Global Witness warns of “unthinkable catastrophe” unless urgent and systemic action is taken to keep fossil fuels in the ground, end deforestation and hold corporates to account for their impact on the environment and human rights 

Following today’s stark warning by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Global Witness is calling for world leaders and big corporations to wake up to the undeniable immediacy of climate crisis and act now to avoid further irreparable damage.

In a landmark report, the most significant climate warning since 2018, the IPCC say global heating will hit 1.5°C  by 2040 – but that it is still possible to prevent warming going beyond that critical level if “immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions” in emissions start now.

To address this crisis, Global Witness is joining others across the growing climate movement to call for:

  • The immediate phase out of all fossil fuels around the world. We don’t have time to waste switching from one fossil fuel to another, from coal to gas, or hoping for new technologies to clean up this dirty industry. The science is clear that fossil fuel extraction and use has to fall fast and start falling now.
  • An end to the financial pipeline fuelling deforestation around the world.
  • Legislation to hold big companies liable for the environmental and human rights impacts of their value chains.
  • A zero-tolerance approach to violence against land and environmental defenders – those who stand up for their land and our planet. We cannot solve the climate crisis whilst riding roughshod the rights of frontline communities – we need to prioritise their interests and voices, not those of big polluters. 

Amy Richards, Director of Communications at Global Witness said:

“While the UK government is telling the public how to rinse dishes, the experts are telling us loud and clear: the climate crisis is here, it’s now, and we are running out of time to prevent unthinkable catastrophe.

This report will send shockwaves around the world, but it must do more than just shock. It must be the catalyst to finally see the radical climate action that is needed to avoid disaster. Politicians needn’t look far to see the reality of climate change – from floods in Germany, deadly wildfires in Turkey, or the waning of the Gulf Stream, the climate crisis is here now. And without immediate and real action these events will be just a taster of what is to come.”

“We have less time than we thought, but there is still time to limit the damage and prevent the worst impacts of the climate crisis. This report confirms we absolutely cannot afford to waste another minute tinkering around the edges, blaming individuals for systemic failures, and trumpeting false solutions. We have no time to waste.”