Climate activists called on Asian countries to mark the lunar new year with a commitment to make the region fossil fuel-free.
“We are already suffering devastating impacts of climate change, and it will become much much worse if the world does not take urgent ambitious action,” said Lidy Nacpil, coordinator of the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development.
Activists performed a “dragon dance” ahead of the Feb. 12 lunar new year observance on Sunday, February 7, to dramatize their call for “swift and just transition from fossil fuels to 100 percent renewable energy.”
The activists called on China “to take decisive steps and pave the way for a fossil fuel-free Asia.”
They also urged US President Joe Biden to fulfill his climate pledges and “to ensure that the US does its full fair share of climate actions.”
Nacpil said the United States continues to have the highest share of “historically accumulated emissions in the atmosphere” and has the highest share of the responsibility for climate solutions.
“We must push on this year and beyond for a faster total exit from coal in Asia, if we are to keep on track to prevent climate catastrophe” Nacpil said in a statement.
On Sept. 22, 2020, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the ambitious goal of targeting carbon neutrality by 2060.
Weeks later, Japan and South Korea pledged to “decarbonize” by 2050.
Nacpil said that with China’s announcement, she expects Chinese policy banks, state-owned enterprises, and private commercial banks with coal and fossil fuel investments to follow the policy and begin withdrawal from coal and fossil fuel investments and financing.
China’s decarbonization pledge to place the country on an accelerated transition path to renewable energy is being undermined and contradicted by several Chinese banks and corporations that are poised to build new coal-fired power plants in a number of Asian countries.
“We must act together to move Chinese banks and corporations to end coal and fossil fuel financing and to make a total coal exit now,” said Nacpil.
“Let us make Asia a fossil fuel-free region,” she added.