4th Draft

Aug 31, 2020

Glasgow Agreement:
People’s Climate Commitment

The institutional framework used by governments, international organisations and the whole economic system for the climate crisis is failing in keeping global warming below 1.5 or 2°C by 2100. This institutional framework was built to fail and to create an illusion of climate action while decisive steps are being delayed and greenhouse gas emissions continue rising. The main institutional arrangements on climate change, namely the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement, have not produced the reduction in the global greenhouse gas emissions that is required to stop the impacts of climate change. The Paris Agreement is only a procedure, and will not be able to achieve its own goal to prevent the worst consequences of climate change.

Hundreds of governments, municipalities and organisations have declared a climate emergency. Massive protests in the streets all around the world have also repeatedly called for decisive action on climate justice inside the timeline of 2030 with scientific consensus on the need for a 50% cut of greenhouse gas emissions in this period. To achieve any measure of these objectives, no new fossil fuel (coal, oil and gas) projects and infrastructures can be developed. This powerful climate justice movement needs new tools to address these fundamental contradictions and to reverse the global narrative from institutional impotence into social power.

As such, the undersigned organisations and social movements assume:

  1. Taking into their own hands the need to collectively cut greenhouse gas emissions, keeping the main focus out of institutional struggle - namely the focus on negotiations with governments and the United Nations;
  2. That political and economic noncooperation, as well as nonviolent intervention, in particular civil disobedience, are the main tools for the fulfilment of the Glasgow Agreement. In this context, civil disobedience is defined as a non-violent, purposeful and justified breach of laws made publicly, directed at governments, public and private companies and infrastructures, which we intend to use as a last resort, as past actions have shown that political and economic power has been unyielding and apathetic as regards the global environmental crisis. We interpret it as collective tactic used with sincerity and moral conviction, which advocates for justice among free and equal persons, and consists of carefully chosen actions using legitimate non-violent means. We will be open and accountable for our acts of civil disobedience, and will act in solidarity with others facing repression or legal consequences for their actions of civil disobedience. Given the progressing climate and ecological emergency, we are convinced that inaction is criminal and we believe ourselves to be liable to be accountable if we fail to break the laws that establish, protect or reproduce the collapse of our global environmental material conditions.
  3. The political framework for these required cuts and climate action will be that of climate justice, which is defined as a social and political demand that advocates for the redistribution of power, knowledge and wellbeing. It proposes a new notion of prosperity within natural limits and just resource distribution, advocating for a true connection between traditional and westernised knowledge systems. It calls for a public and participatory science to address humanity’s and earth’s needs, in particular, to stop the climate crisis.
    In this respect:
    • It recognizes the interdependence of all species, affirms the need to reduce with an aim to eliminate the production of greenhouse gases and associated local pollutants;
    • It acknowledges and integrates the care economy into daily life, with the shared responsibility of persons, regardless of their gender identity, for care and maintenance activities, both inside homes and in society - climate justice puts life at the centre;
    • It perceives the economy as a subsystem of the environment, defending democratic planning based on real needs, replacing oppression, imposition and appropriation for cooperation, compassion and mutual aid;
    • It defends a just transition for workers currently employed in the sectors that need to be dismantled, reconfigured or reduced, providing sustenance to these workers in different economies and societies, introducing energy sovereignty and energy sufficiency. This transition must be based on equity and justice, redressing past harms and securing the livelihoods of workers and communities in the future, approaching the necessary shift from an extractive economy into a climate-safe society, to build economic and political power for a regenerative economy;
    • It means to recover knowledge from indigenous communities, promoting the beneficial effects of pragmatic human activity, on life cycles and ecosystems;
    • It defends the introduction of reparation for communities and peoples at the frontlines of colonialism, globalisation and exploitation, acknowledging that there is a historical debt and an ecological debt that must be paid to the Global South, and that origins of said debts need to be stopped;
    • It opposes the sovereignty of capital, understanding capitalism as incompatible with life system’s principles;
    • It refuses green capitalism and its proposed “solutions" (be them “nature based” geo-engineering, carbon trading, carbon markets or others) and extractivism, which is a form of production based on the ever-expanding extraction of materials and surplus with disregard for all impacts on the environment and society.
  4. The production of an inventory of main sectors and emitters of greenhouse gases and future projects in each territory, that will be nationally and internationally advertised and will inform a territorial climate agenda where there will be priorities for action on shutdown and transformation, constituting in a broad “climate agenda” for climate justice;
  5. To define their own local and national strategies on how enact that climate agenda, on how to stop new projects and major national greenhouse gas emitting sectors and infrastructures, and calling for support of other organisations appertaining to the Glasgow Agreement (nationally and internationally).

The Glasgow Agreement will come into effect when at least 400(?) organisations and social movements from 50 (?) countries in all continents have signed it.


The indication of the territorially required cuts will be based on methodologies such as the Climate Equity Reference, Climate Fair Shares or Paris Equity Check that propose equitable national contributions based on historical emissions and capacity.

Two months after the signing all members of the Glasgow Agreement will have produced their first national inventory of new projects and main emitters and the corresponding climate agenda, with information such as priorities for shutdown. In each territory the members will produce this collectively. This information will be centralised in a public website of the Glasgow Agreement and directly reported to all members. This website will also receive communication from all organisations on required assistance.

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