Meeting the 1.5°C target means all Parties must transition away from dirty fossil fuels to clean and renewable energy as fast as possible, in line with the IPCC science and deadlines. This shift from dirty to clean power isn’t the whole story though: the necessary energy transition must also be centered in justice and equity, where the rights of Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, workers and unions, youth, women and gender constituents, local communities, and other structurally oppressed groups, are protected and strengthened in a new inclusive and resilient energy economy.
The reason is simple. We can’t afford to keep power, both literally and figuratively, centralized – perpetuating systems of exploitation upon which our current fossil fuel economy is built. We need to make sure that government actions factor in and respect the human, social, economic, and environmental rights at stake.
The problem is that the topic of just and equitable transition hasn’t been afforded a natural home in the negotiations. Yes, it appears under Response Measures, and the Forum looks like it is close to adopting a 6-year work plan to help foster capacity-building and exchange of best practices between Parties. However, just and equitable transition is still not central to ambition goals, NDCs, finance and other commitments. This needs to change. Basic principles of equity and justice cannot be divorced from all the other momentous actions that need to happen to battle the climate crisis.
ECO urges all Parties to meaningfully integrate these principles of equity and justice into all their commitments in meaningful and inclusive manners. Because the people and the planet are at stake.