FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: 

Nicole Rodel, Oil Change International – nicole@priceofoil.org  

 

In response to the outcome of the June UN climate talks (SB 60), Laurie van der Burg, Oil Change International Public Finance lead, said:

“Today, Bonn sputtered to an end with barely a procedural outcome. While lives are being lost in unbearable heat waves in Sudan, last year’s breakthrough COP agreement to transition away from fossil fuels was barely mentioned in these negotiations. The rich countries most responsible for this crisis must pay up for a fair fossil fuel phase-out and climate damages, without worsening unjust debts. We know they have more than enough money. It’s just going to the wrong things. 

“G7 leaders gathering in Italy today must face their responsibility. Instead of siding with fossil fuel interests, these rich countries need to deliver a fair fossil fuel phase-out, end fossil fuel handouts, and put a strong climate finance offer on the table. This is essential to build a fair and renewable future for all.” 

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Notes:

  • Countries main task this year at the global climate talks is to secure a new climate finance target. While lives are on the line, countries in Bonn simply repeated their age-old positions without succeeding to find common ground. The discussions on the new climate finance target ended in a stalemate – with the rich countries most responsible for historic emissions not willing to put numbers on the table.
  • Research shows that trillions are needed for climate action, adaptation and loss & damage and, as developing countries face spiraling unjust debts (meaning debt service payments are 12 times higher than adaptation spending), this finance must be provided on fair terms and avoid exacerbating debt burdens.
  • Through ending fossil fuel finance and subsidies, making polluters pay and changing unfair international finance rules, rich countries can mobilize trillions in public funds for climate action. Even without these measures rich countries were able to mobilize USD 16 trillion for covid relief measures in 2020.
  • In 2022, countries worldwide spent a staggering $1.7 trillion on subsidies and public finance for fossil fuels. Taxing fossil fuel profits, which can raise an estimated $900 billion for climate action. Additional finance can be raised through making international finance rules fair: including through introducing a wealth tax and canceling debts. This money should instead be shifted to equitable renewable energy solutions.
  • Some countries show that progress is possible. At COP26 in Glasgow 39 countries and institutions joined the Clean Energy Transition Partnership (CETP) and committed to end their international public finance for fossil fuels and shift it fully in support of renewable energy. The G7 adopted a near-identical commitment soon after. International public finance figures for fossil fuels are dropping by billions. The worst offenders of this commitment, the United States, Italy, Japan and Germany, all G7 members, need to follow through. 
  • In the conclusion of the Global Stocktake at COP28 in Dubai last year, countries agreed to “Transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems”, alongside tripling renewable energy and doubling energy efficiency. However, with the first Global Stocktake now completed, it is not clear where diplomacy to take this decision forward now fits within the UN climate negotiations. The Mitigation Work Programme has been mired in procedural debates. With countries due to submit their new National Determined Contributions early next year, there is growing need for some forum to discuss the energy transition to make sure the COP28 outcomes are not lost.