The Time to Act is NOW!
Global Young Greens demand ambitious and honest climate action from the world’s leaders at the upcoming COP27.
COP27 will be the second COP where Global Young Greens (GYG) will participate as official UNFCCC observers. Ahead of the summit we want to make clear what needs to be agreed on to be able to call this COP27 a success – or at least to prevent it from failing as the COP26 did.
Climate Justice is Social Justice
Women, racialized people, indigenous people, and working class people are less responsible for climate change, but suffer more of its consequences.
As these are very often already marginalised groups of our societies it is obvious that fighting the climate crisis is also a social issue. Currently, these groups are often sacrificed in the name of climate change mitigation, in justifying indigenous land degradation for renewable energies and lower purchasing power for the poorest. Climate change mitigation and adaptation should instead further the social and economic standing of these groups. The climate and nature crises is an opportunity to rebalance our unjust economic and social system. This is what we mean by a just transition.
Step Up To Your Historical Contribution to Climate Change and Secure Efficient Mechanisms to Cover Loss & Damage!
Climate change is bashing down the doors of developing nations – Pakistan recently faced flooding which impacted 30 million people, whilst Small Island Nations continue to drown under the rising sea levels. Loss and damage mechanisms must be implemented immediately and as a priority!
Loss and damage is the third pillar of the Paris Agreement and we demand that the conversations at COP27 result in concrete steps towards a finance facility that will serve those on the frontlines of the climate crisis, especially in the Global South.
At COP26 the so-called “Glasgow Dialogue” was established after the calls of the representatives from Global South were left unanswered. We call for bringing these long-standing discussions to a meaningful conclusion at COP27, so that the needed financial mechanisms can be established by the end of 2023.
Progress has been made in the establishment of the Santiago Network on Loss and Damage (SNLD) as in COP26 its functions were defined. We expect this to be concluded at COP27, giving a clear and formal structure and modalities on how it will be functioning. It is necessary to ensure that the modalities are aligned with the immediate and long-term needs of those on the ground.
Loss and Damage is not limited to financial mechanisms, but also includes reparations for the emotional, social and other qualitative damages that most affected communities and areas face. GYG calls upon consultations to be held with those affected, to ensure that the infrastructure set up for loss and damage directly benefits those who it is aimed for.
Fix the Financing!
We as GYG ask the developed countries to fulfil their commitment to developing countries in regard to the $100 billion per year financing pledge, as promised in COP15 in Copenhagen. Since the establishment of the Paris Climate Accords in 2015, there hasn’t been a single year where the $100 billion per year financing target has been met. The closest registered record towards this target was in 2021, where $80 billion were raised through public and private sources.
There is a serious need to reach this goal as climate impacts are causing global suffering on a rampant scale. In addition to the $100 billion goal, there also is a need to agree on a post-2025 climate finance arrangement that is significantly larger in number, in addition to setting up adequate rules to enforce this commitment.
Finally, we urge developed nations to cease all debt collection from global south countries in recognition of the financial strain they face as a result of developed nations not having met the $100 billion per year financing target.
Currently, 80 percent of the overall climate finance portfolio is dedicated to mitigation, while only 20 percent goes to adaptation. This is often due to the fact that mitigation projects are bankable projects with decent return on investment potential, such as solar and wind energy projects. However, adaptation projects are less investible by nature, as they are geared towards assisting local communities to adapt to the consequences of the changing climate. Adaptation projects are often needed by the most vulnerable communities and help them adapt to climate change in a fair and just manner. This is why we demand a shift in climate finance: Put the money where it is needed!
Make the Climate Action Feminist! - Civil Society is the Key to a Just Transition
Climate change endangers the life of civil society, and the civil society of areas most affected by climate crises already suffer the most. Therefore we need a foreign and security policy, which focuses on human safety rather than on national and economic safety. A feminist climate action ensures a well-functioning healthcare system, healthy agriculture, access to drinking water and much more. Fulfilling the needs of civil society we not only need to change our perspective on global affairs, but international leaders. People of civil society, as women often are, need to take the lead in freedom and climate conferences.
To formulate solutions facing the climate crises we have to think anti-colonialistic and feminist!
We need a Phase Out of Fossil Fuels by 2035!
In COP26 the possibility of adding the ending of fossil fuels in the summit’s agreement was quite close but it was watered down literally in the last moments of the COP26. But to really fight the climate crisis we need to put an end to the use of fossil fuels and mark it with a clear deadline. This deadline can be approached in several phases to reflect the historical contribution of countries to climate change and their capabilities to adjust, but every state should commit to put an end to fossil fuels as soon as possible and latest in 2035. If your house is on fire now you need the fire brigade at that time – there is no point in having it after a few days.
Fight Every Crisis
As in many places we are still fighting the effects of the Covid crisis, new challenges have already risen. Be it the Russian invasion of Ukraine and rising prices sending millions into extreme poverty, the financial crisis in Sri Lanka, the oppression of women’s rights in Iran, or the increasing tensions in Taiwan as per China’s expansion policy.
We have to treat every crisis like the challenge it is but we can’t put a hold on fighting the climate crisis just because more recent crises have emerged. The climate crisis is threatening all human life and the future possibility for human life on earth and should therefore be recognised as the existential crisis it is. We simply don’t have the time anymore to wait taking ambitious climate action until we settle every other conflict or obstacle.
We need to acknowledge as well, that these crises are often interlinked: The Russian war in Ukraine and the therefore imposed sanctions wouldn’t threaten the energy security in Europe in the way they do today, if we had started to phase out fossil fuels and invest in renewable energies way earlier. Instead of relying on autocratic regimes and their supply of fossil fuels, all countries should switch to renewable energies and increase their energy efficiency to ensure clean and sufficient energy for their populations.
It is our fucking future!
Youth are disproportionately affected by climate change as they have contributed less and will face more of the consequences. Therefore, youth should be given a greater voice, through having youth civil society representatives at all decision-making organs, and all meetings should be open to youth civil society representatives. It is our future, let us be part of the decision making!
More youth should be admitted to COP meetings as delegates, and the meetings should be available to youth (prevention of sexual- and gender-based violence, no alcohol).