The idea that these reserves remain unexploited has become a rallying cry of the climate justice movement which has transformed variations of the “Keep It In the Ground” slogan into mantra for a planetary transition that seeks to usher in a renewable energy revolution and create the basis for more sustainable, and ultimately more livable, societies.

The complete 8-point plan of the Earth Statement, which anyone can endorse, reads as follows:

  1. . However, we are currently on a path to around 4°C warming by 2100, which would create unmanageable environmental challenges. If we do not act now, there is even a 1 in 10 risk of going beyond 6°C by 2100. We would surely not accept such a high risk of disaster in other realms of society. As a comparison, such a 1 in 10 probability is the equivalent of tolerating about 10,000 airplane crashes every day worldwide!

  2. . Humankind has already emitted around 2000 Gt CO2 since the beginning of industrialization. Respecting the global carbon budget means leaving at least three quarters of all known fossil fuel reserves in the ground. With current emissions trends, the remaining 1000 Gt CO2 would be used up within the next 25 years.

  3. . Deep decarbonization, starting immediately and leading to a zero-­carbon society by 2050 or shortly thereafter, is key to future prosperity. This long-­term goal, paired with strong national commitments, including a price on carbon, and a possibility to ramp up ambition via regular reviews, are essential elements of the Paris agreement. Fossil fuel subsidies should be removed urgently, and investment should be redirected to spark a global renewable energy revolution, warranting energy access for all and particularly for those most in need.

  4. . For the sake of fairness, rich countries and progressive industries can and should take the lead and decarbonize well before mid-­century. Developing countries should formulate plans far beyond what they can be expected to pursue on their own, reaping benefits from leapfrogging into a sustainable economy, well supported by international climate finance and technology access. Safeguarding the right to development of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) is fundamental.

  5. . The unprecedented challenge of climate change requires unprecedented technological advances. We need targeted research, development, demonstration and diffusion (RDD&D) of low-­carbon energy systems and sustainable land use, and capacity building to enhance access for those most in need. International cooperation, stringent laws and standards, public and private investments and clear economic incentives are all crucial steps in the global transition.

  6. . With 1°C of warming already having taken place, many societies are challenged by water scarcity, shifting rain patterns and other impacts. This poses a threat to human development in all countries, particularly among the poorest and most vulnerable. A 2°C or more warming of the planet would impose huge social and economic burdens that need to be shouldered through international solidarity.

  7. . Cutting down forests and degrading grasslands and aquatic systems is like killing our best allies in the fight against climate change. A precondition for sustainability is the strengthening, not the weakening of the resilience of natural and managed ecosystems and food production systems.

  8. . This includes additional public funding for mitigation and adaptation at a level at least comparable to current global ODA (around 135 billion USD p.a.). Innovative schemes such as globally funded renewable energy feed-­in tariffs are required. The private sector must be encouraged to mobilize substantially larger sums. Governments should engage with banks and pension funds, enabling a shift to climate-­friendly investments. Global and national climate funding must be effective, transparent and accountable.

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