Whereas: The scientific community has established that most fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground if we are to meet the Paris Agreement goal of limiting temperature rise to well-below 2°C, and to strive to limit it to 1.5°C.

Whereas: The reserves in currently operating oil and gas fields alone, even with no coal, would take the world beyond 1.5°C — a limit that must not be crossed if we are to protect island nations and ensure climate justice for the most vulnerable.

Whereas: Almost 850 million people in the global south lack access to modern forms of energy and over 2 billion lack access to clean cooking.

Whereas: The fossil fuel industry maintains that it will bring these people out of energy darkness with deadly and polluting coal, oil and gas.

Whereas: Access to energy for the hundreds of millions who currently lack it can be delivered cost-effectively and sustainably through clean, renewable energy.

Whereas: Meeting energy access goals with clean renewable energy is imperative if we are to stay within our global carbon budget and limit temperature rise to 1.5°C.

Whereas: A $34 trillion shareholder coalition known as the Climate Action 100+ is pursuing a 5-year engagement plan with the world’s top carbon emitters, including global oil and gas companies such as Exxon, Shell and BP.

Whereas: One of the stated aims of this engagement is to get fossil fuel companies to decarbonize and align their business models with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Whereas: Limiting temperature rise to well-below 2°C — and striving for 1.5°C — requires the rapid phaseout of coal, oil and gas in the global energy system.

Whereas: Any credible shareholder engagement strategy with the fossil fuel industry must call for an immediate end to capital expenditures for fossil fuel expansion, alongside a rapid phaseout of existing assets.

Whereas: After more than 20 years of shareholder engagement on climate, the business plans of global oil and gas companies remain based on growth models that project demand for fossil fuels to grow for decades to come.

Whereas: Global oil and gas companies justify their continued expansion based on unproven, expensive and risky technologies, such as carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), direct air capture and geoengineering.

Whereas: These technologies reduce ambition for vital emissions reductions, lock-in fossil fuel infrastructure for decades, fail to reduce deadly air pollution generated by burning fossil fuels and pose profound risks to human lives, communities, and natural environments.

Whereas: The fossil fuel industry has spent decades obfuscating climate science, funding climate denialism and lobbying against meaningful climate action.

Whereas: Global oil and gas companies’ investments in renewable energy remain minuscule as a proportion of their total capital expenditures.

Therefore: The undersigned organizations call on members of the Climate Action 100+ to:

  • Immediately demand a rapid phaseout of fossil fuel production, including no exploration for new reserves and no expansion of refining and pipeline capacity.
  • Each targeted coal, oil and gas company must produce phaseout plans — applicable to all fossil operations and products — consistent with the Paris Agreement, and with the principles of a just transition that cares for the workers and the communities impacted by these companies.
  • The plans must be delivered no later than December 12, 2020, three years to the day of the Climate Action 100+’s 5-year engagement window, to allow adequate time for expert analysis and evaluation.
  • If any target company fails to tender a phaseout plan, including a commitment to no new expansion, by December 12, 2020, members of the Climate Action 100+ must divest from said company to fulfill their fiduciary duty to preserve portfolio value and beneficiary interests.

Signatories to the Cape Town Declaration 

  • Amnesty International
  • Divest Invest
  • Fossil Free South Africa
  • 350.org 
  • Global Catholic Climate Movement 
  • Earthlife Africa
  • Oil Change International 
  • Center for International Environmental Law
  • Amazon Watch
  • GreenFaith 
  • People & Planet
  • Fossil Free Presbyterian Church USA 
  • Operation Noah
  • Oxford Climate Justice Campaign
  • Health of Mother Earth Foundation 
  • Oilwatch International
  • Fund our Future 
  • Natural Justice
  • World Council of Churches
  • Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute 
  • African Climate Reality Project
  • Center for Environmental Rights
  • Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities
  • Church of Sweden
  • Better Futures Project
  • Critica