The draft 6th IPCC report leaked by the French Press Agency paints an apocalyptic picture of the serious and irreversible effects of crossing the 1.5 ° C threshold. To avoid this tipping point – something that could happen as soon as 2025, the IPCC urges the world to take immediate and drastic measures to phase down greenhouse gas emissions.
Governmental pledges to achieve carbon neutrality and ramp up their climate targets are still missing the point and not delivering concrete and short-term cuts in emission. In fact, four court rulings so far have sanctioned the States of Germany, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands for climate inaction.
The European Union’s new sustainable finance strategy published this Tuesday 6th of July is a perfect illustration of the current trend: the political sphere is willing to support anything green(er) but refusing to regulate and sanction the financial players that are propping up the most harmful industries. And the private sector is clearly not feeling the heat: businesses, banks, insurers, and investors are all committing to action in the longer term but lacking concrete short-term plans.
Is it too late to avert the worst-case scenario? No, because as the IPCC has put it rightly: “each fraction of a degree makes a difference”. The challenge is enormous but the solutions are out there, right in front of us. One of the most obvious ones can be found in IEA’s net-zero scenario published a month ago: the world cannot afford any further fossil fuel production growth and must stop coal, oil, and gas expansion now. This is an operational and meaningful decision financial players should be taking this year as a first step to phasing down oil and gas support.
This year, global economic, financial, and political leaders will be discussing climate change on many occasions on the road to the climate summit in Glasgow. At Reclaim Finance, we will be doing our utmost to tackle the financiers of the fossil fuel industry and help avert the 1.5°C crisis.