Open letter from 14 countries to G20: Safeguard a liveable future

In an open letter to the G20, climate ministers from 14 countries outline key actions ahead of COP28, including a fossil fuel phase out.

As the G20 ministers meet in India over the next few weeks, the clear and pressing danger posed by the climate crisis must be at the forefront of discussions.

Making up around 80% of global emissions and also 80% of global GDP, the G20 has the responsibility and the capabilities to alter the course of our planet’s destiny.

The G20 ministers must demonstrate their leadership in placing the earth on track for a future within the 1.5°C temperature limit, which is resilient to the climate shocks already affecting the world’s most vulnerable communities.

Keeping 1.5°C in reach

We cannot afford an overshoot of 1.5°C

Accelerating our efforts to achieve a just transition and keep the temperature limit in reach is critical. We know that effective adaptation can save lives, contribute to sustainable development and support efforts to eradicate poverty and inequality.

However, there are limits to our ability to adapt that are already being reached, so we must step up our actions urgently. Loss and damage is occurring today in every region of the planet.

The findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group I Contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report confirm that we must urgently and drastically scale up action and support to address climate change in this decade, accelerate efforts to respond to the impacts that are already happening, and prepare for them to get much worse.

We, as members of the High Ambition Coalition, are committed to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement, including keeping alive the 1.5°C temperature limit. The scale and speed of the shifts that our world requires will be unprecedented. The outcome of the first Global Stocktake is an opportunity to course correct onto a path of a just and equitable transition and a much more resilient world.

Phasing out fossil fuels

We must work together to accelerate climate action now and to also set and meet higher targets. We must put an end to the narrative that climate action is the enemy of development. It is the only sustainable development pathway. We look to the G20 to lead the way.

Remaining within 1.5°C will require us to peak greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 at the latest and reduce them by 43% by 2030 compared to 2019 levels. Revised 2030 Nationally Determined Contributions that align with the 1.5°C limit, and new 2035 NDCs that keep nations on that pathway, are crucial.

We will not stay within 1.5°C without reducing fossil fuel production. Further fossil fuel expansion risks rendering the eventual transition more expensive and disruptive to economies and societies.

Phasing out fossil fuels will not be easy, but humankind cannot afford to delay. We must bring the fossil fuel era to an end together, and agree a plan to do this at COP28.

We urge you, as leaders of the G20, to accelerate your efforts to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions, to expand your cooperation and lead the way in phasing out all fossil fuels and in transitioning to a green sustainable energy future where access to energy is guaranteed for all.

Key climate actions

Renewable energy has the potential to replace fossil fuels, and to improve access to clean energy across the world, particularly the developing world. We also need a step change in energy efficiency, and to redirect fossil fuel subsidies as part of a just and equitable transition.

We must agree and deliver global goals on renewable energy and energy efficiency, as part of a 1.5°C-aligned global energy strategy. And we must ensure that all sectors, including international transport, reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement.

Life saving adaptation is needed

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