Open Letter: Lead the way to a carbon-free, just, and fair future!April 21, 2021
An open call to participants at the Leaders Climate Summit
President Biden has invited 40 world leaders to the Leaders Summit on Climate that he is hosting on April 22 and 23. The summit will underscore the urgency – and the economic benefits – of more radical climate action. It is an important milestone on the road to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), to be held this November in Glasgow. Climate Reality Europe calls on European leaders to demonstrate their commitment to making Europe the first climate-neutral continent!
The global carbon budget – the maximum total CO2 emissions that can be released if we are to stay in line with the most ambitious Paris Agreement goal of keeping the global temperature rise below 1.5°C – is shrinking rapidly. Every day we emit 152 million tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Scientific calculations and models indicate how little time is left for political decision makers to act in order to avoid devastating consequences in all areas, including food, health, society, and the economy. We are calling on you, our leaders, to follow the science in your decision making on policies and programs at subnational, national and global level.
Climate change affects all citizens! The climate crisis is already having severe impacts on the well-being of people around the world in terms of human health, ecosystems, and specific sectors of the economy, generating climate injustice. People who are already experiencing these impacts are asking governments to take more ambitious climate action and eliminate climate injustice. They are demanding transparent, inclusive, but rapid progress. Listen to the people! Listen to the voices of young people, indigenous communities, and citizens of vulnerable countries!
All countries are endeavoring to rebuild their economies in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and trillions of dollars will be mobilized. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to reorient our lives according to globally acceptable principles. We demand transparent, inclusive decision making; a systemic transformation; the phasing out of fossil fuels and the end of subsidies on natural gas, for example. We elected you, and we demand that you lead us to a carbon-free, just and fair future!
It is encouraging to see global leaders gathering for the Leaders Climate Summit, but we appeal to you to move from political declarations to genuine action in order to safeguard the future of our planet. In the words of Al Gore, we ask you to make a commitment not to go back to our dirty past!