Civil society applauds the creation of BOGA and asks countries: Where is your plan to stop producing the fossil fuels that are driving the climate crisis?
GLASGOW — Today at UN climate talks (COP26) in Glasgow, Costa Rica and Denmark will officially launch the world’s first diplomatic initiative focused on keeping fossil fuels in the ground. Called the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance, or BOGA, the effort brings together countries and subnational jurisdictions that have committed to ending new licensing rounds for oil and gas exploration and production, or have taken steps towards that goal, and recognize that phasing out fossil fuel extraction is an urgent and crucial component of tackling the climate crisis.
At today’s launch event, Costa Rica, Denmark, France, Greenland, Ireland, Québec, Sweden and Wales will join this alliance as full members. California and New Zealand will also join the alliance as associate members.
This announcement marks a major shift after decades of the UN climate process ignoring the crucial question of how the world will phase out the production of the fossil fuels that are driving the climate crisis. It comes after the International Energy Agency and the UN Environment Programme have made it clear that continuing the expansion of global fossil fuel production is incompatible with keeping warming under 1.5°C, a key objective under the Paris Agreement.
The commitment made by these first movers is an essential first step towards a just transition away from fossil fuel production but is in itself insufficient to meet the challenge ahead. All countries, including BOGA members, must now commit to ending all new oil and gas projects, including in already licensed areas, and Global North producing countries must start reducing production immediately and at an accelerated pace as part of an equitable phase out of global fossil fuel production.
Reactions from civil society organizations from around the world to the launch of the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance:
Romain Ioualalen, Global Policy Campaign Manager at Oil Change International:
“The launch of the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance is a turning point. For far too long, climate negotiations have ignored the basic reality that keeping 1.5ºC alive requires an equitable global plan to keep fossil fuels in the ground. For the first time, countries are now joining together to act on the urgent need to phase out oil and gas production. The creation of this alliance puts to shame claims of climate leadership among countries like the United Kingdom, Norway, the United States, and Canada, all of which have yet to answer this simple question: Where is your plan to stop producing the fossil fuels that are driving the climate crisis?
“While more and more countries and regions are starting to heed the call to end the expansion of oil and gas production, far more needs to be done. Ending licensing rounds is a necessary first step, but implementing the IEA’s call to stop all new oil and gas development, including in licensed areas, must also be part of all countries’ climate plans. If this alliance can convince more countries and regions to join, isolates laggards, and pushes its members towards more ambition, then it will be a success.”
Catherine Abreu, Executive Director of Destination Zero:
“Global governments have spent decades talking about the need to reduce emissions while having almost nothing to say about the need to reduce the dominant source of those emissions: the production and combustion of fossil fuels. The floods, fires and storms wrecking havoc across communities around the world tell us how well that approach has worked. Costa Rica and Denmark and those that have joined them in the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance are changing the game. They’re authoring a new definition of climate leadership, one that no longer allows countries to hide behind flashy pledges while continuing to pump out coal, oil and gas.”
Mohamed Adow, Founder & Director of Power Shift Africa:
“In order to begin healing from the climate catastrophe we have created we must first stop digging our way to destruction. Ending our extraction and use of oil and gas is a necessary step in ending our self-harming addiction to fossil fuels. In Africa, we are acutely aware of the suffering that fossil fuels can cause yet we have done almost nothing to cause this suffering. The sooner we can move beyond oil and gas, the sooner the planet can begin to heal.”
Tzeporah Berman, Chair of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative:
“The launch of BOGA marks a departure from decades of international climate policy in which the question of aligning the production of fossil fuels with carbon budgets was ignored. The bottom line is it is not a transition if countries continue to grow the problem. By working together, countries can ensure that we plan for a wind down of production that is fast and fair, and that protects workers and their families. The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative welcomes this first diplomatic effort on production. We urge other countries to join this important initiative to stop the expansion of oil, gas and coal.”
Émile Boisseau-Bouvier, Climate Policy Analyst at Équiterre:
“Subnational governments around the world are also a welcome addition to this Alliance and we applaud the fact that a province like Québec joined the efforts. We hope that those governments can use their influence and leadership to create some new momentum on the national and regional level, especially in countries likes Canada, where the fossil fuel industry is so established and powerful.’’
Caroline Brouillette, National Policy Manager, Climate Action Network Canada – Réseau action climat Canada:
“Last week, Quebec led the way by becoming the first North American jurisdiction to join the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance. Their move challenges the federal government and the rest of the provinces to follow suit. It’s time for other Canadian jurisdictions to join BOGA and plan a just transition away from fossils and towards a renewable energy system. For the sake of a livable planet, we need to stop pouring fuel on the fire.”
Pía Carazo, Director of Quantum Leap:
“Costa Rica is an example that sustainable development and economic growth can go hand in hand, and that this is the best way to reactivate our economies. Leaving fossil fuels in the ground is imperative. We hope that Costa Rica and the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance can inspire other countries to follow the same path, especially our Latin American and Caribbean neighbors.”
Tim Whyte, Secretary General of ActionAid Denmark:
“Joining an alliance like BOGA is the test ground for whether governments are seriously moving away from the deadly path we are on or whether all the promises we hear at the COP26 are yet again greenwashíng of continued expansion of oil and gas. It is also the test ground for the success of the summit to keep the 1.5ºC goal alive. To meet this target, countries need to stop licensing new oil and gas fields and countries in the Global North should support a just transition in the Global South.”
Caroline Henderson, Greenpeace USA Senior Climate Campaigner:
“This year, as California wildfires and heatwaves intensified, Governor Newsom leveled up his commitment to move the state beyond oil. Today, Governor Newsom has joined a global club of leaders willing to usher the world into a fossil-free future,” “But so long as he continues to greenlight new oil and gas drilling, his goal of phasing California off fossil fuels will remain out of reach. If Governor Newsom is serious about making fossil fuels a part of the past, he must decisively stop approving new oil and gas permits.”
Media contacts in specific geographies:
Anthony Côté Leduc, Émile Boisseau-Bouvier: firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 514-605-2000
Caroline Brouillette, CAN-RAC Canada: email@example.com +1 438-881-0746
Pía Carazo, Quantum Leap: firstname.lastname@example.org +49 1515 0311559
Lars Koch, ActionAid Denmark: email@example.com, +45 6060 5831