burdens and soaring inflation.
Since the start of 2022, wheat and maize prices have increased by 30 per cent, oil prices have gone up by more than 60 per cent over the last year, and natural gas and fertilizer prices have more than doubled.
At the same time, the UN’s humanitarian operations are facing a funding crunch: the World Food Programme (WFP) has warned that it does not have enough resources to feed hungry people in desperate situations. The agency urgently needs $8 billion to support its operations in countries in humanitarian crisis.
The report, said Mr. Guterres, “shows that there is a direct correlation between rising food prices and social and political instability. Our world cannot afford this. We need to act now”.
The policy brief underlines the importance of global cooperation in tackling the crisis, which, it says, “will leave deep and long-lasting scars”. The report calls on all countries – as well as the private sector, NGOs and other actors – to recognize that “the very nature of increasingly common global shocks is such that countries are not individually responsible”, and that solutions need to be based on the global, rather than national, risk.
In light of the soaring cost of food, fuel and other commodities, all countries are urged to keep their markets open, resist hoarding and unnecessary export restrictions, and make reserves available to countries at the highest risk of hunger and famine.
The report calls on international financial institutions to release funding for the most vulnerable countries, help governments in developing countries to invest in the poorest and most vulnerable by increasing social protection, and work towards reforming the global financial system so that inequalities are reduced.
Humanitarian appeals, says the policy brief, must be fully funded, and major reform of the international financial system is needed to, in the words of the UN Secretary-General, “pull developing countries back from the financial brink”.
The policy brief acknowledges that, in the short term, strategic reserves of fossil fuels need to be released in order to stabilize prices and ensure sufficient supplies. However, a ramped-up deployment of renewable energy would help to ensure that the kinds of energy prices rises currently being seen are not repeated in the future, whilst hastening progress towards a cleaner, low carbon, energy future.
7 Apr. 2022
UN Food and Agriculture Organization calls for special assistance fund for food importing countries - A Global Food Import Financing Facility (FIFF): Responding to soaring food import costs and addressing the needs of the most exposed.
To soften the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on nations that import most of their food needs from both countries, 80 FAO Members on Friday appealed for for the creation of a $25 billion fund to help them in the short term.
“This conflict severely aggravates the already considerable food security challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, including already-high price inflation of food and agricultural inputs,” said FAO Member States who called for an Emergency Special Session of the UN agency’s Council.
To cover the most immediate needs, $6.3 billion is required for the Global Food Import Financing Facility to get off the ground, FAO said, noting that more funding could potentially be made available from other sources, such as Special Drawing Rights issued by the International Monetary Fund.
“The basic idea is just to alleviate the food import costs, the food import bills for net importers with high net import requirements and low income levels,” said Mr. Schmidhuber.
Apr. 2022
Soaring prices putting poor countries at risk of debt default: IMF
The IMF says sharply higher global food and energy prices due to the war in Ukraine are hitting developing countries hard, and better mechanisms for dealing with sovereign debt stress will be needed to stave off defaults.
“With sovereign debt risks elevated, a global cooperative approach is necessary to reach an orderly resolution of debt problems and prevent unnecessary defaults.”
Spikes in food and energy prices were hitting low-income countries particularly hard, and they need more grants and highly concessional financing. Some 60 percent of low-income countries were already in, or at risk of, debt distress, the IMF said. Rising interest rates in leading economies could well make it more costly for them to borrow.
Actions taken by major economies were insufficient, the IMF said, noting that a freeze in official bilateral debt payments adopted at the start of the pandemic had ended, and no restructurings had been agreed under a framework set by the Group of 20 industrialized nations. Options were needed for a broader range of countries, now not yet eligible for debt relief.
Policymakers need to take a cooperative approach to ease the debt burdens of the most vulnerable countries, foster greater debt sustainability, and balance the interests of debtors and creditors.
“Muddling through will amplify costs and risks to global stability and prosperity”.. “In the end, the impact will be most sharply felt by those households that can least afford it.”
"In advanced economies, economic activity, the primary balance, spending, and revenues are projected to return close to pre-pandemic projections by 2024. But the situation in developing countries is much more concerning. Both emerging and low-income economies face persistent GDP and revenue losses. This implies that primary spending will be persistently lower as a consequence of the pandemic, pushing countries further back from reaching the Sustainable Development Goals. That is a matter of global concern".
"Sharp increases in energy and food prices are adding to these pressures for the poorest and most vulnerable. Food accounts for up to 60 percent of household consumption in low-income countries. These countries face a unique confluence of factors: dire humanitarian needs intersect with extremely tight financial constraints. For low-income countries that rely on imported fuel and food, the shock may require more grants and highly concessional financing to make ends meet while supporting those households in need".
Apr. 2022
Over a quarter of a billion more people could crash into extreme levels of poverty in 2022 because of COVID-19, rising global inequality and the shock of food price rises supercharged by the war in Ukraine, reveals a new Oxfam brief today.
“First Crisis, Then Catastrophe”, published ahead of the World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings in Washington DC, shows that 860 million people could be living in extreme poverty — on less than $1.90 a day — by the end of this year. This is mirrored in global hunger: the number of undernourished people could reach 827 million in 2022.*
The World Bank had projected COVID-19 and worsening inequality to add 198 million extreme poor during 2022, reversing two decades of progress. Based on research by the World Bank, Oxfam now estimates that rising global food prices alone will push 65 million more people into extreme poverty, for a total of 263 million more extreme poor this year —equivalent to the populations of the UK, France, Germany and Spain combined.
“Without immediate radical action, we could be witnessing the most profound collapse of humanity into extreme poverty and suffering in memory,” said Oxfam International executive director Gabriela Bucher. “This terrifying prospect is made more sickening by the fact that trillions of dollars have been captured by a tiny group of powerful men who have no interest in interrupting this trajectory.”
As many people struggle now to cope with sharp cost-of-living increases, having to choose between eating or heating or medical bills, the likelihood of mass starvation faces millions of people already locked in severe levels of hunger and poverty across East Africa, the Sahel, Yemen and Syria.
The brief notes that a wave of governments is nearing a debt default and being forced to slash public spending to pay creditors and import food and fuel. The world’s poorest countries are due to pay $43 billion in debt repayments in 2022, which could otherwise cover the costs of their food imports. Global food prices hit an all-time high in February, surpassing the peak crisis of 2011. Oil and gas giants are reporting record-breaking profits, with similar trends expected to play out in the food and beverage secto
People in poverty are being hit harder by these shocks. Rising food costs account for 17 percent of consumer spending in wealthy countries, but as much as 40 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa. Even within rich economies, inflation is super-charging inequality: in the US, the poorest 20 percent of families are spending 27 percent of their incomes on food, while the richest 20 percent spend only 7 percen
For most workers around the world, real-term wages continue to stagnate or even fall. The effects of COVID-19 have widened existing gender inequalities too — after suffering greater pandemic-related job losses, women are struggling to get back to work. In 2021, there were 13 million fewer women in employment compared to 2019, while men’s employment has already recovered to 2019 levels.
The report also shows that entire countries are being forced deeper into poverty. COVID-19 has stretched all governments’ coffers but the economic challenges facing developing countries are greater, having been denied equitable access to vaccines and now being forced into austerity measures.
Despite COVID-19 costs piling up and billionaire wealth rising more since COVID-19 than in the previous 14 years combined, governments — with few exceptions — have failed to increase taxes on the richest. An annual wealth tax on millionaires starting at just 2 percent, and 5 percent on billionaires, could generate $2.52 trillion a year —enough to lift 2.3 billion people out of poverty, make enough vaccines for the world, and deliver universal healthcare and social protection for everyone living in low- and lower middle-income countries.
“We reject any notion that governments do not have the money or means to lift all people out of poverty and hunger and ensure their health and welfare. We only see the absence of economic imagination and political will to actually do so,” Bucher said.
“Now more than ever, with such scale of human suffering and inequality laid bare and deepened by multiple global crises, that lack of will is inexcusable and we reject it. The G20, World Bank and IMF must immediately cancel debts and increase aid to poorer countries, and together act to protect ordinary people from an avoidable catastrophe. The world is watching”.
Oxfam is calling for urgent action to tackle the extreme inequality crisis threatening to undermine the progress made in tackling poverty during the last quarter of a centur
Introduce one-off and permanent wealth taxes to fund a fair and sustainable recovery from COVID-19. Argentina adopted a one-off special levy dubbed the ‘millionaire’s tax’ that has brought in around $2.4 billion to pay for pandemic recovery.
End crisis profiteering by introducing excess profit taxes to capture the windfall profits of big corporations across all industries. Oxfam estimated that such a tax on just 32 super-profitable multinational companies could have generated $104 billion in revenue in 2020.
Cancel all debt payments for developing countries that need urgent help now. Cancelling debt would free up more than $30 billion in vital funds in 2022 alone for 33 countries already in or at high risk of debt distress.
Boost aid and pay for Ukrainian assistance and the costs of hosting refugees with new funding, rather than shift aid funds earmarked for other crises in poorer countries.
Reallocate at least $100 billion in Special Drawing Rights (SDR), without burdening countries with new debt or imposing austerity measures. The G20 promised to deliver $100 billion in recycled SDRs but only $36 billion has been committed to date. A new SDR issuance should also be considered and distributed based on needs rather than countries’ quota shares at the IMF.
Act to protect people from rising food prices, and create a Global Fund for Social Protection to help the poorest countries provide essential income security for their populations, and maintain these services in times of severe crisis.
* The OCHA Global Humanitarian Overview 2022:
"Last year’s warnings of unprecedented levels of global food insecurity have been confirmed. Up to 811 million people worldwide were undernourished in 2020, an approximate rise of 161 million from the previous year". The Oxfam/World Bank estimation: "undernourished people could reach 827 million by the end of 2022" is likely to be a most significant under-estimation of the real figure. Further the World Bank estimations of the number of people living in extreme poverty is also a significant under-estimation of the real figure. See UNU report - Above or below the poverty line, by Andy Sumner and Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez.

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We are on a fast track to climate disaster
by IPCC, Climate Action Network International
Apr. 2022
Despite repeated climate change warnings issued by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 1990, global emissions have continued to rise in the last decade, reaching their highest point in history.
Current policies are leading the planet towards catastrophic temperature rises, the IPCC says in its latest report released this week. Global emissions now are on track to dramatically exceed 1.5C warming limit envisioned in the 2015 Paris Agreement and reach in excess of 3.2C by the century’s end. Humanity has less than three years to halt the rise of planet-warming carbon emissions and less than a decade to cut them in half, states the report.
4 Apr. 2022
UN Secretary-General warns of Climate Emergency: Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message on the launch of the third Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, in New York today:
"The jury has reached a verdict. And it is damning. This report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a litany of broken climate promises. It is a file of shame, cataloguing the empty pledges that put us firmly on track towards an unliveable world.
We are on a fast track to climate disaster. Major cities under water. Unprecedented heatwaves. Terrifying storms. Widespread water shortages. The extinction of a million species of plants and animals. This is not fiction or exaggeration. It is what science tells us will result from our current energy policies.
We are on a pathway to global warming of more than double the 1.5°C limit agreed in Paris. Some Government and business leaders are saying one thing, but doing another. Simply put, they are lying. And the results will be catastrophic. This is a climate emergency.
Climate scientists warn that we are already perilously close to tipping points that could lead to cascading and irreversible climate impacts. But, high‑emitting Governments and corporations are not just turning a blind eye, they are adding fuel to the flames.
They are choking our planet, based on their vested interests and historic investments in fossil fuels, when cheaper, renewable solutions provide green jobs, energy security and greater price stability.
We left COP26 [twenty-sixth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change] in Glasgow with a naive optimism, based on new promises and commitments. But, the main problem — the enormous, growing emissions gap — was all but ignored. The science is clear: to keep the 1.5°C limit agreed in Paris within reach, we need to cut global emissions by at least 45 per cent this decade.
But, current climate pledges would mean a 14 per cent increase in emissions. And most major emitters are not taking the steps needed to fulfil even these inadequate promises. Climate activists are sometimes depicted as dangerous radicals. But, the truly dangerous radicals are the countries that are increasing the production of fossil fuels.
Investing in new fossil fuels infrastructure is moral and economic madness. Such investments will soon be stranded assets — a blot on the landscape and a blight on investment portfolios. But, it doesn’t have to be this way.
Today’s report is focused on mitigation — cutting emissions. It sets out viable, financially sound options in every sector that can keep the possibility of limiting warming to 1.5°C alive.
First and foremost, we must triple the speed of the shift to renewable energy. That means moving investments and subsidies from fossil fuels to renewables — now. In most cases, renewables are already far cheaper. It means Governments ending the funding of coal, not just abroad, but at home.
It means climate coalitions, made up of developed countries, multilateral development banks, private financial institutions and corporations, supporting major emerging economies in making this shift. It means protecting forests and ecosystems as powerful climate solutions. It means rapid progress in reducing methane emissions. And it means implementing the pledges made in Paris and Glasgow.
Leaders must lead. But, all of us can do our part. We owe a debt to young people, civil society and indigenous communities for sounding the alarm and holding leaders accountable. We need to build on their work to create a grass‑roots movement that cannot be ignored.
If you live in a big city, a rural area or a small island State; if you invest in the stock market; if you care about justice and our children’s future; I am appealing directly to you: demand that renewable energy is introduced now — at speed and at scale; demand an end to coal-fired power; demand an end to all fossil fuel subsidies.
Today’s report comes at a time of global turbulence. Inequalities are at unprecedented levels. The recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is scandalously uneven. Inflation is rising, and the war in Ukraine is causing food and energy prices to skyrocket. But, increasing fossil‑fuel production will only make matters worse.
Choices made by countries now will make or break the commitment to 1.5°C . A shift to renewables will mend our broken global energy mix and offer hope to millions of people suffering climate impacts today. Climate promises and plans must be turned into reality and action, now. It is time to stop burning our planet and start investing in the abundant renewable energy all around us.
Apr. 2022
Climate Action Network International: Reactions from civil society organisations to latest IPCC report:
Today the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the third and final report under the Sixth Assessment Cycle (AR6) which looks at climate change mitigation and the solutions and scenarios to limit warming to 1.5°C.
The groundbreaking report must be an obituary to the fossil fuel industry. It recommends rapid and deep cuts in emissions, phasing out all fossil fuels, transformative shifts to scale up energy efficiency, renewable energy and electrification, and the conservation and restoration of forests and lands.
All of this must align with sustainable development policies, substantial financial flows toward climate solutions and be underpinned by principles of equity and justice. This is the only real chance to avert runaway climate change within a narrowing and precious window of time.
The science in the report is crystal clear: speculative technological fixes are no substitute for real efforts to eliminate all fossil fuels. Systemic transformations across all sectors of society, particularly the most polluting, can secure a safe, healthy and liveable planet.
Reactions from civil society organisations:
“Climate change is moving faster than we are. We cannot hold on any longer to the polluting fossil fuels that are wrecking our climate and destroying the natural world on which we all depend. We will miss the crucial goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C unless we dramatically scale up climate solutions to rapidly cut greenhouse gas emissions. This means investing at scale in powering our societies more efficiently, using clean renewable energy, conserving and restoring nature, moving away from unsustainable business practices and leaving no one behind in this transition. Every moment, every policy, every investment, every decision matters to avoid further climate chaos.” – Dr Stephen Cornelius, WWF Global Lead for IPCC and head of the WWF delegation observing the negotiations.
“It’s game over for fossil fuels that are fuelling both wars and climate chaos. There’s no room for any new fossil fuel developments and the coal and gas plants we already have need to close early. While our leaders have been claiming they’re doing their very best on climate, the scientists have just proven they are not. There’s plenty of potential to do more right now, with huge benefits! Yet, money keeps flowing to problems instead of solutions, and it will only change with credible targets, policies and support aligned with the Paris Agreement warming limit. Both the threats and the opportunities are larger than ever. But so is the power of people who unite for change.” – Kaisa Kosonen, Senior Policy Advisor, Greenpeace Nordic
“The IPCC’s latest report affirms why rapid and equitable phaseout of fossil fuels must be the center-piece of any science-based mitigation strategy that aims to avert catastrophic levels of global warming. Relying on speculative technologies purported to deliver emissions reductions or removals in the future, after temperature rise surpasses 1.5°C, will cost lives and inflict further irreversible harm. The Panel’s findings only reinforce that breaking free from fossil fuel dependency is critical for the global climate, for global peace, and for economic stability.” – Nikki Reisch, Director, Climate & Energy Program, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)
“Decades of failure in global leadership, combined with fossil fuel companies’ single-minded focus on their profits and unsustainable patterns of consumption within the world’s richest households, are putting our planet at peril. Fossil fuels are the root cause of climate change, of environmental injustices and—as we are witnessing in Ukraine right now—frequently associated with geopolitical strife and conflict.
This latest IPCC report puts policymakers on notice, yet again, that the current global trajectory of heat-trapping emissions is alarmingly off-track. The solutions are obvious and have been for a long time—the world needs to rapidly phase out fossil fuel emissions across every sector of the economy and accelerate a transformative shift to clean energy.
Richer nations, including the United States, bear significant responsibility to both cut emissions and provide funding to help developing countries. Continuing down the current path leaves us poised to exceed 1.5 and even 2 degrees Celsius of warming. Let’s seize this precious, narrow window of opportunity to secure a safer, healthier, and more just world.” – Dr. Rachel Cleetus, Policy Director and Lead Economist. Climate and Energy Program, Union of Concerned Scientists
“Solar and wind power, as well as energy efficiency, have the largest economic potentials to cut carbon pollution the most by 2030 in this crucial decade. This must be accompanied by the protection of pristine forests and restoration of degraded ecosystems and a shift to plant-based low-carbon diets. We urge governments, particularly the large polluters, to immediately implement the findings showing that investments into clean technologies have to grow by up to six times annually on average until 2030 to have a chance to stay in the survival trajectory of no more than 1.5°C global warming eventually.” – Dr Stephan Singer, Senior Advisor, Climate Action Network International
“You can feel the scientists’ frustration that mountains of evidence isn’t yet driving the radical action needed to meet global climate goals. They are watching the clock tick down as governments and polluters continue to avoid making the bold changes in our energy, food and industrial systems that are our only route out of catastrophic climate change. The IPCC report delivers a clear warning that reliance on techno-fixes and tree plantations to solve the problem not only amounts to wishful thinking, but would drive land conflicts and harm the food, ecosystems and communities already hardest hit by the climate crisis.” – Teresa Anderson, Climate Justice Lead, ActionAid International
“The latest IPCC report finds that solutions are readily available across all sectors to more than halve emissions by 2030, in line with a 1.5ºC pathway. Moreover, a low-carbon economy can create more jobs overall, and there are many mitigation options with economic, societal and environmental benefits. Since the last report, technologies have significantly improved, and the costs of solutions like solar, wind and batteries have declined by up to 85%.
No countries’ reductions are currently consistent with limiting warming to a 1.5ºC pathway. We clearly have the tools to tackle the climate crisis, but they need to be deployed more rapidly and at a larger scale to keep 1.5ºC within reach and reduce the severity of climate impacts.” – Dr Stephanie Roe, IPCC Lead Author and WWF Global Climate and Energy Lead Scientist.
“Science is telling us we can’t wait until 2030 to drastically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. With this strong piece of evidence, it’s outrageous to see that countries in Europe and the EU are still subsidising fossil fuels, instead of using those precious funds to accelerate a just energy transition for all. This will help protect the environment, but also will have ripple benefits in our health and, as we are specially aware of these days, peace” – Chiara Martinelli, Director, Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe
“In a historic first, the IPCC acknowledges the power of people going to court to assert their human rights in the face of the climate crisis. Governments, corporations and financial institutions, you’re officially on notice: align with the science and address fundamental injustices, or be forced to do so.” – Louise Fournier, Legal Counsel for Climate Justice and Liability, Greenpeace International
“The latest IPCC report contains much of what is needed to stay on track for 1.5°C without dangerous temperature overshoot and without speculative technological carbon dioxide removal (CDR). But the IPCC falls short of highlighting the right conclusions from its own findings: The central climate mitigation strategy — phasing out all fossil fuels, starting immediately — is often diluted in the Summary for Policymakers by references to CDR and carbon capture and storage, which are meant to keep the fossil fuel industry alive.
Overly vague language on “net zero” emissions obfuscates the most urgent policy responses: Fossil fuel phase-out, wind and solar, widespread electrification, and lowering energy and resource demand, in particular in the Global North, transformations in food systems and diets, protection and restoration of natural ecosystems in line with rights of local communities and Indigenous Peoples.
The IPCC mitigation report needs to be read in light of the previous two Working Group reports, which highlighted the severe risks and irreversible damage associated with overshooting the 1.5°C limit and with the deployment of CDR technologies to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Geoengineering technologies will not reverse climate breakdown.” – Linda Schneider, Senior Programme Officer International Climate Policy, Heinrich Boell Foundation
“The IPCC’s latest report is crystal clear: the world must phase out virtually all coal, oil and gas production by 2050 to limit global warming to 1.5°C by 2100 while safeguarding the sustainable development goals. We must start shifting energy investments away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy, and this process must begin today. The good news is that we can ensure long-term climate and energy security by building an energy system based on renewables and energy storage. The countries must commit to more ambitious climate goals and more than double their annual wind and solar energy investments during the next 10 years to transition away from fossil fuels in a way that is consistent with climate science, justice, and sustainable development.” – Olivier Bois von Kursk, Policy Analyst, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
“The latest IPCC report on mitigation of the climate crisis once again confirms the urgency with which we need to act. We must free every political portfolio, every business, every home, from our current carbon addiction. We must also be clear that decisive action on climate is not a ‘cost’: it is an investment, not just in our future, but in our survival. Such investment will provide a buoyant green jobs market as well as protecting us against damage from extreme weather and the need to adapt to a drastically altered climate: it would be the greatest cost-saving of human history. Ultimately, the money we spend today will return many times its value, but the ‘Bank of Nature’ will charge a wholly unsustainable rate of interest if we do not pay off our debts now.” – Steve Trent, CEO and founder of the Environmental Justice Foundation
“It is heart-breaking for me, as a Ukrainian climate activist, to be living through a war which has fossil fuel money at its core. The money, that we begged not to invest in dirty energy, is now flying over our heads in the form of bombs. The dependence of some countries on fossil fuels is being used for blackmail. We need to come out of this war better than we were. We need to learn how to act in a more intelligent way and put the great power of people into green recovery. I want us to be a part of building a more just and greener world which prevents fossil fuelled dictatorships from getting this much power. Science is with us, we know what we have to do.” – Olha Boiko, Ecoaction, Coordinator of CAN EECCA, based in Ukraine
“Governments need to respond to this report in two ways. They must set higher climate targets for this decade to close the 1.5˚C emission gap. And we need much stronger implementation of climate policies to actually deliver those emissions cuts. The spotlight’s on the major emitting countries to take these two steps this year without delay. It’s not only what they promised to do at last year’s COP26 UN climate summit, but also what today’s report urgently calls for.” – Tom Evans, climate diplomacy policy advisor, E3G
“Today’s IPCC report confirms that the world is on the brink of unprecedented change. Governments face a choice. They can either seize this moment of transformation, to build a more just world by accelerating climate action, and putting the needs of communities, Indigenous Peoples, and workers first. Or they can remain complacent amidst escalating destruction, conflict, and poverty, and allow the fossil fuel industry to burn our chance for a livable future.”
– Eddy Perez, International Climate Diplomacy Manager, Climate Action Network – Reseau action climat Canada
“Fossil fuel executives are exploiting a war they helped fund to try to increase their own profits and pollution, and this report shows us exactly why governments must put a stop to it. To stay below 1.5°C, we can’t afford any new oil, gas, and coal infrastructure and need to phase out what’s already built at a rapid pace. The positive news is that an energy system based on clean, renewable energy is both achievable and best for people’s health, development, and energy security. To get there, governments must stop listening to fossil fuel corporations and start heeding the science and the urgent pleas for action from communities facing droughts, fires, floods, and rising seas.” – Kelly Trout, Research Co-Director, Oil Change International
“This report is clear that we are now facing a dangerous lock-in of fossil fuel emissions and stranded assets which will further destabilise our economy and society. This is because governments and companies have continued to recklessly expand oil, gas and coal projects. A new global fossil fuel treaty can help countries manage this risk and constrain production in a way that is fast and fair at the scale required to tackle this global crisis. You can’t put out a fire with gas and our planet is quite literally on fire.” – Tzeporah Berman, Chair for the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative and International Program Director
“This report makes clear just how close we are to breaching the Paris Agreement’s 1.5 degree limit and just how urgent it is to make a clean break from fossil fuels. There can be no justification for prolonging support and subsidies for fossil fuels that put the planet on a pathway to more than 1.5C of warming – which is already a devastating compromise for vulnerable parts of the world.
Putin’s horrific fossil fuel funded invasion of Ukraine has rocked Europe and must be the final wake-up call that breaks the stranglehold of fossil fuels on our energy system. Clean, safe energy solutions exist and the IPCC shows they are getting cheaper. Europe must finally put people and our planet before industry profits, start decommissioning fossil fuels and go all-out for renewables, insulation and energy saving.” – Colin Roche, climate justice and energy coordinator for Friends of the Earth Europe
“This latest report drives home both the urgency and agency in addressing the climate crisis. While we are already experiencing dangerous climate change impacts, this report shows that we can still avert the worst consequences if we rapidly accelerate the transition from fossil fuels toward clean energy and climate-friendly practices. A Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty can be an anchor for driving forward that transition globally.” – Michael E Mann, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science at Penn State University
“We’re past the point in human history where continuing to burn stuff is a bad idea, undermining both the climate and democracy. Happily, there’s a ball of burning gas hanging 93 million miles up in the sky that we can depend on. We have the tech, we need the will! At this point, a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty is a must. – Bill McKibben, founder,
“The report makes a strong call for action as time is running out. The good news is that we already know the solutions, but they require urgent investments. That is why the need to scale up climate finance is so important.” – Mattias Soderberg, Chief Advisor, DanChurchAid
“No amount of adaptation can compensate for the terrible consequences of failing to hit the Paris goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C. This is a survival target and it remains within our grasp, but just barely. After a dip in 2020, carbon emissions that fuel climate change have bounced back to pre-pandemic levels. We need extraordinary cuts in the use of fossil fuels to meet our emissions targets, and that entails a dramatic shift towards sustainable renewable energy. The recent push to increase production of oil, gas and coal and backtrack on climate measures because of the crisis in Ukraine —and even to delay net-zero— is shortsighted folly.” – Nafkote Dabi, Oxfam’s Climate Policy Lead
“Today’s report is a reminder of the urgent need to heal humanity’s fractured relationship with the natural world. We must rapidly phase out the burning and extraction of fossil fuels while ensuring an equitable transition to justly-sourced renewable energy systems. We must reject the dangerous distractions of fossil-fuel based solutions like refining natural gas for hydrogen fuels and carbon capture. As a global community, we must choose now to invest in community controlled solutions to build a just, equitable, and people-centered economy.” – Sriram Madhusoodanan, International Strategy Director, Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy
“The latest warning from IPCC scientists is clear: our reliance on fossil fuels is self-destructive and must decline rapidly if we want to stand any chance of protecting people’s human rights. All those who value human dignity and wellbeing must fully throw their weight behind the call for global climate justice. To meet their obligations in international law to protect human rights, each state must act urgently, at home and through international cooperation, to achieve a managed and equitable phase out of existing fossil fuel use and production worldwide.” – Ashfaq Khalfan, Law and Policy Director, Amnesty International
“Expanding greenhouse gas emissions are undermining the fundamental human and environmental rights of the most vulnerable people and communities around the world, including here in the Pacific Islands. The scientific evidence becomes more damning with each IPCC report, and makes it inevitable that those Corporations and State sponsors that are profiting off the lives and livelihoods of our island women, youth, and indigenous peoples, will soon face criminal prosecution. We must bring climate change to the International Court of Justice to protect the rights of present and future generations who call this planet home.”
– Lavetanalagi Seru, Regional Policy Coordinator, Pacific Islands Climate Action Network
“This report confirms that just moving to decarbonize by 2050 isn’t enough; climate change is outpacing our response, and avoiding its worst impacts requires urgent, decisive action from governments all around the world. Japan, as one of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters, needs to set more ambitious emission reduction targets, along with concrete roadmaps and policy instruments to achieve them, in order to do its fair share to ensure the world avoids the worsening climate crisis. This begins with completely phasing out coal-fired power, its largest source of emissions, by 2030, and replacing it with renewable energy – not with impractical technology like ammonia and hydrogen co-firing, which won’t meaningfully reduce emissions and will only extend the life of coal power.” – Evan Gach, Program Coordinator, Kiko Network. Coordinator, Climate Action Network Japan
“The polar heat waves, ice shelf collapse and fossil-fueled war surrounding this report show we need a lifeline for humanity, not fossil fuels. Climate change mitigation through methods like carbon capture and storage is dangerous, ineffective and wildly expensive. Instead, we need the political will to leave fossil fuels in the ground, advance renewable energy and invest in nature-based carbon dioxide removal through forest and ecosystem protection. We have the solutions we need, so the only question is whether our leaders have the courage.” – Maya Golden-Krasner, Deputy Director, Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute
“In Australia we face some of the worst impacts of climate change whilst also being the third largest exporter of fossil fuels on earth. This latest IPCC Report makes it clear that nations like Australia must shift away from fossil fuels quickly. Not just domestically, but as an exporter too. Luckily for us we have some of the world’s greatest solar and wind resources and the capacity to replace our current exports of coal and gas with green hydrogen and ammonia to the same markets in north Asia. We need to support our coal and gas communities through this transition and chart a new way forward, with our fellow nations, for the Asia-Pacific region.” – Glen Klatovsky, acting Executive Director, Climate Action Network Australia
“Of the 10 countries in Southeast Asia (SEA), four are in the top 10 countries most vulnerable to climate risk. Actions taken by governments to address climate change – based on an equity and fair shares approach – have to be transformational and truly ambitious in nature. The latest IPCC Report highlights clear ways to mitigate against climate change. The intergovernmental body ASEAN must convene a meeting to discuss both IPCC’s latest and previous reports so that strategies can be adopted and actions taken – on a region-wide basis – to address climate change. This should include adopting a SEA Just Transition Framework to ensure no one is left behind, while the region shifts away from its dependence on fossil fuels.” – Nithi Nesadurai, Director and Regional Coordinator, Climate Action Network Southeast Asia
“There are only so many ‘code red for humanity’ warnings that can be issued, it’s clear time is running out. The crisis in Ukraine has shown the fragility of global oil and gas supplies, investment in renewables is the only way to energy security and dealing with the climate crisis; there must be no rowing back on commitments to tackle the climate crisis by reopening gas pipelines and unplugging oil wells.
The conflict in Ukraine has shown us the peril refugees face across the world, as we open our hearts and minds to those in need. If the world does not address the causes of climate change with increased urgency, many millions more will face a similar journey in years to come as they search for a safe place to call home.” – Christine Allen, Director, CAFOD

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