19 June 2017, Hamburg: The Civil20 (C20) Summit concluded here today with over 300 civil society groups from around the world urging the world’s largest and richest countries of the G20 to commit to firm and immediate action on global challenges like climate change, inequality and regulation of financial markets.
This comes just three weeks ahead of the G20 Summit on 7-8 July when Heads of State will be hosted by the German Presidency.
The two-day C20 meeting, under the theme “The World We Want”, produced a Statement to advise governments on priority issues that require their joint attention.
On climate change, the Statement reiterated that the global civil society rejects the recent decision of the United States government to withdraw from the historic Paris Agreement, a move that has drawn widespread condemnation from outside and within the US. It calls on the remaining 19 countries to reaffirm and strengthen their commitment to the Paris goals by taking steps to implement it wholeheartedly.
They must do this by submitting ambitious long term climate strategies, phasing out fossil fuel subsidies, setting effective and fair carbon price signals, shifting the finance flows to promote transformation and resilience and sticking to the promises to ramp up climate financing.
Calling for a radical transformation of the current neoliberal economic system, it says: “We can no longer treat the environment, oceans and the atmosphere as though they were limitless sinks for pollution and greenhouse gases.”
“Russia pretends to care little about the forthcoming end of the oil and gas industry Age. The Paris Agreement is undoubtedly very long term, but the postponement of a revolutionary transition to the post-oil Age economy threatens our country with a brutal crisis in the future. We should start right now. This is what our trade partners, including G20, show us,” said Aleksey Kokorin, Director of WWF-Russia Climate and Energy Program.
“Our energy policy should undergo significant changes for the sake of sustainable development, social equality and climate change mitigation. We should abandon the development of costly and dangerous nuclear and climate-hostile coal power sector. A more intensive development of renewables and energy efficiency should provide a basis for working out a sustainable and modern economy that would drastically reduce adverse effects on the public health and environment,” said Vladimir Sliviak, a co-chair of EcoDefence!
“We see corporate fossil fuel interests increasingly prevailing over those of citizens in the EECCA countries,” says Irina Stavchuk, a coordinator of CAN EECCA network. “Official figures say that Russia spills 1.5 million tons of oil (or 4.5 million tons according to unofficial statistics) per annum. Oil and gas corporations not only intensify the climate change, but also thoughtlessly destroy the living environment of indigenous North people. We have high hopes that the G20 ambitious climate statement will encourage other nations to immediately commence work on the transition from dirty energy towards clean“.