Power up renewables, power down fossil fuels: Boeve

May Boeve

May Boeve, Executive Director of 350.org, says the latest IPCC report, released Monday, urgently demands a phase out of fossil fuels and a just transition to publicly and community-centered renewable energy and it demands it at the speed and scale that the climate crisis necessitates.

“There are reasons to be hopeful, investment into renewable energy is at an all time high, but the reality is that powering up on renewables will only have an impact if we power down fossil fuels. We can add as much renewable energy capacity as we like to the mix — but if we’re not eliminating emissions that come from fossil fuel use, we’re not getting anywhere,” she stressed.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established in 1988 to provide policymakers with regular scientific assessments on the current state of knowledge about climate change. 

The Synthesis Report is the last of the Sixth Assessment Report products, released in time to inform the 2023 Global Stocktake by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 2023 is when countries will review progress towards the Paris Agreement goals, including the goal of pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C

Joseph Sikulu, 350.org Pacific Managing Director said: “Just last month we saw two tropical cyclones tear through Vanuatu within the span of one week, devastating communities. 1.5 degrees isn’t just a target for the Pacific, it is a limit. To stay below that limit, we need a fast, fair and financed transition away from fossil fuels. Just last week, 6 Pacific countries signed the Port Vila Call for a Just Transition to a Fossil Fuel Free Pacific, while rich, developed countries continue to approve new oil and gas fields.”

“Pacific Islander bear almost no historical responsibility for the climate crisis but are willing to lead the transition away from fossil fuels and into renewable energy. There is still hope and the solutions to this crisis exist, but it’s going to first take a just and equitable phase out of fossil fuels to make these possible,” he said.

Norly Gradce Mercado, 350.org Asia Regional Director said, “The realities of the recent IPCC report are visible across Asia, with increasingly frequent typhoons, flooding and heat waves. Post pandemic, our communities and lives are even more vulnerable to these impacts than before. To avoid more loss of life and livelihoods, we need to urgently take action to stay within the 1.5 degree Paris Agreement target.  Overshooting it would be completely disregarding the realities of communities on the frontlines right this moment. We can only do this if countries like Japan cease to block phase-out incentives at the G7 level, and richer nations distribute the resources needed to fund the just transition to 100 percent renewable energy.” 

Landry Ninteretse, 350.org Africa Regional Director said: “For the communities at the frontline of the climate crisis across the continent, the intensifying climate impacts are a painful manifestation of the climate injustice faced by those who have contributed the least to climate change. Recently, Cyclone Freddy has devastated communities in Malawi, Mozambique, and Madagascar, leading to the loss of over 400 lives, displacement of communities, and destruction of infrastructure. The possibility of catastrophic climate impacts that scientists project, if global heating exceeds the limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius, is unthinkable. This calls for commitment to phase out fossil fuels globally and fostering a just transition to community-centred renewable energy. Additionally, climate-vulnerable countries need the support of wealthy nations to build resilience against these impacts.” 

Masayoshi Iyoda, 350.org Japan Team Lead said: “The IPCC has made it crystal clear enough that richer nations such as Japan have historical responsibility to take the lead in accelerating the phase-out of all fossil fuels, and the just transition to renewables. Climate denialism is not only unmoral but also non-scientific and economically unreasonable. Japan must stop playing the role of a merchant of false solutions through its controvesial GX policy including fossil-ammonia/hydrogen co-firing, nuclear, CCS/CCUS.”

Ilan Zugman, 350.org Latin America Regional Director said: “The scenario presented by the IPCC report is palpable in several places in Latin America, where denialist governments have acted, in recent years, as accomplices in the expansion of fossil fuels, while indigenous peoples and social movements have led the demand for renewable energies.”

“In countries like Brazil and Colombia, new governments seem to be more attentive to frontline communities’ demands for a just energy transition, but have yet to show concrete actions, such as banning fracking and oil and gas subsidies. These are countries with enormous potential to lead the generation of energy through renewable sources and a model centred on people’s needs, and not on the profit of fossil fuel companies.”

“While the IPCC report summarises what humanity needs to do to solve the climate crisis, governments, companies and banks involved in projects like Vaca Muerta, in Argentina, demonstrate the limitless greed that brought us to this emergency. We cannot push developing countries to do the dirty work that rich countries no longer want; the energy transition needs to be global,” he said.