27 April 2020

Laurie van der Burg, laurie [at]
Hannah McKinnon, hannah [at]

Oil Change International: Statement in Advance of Petersberg Climate Dialogue

This week, environment ministers from 30 countries are gathering online for the high-level segment of the Petersberg Climate Dialogue. The German and UK governments are co-hosting the dialogue, focused on a green and sustainable recovery. In advance of the high-level segment, Laurie van der Burg, Senior Campaigner at Oil Change International, released the following statement: 

“A managed decline of oil and gas production must be central in a just and green recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. Ministers gathering for the Petersberg Climate Dialogue have a responsibility to acknowledge that a managed decline that supports affected workers and communities, paired with strong investments in the green industries of the future, is highly favourable over the current chaotic and inequitable collapse of the industry. 

“Well before COVID-19, fossil fuels were showing signs of permanent decline. During eight of the last nine years, oil and gas stocks underperformed the broader market, while renewable stocks outperformed the index by 20% in 2019. A phase-out of oil and gas production is not only imperative for meeting climate goals and protecting human rights, it also makes financial sense.

“As dirty industries try to exploit this crisis for a revival that would be short-lived at best, this is the time for governments to step up and put people ahead of polluters. International equity requires rich producers, like Petersberg Dialogue hosts Germany and the United Kingdom, to be among those acting first to begin a phase-out of all fossil fuel production, and to provide support to lower-income countries facing tougher transition challenges.”