Among the speakers, Athena Peralta, WCC programme executive for economic and ecological justice, addressed key policy issues during the side event, emphasising the urgency of climate finance and the need to curb fossil fuel expansion. She underscored the incompatibility of new fossil fuel expansion with the Paris Agreement goal of limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C. She highlighted fossil fuels as a significant contributor to global climate change and pointed out the alarming trend of rich, industrialised countries investing in new fossil fuel projects.
"Faith leaders must speak truth to power and call out the greed that undergirds fossil fuel production, consumption, and financing,” stressed Peralta. She also emphasised the moral imperative of climate finance as reparations, asserting that it goes beyond a one-off payment, advocating for a systemic approach to redistributing resources.
The 2023 “Banking on Climate Chaos Fossil Fuel Finance Report” revealed staggering numbers, with fossil fuel financing reaching $5.5tn in the seven years since the Paris Agreement and $669bn-worth in 2022 alone.
Peralta concluded by urging faith leaders to champion climate reparations to respond to the climate crisis, grounded in the principle that polluters must pay.