28th February 2022, London – Today’s report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), warning that the impacts of global heating are already being felt globally, must serve as a catalyst to end the unbridled and reckless corporate behaviour that is driving the climate crisis, according to Global Witness.

Global heating has now reached a point where communities – disproportionately in Africa, Asia and South America are already feeling the devastating impacts. Nor are those in the global north immune from the climate crisis.. In the immediate term this will likely drive:

  • Conflict emerging over scarcity of resources and land
  • Human rights abuses, as well as killings, of those fighting to defend these lands
  • Increased migration and displacement due to heavily populated areas becoming inhabitable
  • Disruption to supply chains all over the world, leading to more instability and poverty

Communities and countries that are already bearing the brunt of the climate crisis must be supported by the wealthiest states most responsible, through climate financing and well-funded loss and damage mechanisms.

Seema Joshi, Director of Campaigns, at Global Witness said:

“The IPCC has today confirmed what has been obvious to many in the global south who have watched their environments deteriorate in front of their eyes – the climate crisis will continue to affect their ability to access food, water, and maintain an adequate standard of living. Survival is at stake. This is a humanitarian crisis.”

“The impact of global heating is not something for future generations to worry about, it’s impacts are being felt here and now. As erratic and unpredictable weather intensifies it will lead to more conflict, global instability, and rising inequities. . This is the scientific consensus.”

“It’s time big corporates took accountability for their actions in bringing the world to this point. Fossil fuels must stay in the ground, our forests must be protected from corporate greed and those on the frontline must be listened to for solutions. The window for change is not yet shut but it requires action now. At the upcoming Climate Conference in Egypt, we must join forces to stay within 1.5 degrees of global warming and elevate the needs of those disproportionately affected by climate breakdown.” 

Faced with this reality, governments must act now to finally get tough on the corporate drivers of the climate crisis, including:

  • Ending the age of fossil fuels. Keeping oil, gas and coal in the ground and stopping further expansion
    • Rejecting false solutions and delay tactics put up by the fossil fuel industry that only serve to give a lifeline to carry on the burning and extraction of fossil fuels
  • Keeping our forests standing tall. The decimation of earths forests as vital carbon sinks is another top contributor to the climate crisis and is being financed by banks and investors in the likes of the UK, EU, US and China
  • Listening to those who are already feeling the impacts of the climate crisis and will continue to be hurt the hardest and the fastest by further changes to the planet, caused by global heating.
    • Including land and environment defenders, on the frontline of resisting the toxic activities of corporates who will stop at nothing to control their lands, resources and waters.
    • And ensure those who are already feeling the impact of the climate crisis are not forced to bear the brunt and benefit from just and equitable climate finance mechanisms
  • Fighting back against the increasing digital war of disinformation against climate action. Social media companies are failing in their obligation to prevent false and damaging information about the climate crisis on their platforms.