As the world marks the second anniversary of the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C on Thursday, October 8, 2020, indications are that neither governments nor the financial sector took serious notice or acted accordingly.
The IPCC report outlined how 1.5°C is a red line for man’s survival and a more stable climate; and how the window for keeping warming below that limit is closing fast, requiring coal, oil and gas to stay in the ground.
It turned out to be the starkest and most compelling yet single piece of research on the climate crisis, and it called for a large scale mobilisation of public and private resources, and rapid changes in our economic and energy systems.
Since the IPCC 1.5°C report was released, countries across the globe have been feeling the impacts of climate breakdown. Despite a global pandemic, which forced a temporary halt across vast areas of the globe, greenhouse gas emissions have kept rising, and the carbon budget has kept shrinking.
Evidence compiled by UN agencies, research institutions and civil society organisations demonstrates that:
- Rich G20 governments, export credit agencies and development banks have kept funnelling tens of billions of dollars into fossil fuels, increasing loans and direct subsidies to this sector since the Paris Agreement was signed
- Governments are planning to produce 120% more fossil fuels than would be consistent with the 1.5°C threshold
- Despite lofty 2050 carbon neutrality announcements, all eight major oil companies are still planning to expand their fossil fuel production to 2030 and have no credible pathway to self-manage their decline or turn into 100% renewable energy companies
- There is massive carbon inequality in the world, with the richest 10% being responsible for over half of cumulative emissions over the past 25 years, while the poorest 50% is only responsible for 7% of it.
- All over the world, vulnerable and impacted communities are resisting fossil fuel infrastructure, acting to defuse major carbon bombs that would completely blow our chances of keeping global warming under 1.5C.
“Since the Paris climate agreement was signed and the IPCC released their 1.5C report, vast amounts of public money have been spent on supporting the fossil fuel industry and other polluting industries, mostly with no strings attached. This continues to this date in the form of covid-19 bailouts and loans to more fossil fuel development.” said May Boeve, 350.org Executive Director.
“Decision-makers in national governments, central and development banks have the power to enact policies and direct funds towards a just recovery from both covid-19 and the climate crisis. We need them to show leadership in this critical moment,” she added.