The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Tamra Gilbertson (IEN): ; +1-865-443-1337
Cate Bonacini (CIEL):; +1-202-742-5847 

340+ Organizations Call on Governments and the IPCC to Foreground Rapid Phaseout of Fossil Fuels


As governments meet this week to review and approve a summary of the latest findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) regarding climate mitigation, hundreds of organizations from around the world sent an open letter demanding that they focus on rapidly ending fossil fuel production and use. The letter, signed by nearly 350 organizations, including Center for International Environmental Law, Food & Water Watch, Friends of the Earth International, Greenpeace, Heinrich Boll Foundation, and the Indigenous Environmental Network, calls on governments and IPCC Co-Chairs to ensure the IPCC's summary of the mitigation science foregrounds rapid fossil fuel phaseout in order to avoid dangerous temperature overshoot, and recognizes that reliance on large-scale Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR), carbon markets and carbon offsets, and Solar Radiation Modification (SRM) threatens irreversible harm to people and nature.

The Working Group III Summary for Policymakers (SPM) regarding IPCC mitigation recommendations due out on 4 April 2022 will greatly influence how the consensus science is understood and in turn, how it is acted upon by policymakers, investors, and the public. The stakes could not be any higher, the science any clearer, or the imperative for immediate action any greater.

The IPCC's recent WGII report on Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability leaves no doubt: Climate change is a human rights and environmental and social justice crisis, eroding health, well-being, the environment, and equity across the entire globe, in grossly unequal ways. Current levels of warming are already causing permanent loss and damage, especially for the populations most vulnerable to, and least responsible for, the climate crisis. Surpassing 1.5degC of warming--even temporarily--will unleash further irreparable harm taking the planet into a point of no return.

Read the open letter to Governments and the IPCC here:


Nikki Reisch, Director of the Climate & Energy Program at the Center for International Environmental Law, said:
The IPCC's Summary for Policymakers should not conceal the stark scientific realities that the full report lays bare. The climate crisis is accelerating and fossil fuels are the overwhelming cause. Any report on mitigation that fails to emphasize that fact is denying the very science to which the IPCC is committed. To avoid the irreversible harm of overshooting 1.5degC, we must end dependence on fossil fuels and phase out their production and use as rapidly and equitably as possible. Governments have a responsibility to ensure this truth is front and center in the summary of the IPCC's findings on mitigation. They also must convey the danger of relying on technologies like large-scale carbon dioxide removal and carbon offset schemes that threaten to push warming beyond 1.5degC, triggering irreversible harm to people and nature.

Dipti Bhatnagar, Climate Justice and Energy International Programme Coordinator from Friends of the Earth International, said:
We do not consent to an overshoot of 1.5 degrees, and there is no justification for pursuing policies or pathways that allow for an overshoot. We used to chant "1.5, we might survive" - 1.5 was already a compromise for frontline communities suffering the worst climate impacts. The IPCC told us only last month that breaching this guard-rail, even temporarily, could push us over a series of tipping points, unleashing a cascade of irreversible feedback systems that would cause warming beyond our ability to control. It would be grossly negligent to ignore those warnings and pursue a mitigation plan that allows for an overshoot, as is now on the table with this new report.

Tom BK Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, said:

Indigenous Peoples have been targeted by technology and market-based scams like carbon capture, solar radiation management and carbon pricing systems because these scams represent another money-making frontier for the colonizers. Indigenous Peoples have been targeted, harassed, exploited, and expelled by carbon brokers, traders, project managers, US agencies like US AID, and the big Conservation NGOs - all for the rights to their forests and lands. This is nothing new for Indigenous Peoples. Proponents of these technologies and markets of destruction not only create a system that distracts from the important political work of phasing out fossil fuels, they target Indigenous communities that keep this planet on life support. It is a horrific expansion of a deeply flawed, unjust and unethical system. We call on the IPCC and world leaders to listen to Indigenous Peoples and Mother Earth to focus their future western research projects on keeping fossil fuels in the ground.

Jim Walsh, Policy Director, Food & Water Watch, saId:

We do not have time to delay a transition off fossil fuels, but unfortunately global emissions of greenhouse gasses from fossil fuels continue to rise, as global leaders and polluters promote misleading net zero claims as solutions to the climate crisis. These climate scams, including carbon trading schemes, carbon capture, and biofuels not only delay real climate action but are creating significant harms to disadvantaged communities from air and water pollution. The leaders of the IPCC must make sure the Summary for Policymakers clearly states what the science shows, further reliance on climate scams that delay a phaseout of fossil fuels will imperil our ability to avoid catastrophic climate tipping points and lock us into irreversible impacts of climate change, increasing global suffering and harms

Established in 1990 within the United States, IEN was formed by grassroots Indigenous peoples and individuals to address environmental and economic justice issues (EJ). IEN's activities include building the capacity of Indigenous communities and tribal governments to develop mechanisms to protect our sacred sites, land, water, air, natural resources, health of both our people and all living things, and to build economically sustainable communities.