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CEED statement as G20 ends: To recover stronger, phase out fossil fuels altogether

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The G20 Bali Leaders’ Declaration is that of cowardice. It did not pinpoint the root of the problem: our fossil fuel dependence.

It diluted its commitment to achieving global net zero emissions. Stating it must be done “by or around mid-century” gives leeway to not meeting the 1.5C goal at all.

It did not clearly prohibit false solutions like carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) or carbon credits which is enough elbow room to extend the life of fossil fuels.

It lacked any mention of strengthening democratic spaces which was very apparent in how there was little to no room for civil society organizations (CSOs) to participate. The treatment of CSOs here is repugnant, as police harassment and surveillance forced us once again to the fringes.

The biggest failure of the Bali Leaders’ Declaration is that nowhere on this 1,186-page document is any mention of fossil gas. The erasure of what is the biggest emerging false climate solution means turning blind to the ramifications of this fossil fuel – the intensified climate catastrophes, environmental destruction, worrying health impacts, loss of lives and livelihoods, and the worsening energy crisis.

It is too late to phase out one fossil fuel at a time and too little room to only phase down unabated coal power – which means the Bali communique still provides loopholes for the proliferation of coal technologies that claim to employ means to tone down emissions. Phasing out all fossil fuels, including fossil gas, is what is required. Phasing out fossil fuels does not mean ending fossil fuel use overnight, but a just, equitable, managed transition to 100% renewable energy.

‘Recovery’ is this year’s G20 summit buzzword – recovery from the ongoing pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war – both of which the world continues to grapple with.

But just like buzzwords are, recovery is an empty rhetoric if world leaders continue to refuse the biggest elephant in the room – that in order for the world to recover, we must end fossil fuels altogether.

Gerry Arances,
Executive Director; Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development

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