The Guardian and dozens of international media titles publish a joint editorial calling for radical thinking on how to fund climate action in poorer countries
Dozens of media organisations from around the world have published a joint editorial article calling for a windfall tax on the biggest fossil fuel companies.
The funds raised should be redistributed to poorer, vulnerable countries, the editorial says, as they are suffering the worst impacts of the climate crisis despite having done the least to cause it.
“Humanity has to end its addiction to fossil fuels,” the joint editorial, which was coordinated by the Guardian, says. “Rich countries account for just one in eight people in the world today but are responsible for half of greenhouse gases. These nations have a clear moral responsibility to help.”
The UN secretary general recently called for a windfall tax on fossil fuel companies, whose profits have soared as Russia’s war in Ukraine drives up energy prices. Oil and gas companies made $100bn (£85bn) in the first three months of 2022 alone. Any success at the UN’s Cop27 summit, taking place in Egypt, is widely seen as dependent on rapidly increasing the flow of climate funding to developing countries.
“Climate change is a global problem that requires cooperation between all nations,” the editorial says. However, without adequate funding, there is no trust between the global north and south, according to Cop27 observers. “This is no time for apathy or complacency; the urgency of the moment is upon us,” the article states.
A series of reports in the run-up to Cop27 have laid bare how close the planet is to irreversible climate catastrophe, with “no credible pathway [of carbon cuts] to 1.5C in place”, the internationally agreed temperature limit to contain global heating.
Rather than the rapid fall in emissions needed, Cop27 was told they were likely to rise to record levels this year, with the UN chief, António Guterres, warning humanity is on a “highway to climate hell”.
The editorial, published by more than 30 media organisations, notes the world’s growing economic crisis but says: “During the pandemic, central banks across the world lubricated states’ expenditure by buying up their own governments’ bonds. The trillions of dollars needed to deal with the ecological emergency demands such radical thinking returns.”
The organisations that published the joint editorial come from almost every continent, including the Hindu in India and Tempo in Indonesia, the Mail & Guardian in South Africa and Haaretz in Israel, Rolling Stone in the US and El Espectador in Colombia, and La Repubblica in Italy and Libération in France.