More than a thousand individuals on Sunday pedaled a 16-km ride to call on rich nations to take real solutions to the climate crisis.
“We need real solutions to the climate crisis. Rich countries have to do their fair share of global climate action,” said Lidy Nacpil, coordinator of the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD).
Nacpil said the Global North must deliver its fair share “towards reaching zero global emissions and fulfilling their obligations to provide climate finance.”
Bike rides were also held in 42 cities and provinces in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Vietnam, and other parts of the Philippines with more than six thousand people participating.
Dubbed “Pedal for People and Planet,” the event is an Asia-wide bike action series aimed to create awareness of climate change and mobilize citizens to urge governments and corporations to take urgent and ambitious climate action.
The bike ride event, the seventh since 2021, was held ahead for the celebration of World Environment Day on June 5 and the start of the Intersessional Meetings of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) taking place in Bonn, Germany from June 5-15.
“It is the rich, industrialized countries that are responsible for the bulk of historical and continuing emissions that cause global warming and climate change. Their promises and action plans remain short of what they must do to arrest global warming and prevent climate catastrophe.” Nacpil added.
According to APMDD, “Research finds that rich industrialized countries, big oil corporations, and billionaires with substantial financial investments in carbon-emitting companies are responsible for climate change. Some 23 rich industrialized countries are responsible for 50 percent of all historical emissions and 125 billionaires are each responsible for one million times more greenhouse gas emissions than the average person.”
This coming November, Nacpil said, “The next Pedal for People and Planet will go global.”
“Talks are being done with climate campaigners in Europe, United States, Canada, Africa, and Latin America,” Nacpil said.
In Pakistan, Farooq Tariq, General Secretary of the Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee said “We are highlighting today the demand for real solutions to the climate crisis based on fair shares.
“We reject so-called net zero carbon emissions targets and false solutions. We need real zero targets, meaning reaching zero emissions through actual emissions reductions, not through offsets or carbon removal technologies. These distract us from real climate actions,” Tariq added.
In a press statement, APMDD said that according to the climate fair shares method, countries like the UK, the US, Australia, and many European nations grew rich and comfortable by using up far more than their fair share of natural resources, including atmospheric space.
Such countries have both the responsibility and the capability to make the deepest and fastest cuts to their carbon emissions. However, even if these countries cut their emissions to zero, they would still fail to meet what is required according to their fair share.
In this instance, these countries should pay towards the costs of the energy transition in developing countries so that countries with less responsibility and less capability are able to follow a safe, renewable development pathway.
Last week, a new study described the human cost of failing to tackle the climate emergency. With the world on track for 2.7C of warming given current action plans, it is estimated that global warming will drive billions of people out of the “climate niche” in which humanity has flourished for millennia.
This would mean 2 billion people experiencing average annual temperatures above 29C by 2030, a level at which very few communities have lived in the past. However, urgent action to lower carbon emissions and keep global temperature rise to 1.5C would cut the number of people pushed outside the climate niche by 80%, to 400 million.
Avishek Shrestra, Climate Justice Program Lead of Digo Bikas Institute Nepal, said climate finance is urgently needed for adaptation, building resilience, and emissions reduction measures in developing countries, including the transition to renewable energy away from fossil fuels.
“Scaled up, new and additional climate finance is needed now to save people and the planet. We are seeing more and more climate-related death and destruction. This climate finance is not aid or assistance, but part of reparations,” Shrestra said.
The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change specifies that developed country governments must provide climate finance to developing countries in recognition that developed countries have contributed the most to the problem of climate change
Developed countries pledged in 2009 to jointly mobilize $100 billion annually in climate finance by 2020 but failed to meet the goal.
Oyette Zacate of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) said the 100-billion goal is extremely small considering the huge amount of climate finance needed by developing countries by 2030 in order to cut emissions, boost resilience, deal with damage from climate change and restore nature and land.
A report commissioned for the COP27 climate summit said the total annual investment requirement of developing countries would hit $2.4 trillion by 2030.