Oxfam urges more ambition and action after Earth Day Summit

Publié: 23rd avril 2021

As the Earth Day Summit concluded, Oxfam applauded President Biden for convening world leaders in an effort to increase global climate ambition, lower emissions, and build resilience. However, more action is needed to avert dangerous climate change impacts that are already disproportionally harming those who are most vulnerable.  

“With the Summit and a new climate target, President Biden demonstrated that he and his administration are serious about tackling the climate crisis. Now we want to see that they will not only make good on these promises, but also build on them further,” said Abby Maxman, President and CEO of Oxfam America. “As the richest country and largest historic polluter, the US owes it to the rest of the world and future generations to take bold steps to substantially increase its emissions reduction target and avoid triggering even more climate catastrophes, hunger and poverty.”  

The US pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions 50 to 52 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 is an important positive step but, according to Oxfam, it is still not in line with the US’ fair share of emission reductions to reach the Paris Agreement’s target of limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C/2.7°F.  

Oxfam also welcomed the Biden administration’s newly released International Climate Finance Plan, which takes a whole-of-government approach to mobilizing climate finance to support the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities and end funding for fossil-fuel projects overseas. However, this plan still falls short of the US’ fair share contribution towards international climate finance and achieving the global goal of committing 50 percent of the total share of international climate finance for adaptation in developing countries.  

“We look forward to the Biden administration building on these commitments,” said Maxman. “We especially urge the US to continue to develop a clear roadmap to end support for fossil fuels abroad and significantly scale up grant-based finance for locally-led adaptation and loss and damage that reaches vulnerable communities most in need.” 

Ahead of the UN climate talks due to be held in Glasgow later this year, Oxfam calls on all countries —especially G20 countries, which together account for nearly 80 percent of global emissions— to urgently increase ambition to steer the world to a 1.5°C/2.7°F pathway and deliver their fair share of climate action.  

“The global ambition doesn’t yet match the need to avoid disastrous impacts on vulnerable communities,” said Oxfam's Global Climate Policy Lead, Nafkote Dabi. “We need rapid action —particularly from the largest emitters and the richest countries— ahead of the next COP. This needs to be the year that we make the turn away from climate disaster.” 

While Canada’s increased target of 40 to 45 percent is a positive step, it falls far short of the 60 percent reduction needed to limit climate-related impacts that are disproportionately affecting women. The Canadian government has yet to announce its climate finance commitment, but to deliver its fair share Canada must invest at least CAD$1.8 billion per year in public climate finance.  

India has already initiated low carbon actions in various sectors but more needs to be done to significantly reduce emissions. Oxfam calls on rich countries to provide financial and technical support to India and other developing countries to help them with their decarbonization efforts and rapidly shift to a clean economy without jeopardizing efforts to tackle poverty and inequality. 

“Indeed we are making progress, but we’re still moving too slow to avert the climate disaster scientists are warning about, and poor people are on the frontlines. We need to act fast to prevent the ever-worsening impacts of the crisis,” concluded Maxman. “Rising temperatures will cost lives and push tens of millions more people into poverty. We must increase emission reduction ambitions and scale up climate finance, especially for adaptation.” 


Laura Rusu in the US | laura.rusu@oxfam.org | +1 (202) 459-3739
Annie Thériault in Peru | annie.theriault@oxfam.org | +51 936 307 990

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