Climate Justice Alliance- Bangladesh - a coalition of 30 CSOs - at COP28, urged for a swift and equitable transition from fossil fuels while demanding responsible actions like mobilizing needs-based finance, ensuring obligatory loss and damage finance, and upholding human rights in climate efforts.
The CSOs are firm in their stance that the first-ever global stock take at COP28 serves as a pivotal moment for a reality check on the world's progress in combating climate change.
They highlighted the imperative of bridging existing gaps, evaluating current strategies, and delineating unequivocal roles and contributions to achieve the crucial 1.5-degree Celsius goal.
Moreover, emphasis is placed on extending support to the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Most Vulnerable Countries (MVCs) for their adaptation and survival in the face of climate adversity.
CSOs from around the world convened at COP28 with an unequivocal call to action, urging global leaders to prioritize immediate and realistic measures to combat the escalating climate emergency.
With a critical eye on past negotiations, these CSOs are determined to forge a path toward a sustainable, equitable, and transformative resolution in Dubai, said a media release.
Key Demands by CSOs at COP28
CSOs underscore the alarming projections outlined in the UNFCCC synthesis and UNFP Emission Gap Report, emphasizing the urgent need to reduce global annual GHG emissions by 45% before 2030. They call upon developed countries and major emitters to take the lead in making genuine, substantial emissions reduction pledges following the Global Stock take.
Md. Shamsuddoha, Chief Executive, Center for Participatory Research and Development-CPRD mentioned: "As we strive to uphold the crucial 1.5-degree Celsius threshold, it is imperative to maintain firm commitment. Ceasing all new investments in fossil fuel production stands as a non-negotiable step in achieving this goal. There is simply no margin for expanding fossil fuel production if we are to stay aligned with the aspirations of the 1.5-degree goal."
Syed Aminul Haque, Director of Coast Trust Foundation, also highlighted, "As a CSO dedicated to combatting climate change, our urgent call is to fortify our National Determined Contributions (NDCs) in line with the 1.5-degree target. We advocate for the formulation of robust Long-Term Low Emission Development Strategies that map a clear pathway towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2040. This cohesive strategy is pivotal in mitigating the escalating climate crisis and securing a sustainable future for all."
While welcoming the funding pledges made by COP28 Presidency, CSOs expressed concern about the management of funds, particularly with the involvement of institutions like the World Bank, historically criticized for discriminatory practices.
They urged the COP28 presidency to take initiative to make financial support legal and obligatory where developed countries will finance in a sustainable manner.
CSOs also expressed reservations regarding the lack of clarity in the 'New Collective and Quantified Goal on Finance (NCQG)', highlighting potential risks of interpretation that could place undue pressure on LDCs and MVCs.
CSOs also highlighted that securing and mobilizing the promised $100 billion climate finance from developed nations underscore the pressing need for clarity and accountability.
The stance taken by the United States further amplifies this uncertainty, suggesting a potentially concerning trend wherein future climate finance discussions could witness undue pressure on LDCs and MVCs in the guise of collectivism-a prospect that warrants serious concern, they said.
"Critical evaluation is necessary as COP 28 pledges funding for the L and D fund, yet concerns arise over entrusting the World Bank. Urgency lies in transforming this support into a legally binding obligation for sustainable financing by developed nations, aligning with the Paris Agreement's principles. Furthermore, the 'New Collective and Quantified Goal on Finance (NCQG)' introduces ambiguity, potentially empowering influential nations to pressure LDCs and MVCs, straying from the Agreement's inclusive spirit outlined in Clause 9.3 of Paris Agreement.", stated Md. Shamsuddoha, Chief Executive from CPRD.
Millions of people are being displaced forcibly due to a recurring impact of both sudden and slow-onset climatic hazards. Necessary measures were almost ignored in the UNFCCC process. CSOs firmly demanded new measures that will support the countries to address the climate induced displacement through ensuring their rights in locally and nationally.
CSOs reiterated the expectations from global leaders to not merely understand the principles, processes, and mechanisms involved but to act decisively in aligning with these principles for the preservation of a habitable planet. The CSO press-meet at COP28 witnessed contributions from researchers, experts, development activists, and campaigners, shedding light on multifaceted issues and advocating for urgent action.
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