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The latest climate change news from WWF

It is important to help all regions in the transition away from coal © WWFBrussels, Belgium, 11 December 2017

Today an EU Platform for Coal Regions in Transition is being launched by European Commission Vice-President Šefčovič. The Platform aims to support Member States and regions as they shift away from coal towards renewable energy, in order to "leave no region behind".

The launch was welcomed by WWF EU office and Climate Action Network Europe.

Imke Lübbeke, Head of Climate and Energy at WWF European Policy Office commented:
"This is great news for regions struggling to imagine a future beyond coal. The Platform for Coal Regions in Transition must help Europe move collectively and fairly away from coal mining and coal power in all its forms by 2030 at the latest. However, the Platform must not be an excuse to provide life-support to outdated, polluting technologies, but should help communities harness the exciting opportunities of Europe's renewable energy future. "

Joanna Flisowska, coal policy coordinator at Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said:
"This is a long-awaited initiative as the transition towards clean energy-based economies has already started. Now the European Commission needs to ensure that noone is left behind, starting with support for coal region workers and communities. While subsidising fossil fuels and coal in particular has to end, additional funding for the just transition is needed. By integrating the just transition funding clearly into the next long-term EU budget, the commission has the opportunity to ensure that the clean energy and the just transition go hand-in-hand as these are the two sides of the same coin."

More information:

European Commission press release announcing the launch of the Platform.

Powering Past Coal alliance
The Global Alliance to Power Past Coal was launched at COP23 in November with the aim of "achieving the rapid phase-out of traditional coal power". It brings together over 20 countries - including 10 EU Member States - as well as businesses and civil society groups.

More countries are expected to join at the One Planet Summit in Paris on Tuesday 12 December.

Europe Beyond Coal campaign
The campaign brings together civil society groups and citizens across Europe who have been working together to help heal coal's social, health, environmental, and economic damage. Given the unprecedented scale of the problems we face and the short timeframe we have to fix them, the groups are pooling their time, energy, and resources in an unprecedented campaign spanning 28 countries to dramatically accelerate the transition to a better future for all, for a Europe Beyond Coal.

Contact:
Sarah Azau
sazau@wwf.eu
+32 473 573137
Posted: December 11, 2017, 12:00 am
One Planet Summit logo © www.oneplanetsummit.frTwo years after the global climate Paris Agreement was concluded, the One Planet Summit, hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron,  is an opportunity at highest-level, to make sure the Paris Agreement doesn't remain a date and a picture in history books but can live with increased commitments aligned with its ambition.  

The Summit takes place in Paris on 12 December 2017.
 
The participation of many leaders of countries, as well as many hundreds from civil society, from cities and NGOs to investors and business, is a sign of the sustained mobilisation for global climate action since COP21. Now this needs to be ramped-up to match with the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
 
WWF expectations from the participants at the Summit:
  • Shifting the trillions, by game-changing leadership in public policy.
  • Engaging public finance, through multilateral and bilateral development banks, to align their portfolios with a 'well-below 2°C' future with a well balanced approach between mitigation and adaptation. 
  • Getting political impetus for new climate leadership aligned with 'well-below' 2°C ahead of 2018 and  the potential review of national climate plans (NDCs)
  • Targeting carbon neutrality by mid-century, backed by sectoral carbon budgets and trajectories, as well as short term action to phase out coal and phase in renewables.
''In rich countries and with the Paris Agreement, we are committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. It means that we have 33 years ahead of us to  drastically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. It is the fight of a generation! To reach this goal, we have to change the rules not only of the global financial system, but also of the transportation and energy sectors.  We can deem the One Planet Summit a success if it results in a roadmap that sets us on this path.''  Pascal Canfin, CEO of WWF-France
 
''The Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) makes the connection between environmental issues and financial stability. It also provides concrete and very practical guidance on governance of climate-related risks. We encourage businesses to adopt the TCFD recommendations as of this year's reporting cycle and call on G20 members to support TCFD implementation and consider integrating them in mandatory policy frameworks."  Margaret Kuhlow, WWF International Finance Practice leader
 
"The need for climate action has never been more urgent than now. Initiatives, such as this Summit hosted by President Emmanuel Macron, are important to keep our leaders committed, political will high and momentum in scaling and speeding up new and existing climate actions across all actors. This is critical if we are to keep warming below 1.5°C and avoid the worst impacts of climate change." Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF International Climate & Energy Practice leader, and former president of COP20.

For further information, contact mwoods:@wwfint.org 
 
Posted: December 11, 2017, 12:00 am
Snowy Finland. MEPs supported a 2050 target of carbon neutral EU on committee today. © Krista Sormunen / WWFBrussels, Belgium - 7 December 2017

MEPs showed they mean to make the Paris Agreement more than empty words today when they voted in favour of a net zero EU greenhouse gas emissions target by 2050 at the latest. They also called for both the EU and Member States to develop climate plans for 2050, and to make sure their shorter-term 2030 plans were consistent with those long term strategies.

The European Parliament's energy and environment committees were voting on the proposed Energy Union Governance Regulation, which will set the rules governing EU and national policies on energy and climate change from 2021 onwards.

Alex Mason, Senior Policy Officer at the WWF European Policy Office said:
"It's excellent to see so many MEPs taking the Paris Agreement seriously, and committing to the EU being carbon neutral by 2050 at the latest. This sends a clear signal to investors that when it comes to the low carbon economy the EU means business. Let's hope the Member States show the same resolve at the Energy Council on 18 December."

In another step towards investor confidence, MEPs confirmed that in terms of renewable energy and energy efficiency, Member States should not fall below a linear trajectory running from their 2020 target to their 2030 target. This is at odds with the compromise drafted for the Member States by the Estonian Presidency of the EU Council, which would allow them to put off efforts to the late 2020s.

EU energy ministers are expected to agree on its position on the Governance Regulation on 18th December. So far most Member States have made proposals for how to weaken the law - for example by watering down the rules on planning and reporting - rather than strengthen it.
Posted: December 7, 2017, 12:00 am
WWF's recommendations to asset owners on climate change © WWF / OneHemisphereWWF is launching a Climate Guide to Asset Owners as a wide range of actors prepare to gather in Paris for the Climate Finance Day and the French President Macron's One Planet Summit. The French summit aims to mobilise public and private finance in support of climate action.

Climate change is a financial risk. With its new Climate Guide, WWF's objective is to support EU asset owners - pensions funds, insurance companies and sovereign wealth funds - and show how they can align their investments with the objectives set in the Paris Agreement of working to keep temperature rise to 1.5°C.

This is crucial not only for fighting climate change but for reducing the financial risks associated with climate change, and for harnessing new investment opportunities.

"Investing in climate action instead of climate destruction is a win-win - not only it will protect the planet but it will also reduce financial risks and maximise returns", said Sebastien Godinot, Economist at WWF European Policy Office.

The guide's recommendations to asset owners include assessing and publishing the climate alignment of their portfolios, and taking steps to align them with the Paris Agreement. For example, integrating climate change into their investment policy, setting science based targets and engaging with the companies that they have in their portfolio.

A WWF report published last July shows that some of the EU's biggest asset owners - mainly pension funds, from the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland - are partly aligned with the Paris Agreement's climate target of keeping global warming well under 2°C; however, many still invest too much in coal power and lag behind on renewable power.

"The pace and scale of action required to comply with the Paris Agreement does not leave room for procrastination", said Godinot. "Some European asset owners are showing leadership, but much more needs to be done to reallocate investments. Our report aims to help them move faster and further."

In the coming weeks, WWF will publish two complementary sector-specific guides to asset owners on coal mining and on coal and renewable power, two critical sectors climate-wise.


Contact:
Sebastien Godinot
Economist 
WWF European Policy Office
sgodinot@wwf.eu
+32 2 740 09 20

Sarah Azau
Senior Communications Officer
WWF European Policy Office
sazau@wwf.eu
+32 473 573 317
 
Posted: December 6, 2017, 12:00 am
Ranking of EU countries' 2050 climate plans, according to WWF's MaxiMiseR project © WWF / FRANCFRANCBrussels, Belgium - 4 December 2017

There was little improvement in EU Member States' 2050 climate plans between 2015 and 2017, new analysis from WWF shows. This makes the proposed Regulation on the Governance of the  Energy Union, currently under discussion, critical to ensuring EU Member States produce effective long-term emissions reduction strategies.

WWF found that just thirteen EU Member States had submitted long-term climate plans by 2017 - four years after all 28 were required by EU law to deliver them - and that those 13 are very uneven in quality.

"EU Member States agreed to make long-term plans for reducing emissions when they signed up to the Paris Agreement.  These plans are essential for tackling climate change. However, experience shows that without clear EU rules and some decent guidance, Member States are going to push climate plans down their priority lists", commented Imke Lübbeke, Head of Climate and Energy at WWF European Policy Office.

"It is therefore crucial that the Energy Union governance regulation - the rules of climate and energy planning - ensures Member States deliver ambitious and coherent 2050 climate strategies covering the whole economy on time. The European Commission should also provide guidance to help Member States produce higher quality strategies", added Lübbeke.

The WWF EU LIFE-funded MaxiMiseR project analysis also found:
  • The quality of EU Member States countries' 2050 climate plans - or 'low-carbon development strategies' (LCDS) in EU terminology - varies from 78% in the case of France to 25% in the case of the draft LCDS from Cyprus (see table below).
     
  • Only six of the thirteen national LCDSs have emissions reductions targets in line with the pre-Paris Agreement EU goal of 80-95% cuts by 2050 compared to 1990 levels - the other seven were even lower. Since the Paris Agreement raised the level of global ambition, the emissions reductions by developed countries such as EU Member States should also be increased.
     
  • The thirteen LCDS submitted or updated in 2017 have an average score of 56%, which is slightly higher than the 2015 average of 50.5%. This small improvement is thanks to the quality of the new LCDS as well as the strengthening of some of the updated LCDS.
More information:

An explanation of the methodology used can be found here, on p 105.

LCDS quality scores and ranking according to the WWF MaxiMiseR analysis
Member State              2017 
                  
2015
 
 Rank   Score            (%)Rank   Score (%)   
France 178178
Ireland275841
United Kingdom372271
Finland468368
Netherlands568554
Estonia 663-0
Lithuania758458
Czech Republic852-0
Germany 952938
Portugal1049649
Denmark1144743
Greece12321032
Cyprus13251125
Austria-0-0
Belgium-0-0
Bulgaria-0-0
Croatia-0-0
Hungary-0-0
Italy-0-0
Latvia-0-0
Luxembourg-0-0
Malta-0-0
Poland-0-0
Romania-0-0
Slovakia-0-0
Slovenia-0-0
Spain-0-0
Sweden-0-0
Nb: Some of the countries which score zero are currently developing frameworks for long term climate strategies, for example Sweden, Portugal and Spain.

Key dates for the Governance Regulation:
European Parliament          Environment & Energy Committees: 7.12.2017        
Plenary: Q1 2018
Council of MinistersEnergy Council: 18.12.2017
Contact:
Sarah Azau
Senior Communications Officer, WWF European Policy Office
sazau@wwf.eu
Tel: +32 473 57 31 37

Website: www.maximiser.eu
Twitter: @MaxiMiseREU
Posted: December 4, 2017, 12:00 am
Bee hive © PixabayToday the European Commission presented its Communication on the future of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) beyond 2020. The communication calls for a much needed transition towards more sustainable farming based on results, yet still lacks clear and mandatory EU targets to reduce the impact of our agriculture on nature and climate1.

Jabier Ruiz, Senior Policy Officer for Agriculture and Sustainable Food Systems at WWF European Policy Office, said:

"Commissioner Hogan's proposal is the first to require Member States to deliver measurable benefits for nature and climate, setting the baseline for modern and sustainable farming. However, the future legislative proposal will have to define legally binding targets to ensure accountability at national level and avoid the misuse of flexibility that we have seen in the past."

The Commission proposes to give Member States a much stronger role in deciding how to allocate EU public subsidies to farmers. For WWF, this increased subsidiarity will only deliver positive results if matched with strong and measurable EU-wide environmental objectives and a reliable monitoring and accountability mechanism. Otherwise, the future CAP could lead to a renationalisation of farming policies and lose its crucial EU added value.


"A modern CAP that delivers good food and helps farmers in the transition to sustainability must find an alternative to inefficient tools like the current direct payments. We cannot give Agriculture Ministers free rein on how to spend a large part of EU taxpayers' money,  with the risk of maintaining a status quo which can no longer be justified", concluded Ruiz.

WWF welcomes the fact that Member States will have to integrate environmental legislation into their CAP strategic plans. For this to be effective, however, funding for nature and climate objectives needs to be ring-fenced in the next EU Budget, and environmental authorities must co-manage the CAP instruments used to deliver such targets.
 

. @EUAgri communication on #FutureOfCAP a step towards sustainable agriculture yet it still lacks clear mandatory EU targets to reduce the impact of farming on nature & #climate. https://t.co/yBzReTcWib #LivingLand pic.twitter.com/JnzbAh31Ig

— WWF EU (@WWFEU) November 29, 2017
The Communication will be discussed in the next months by the EU Agricultural Council and the European Parliament. This will feed into the next EU Budget debate and should lead to a clearer framework in the legislative proposals expected by mid-2018.


Notes for the editor

1 European agriculture is increasing its greenhouse gas emissions, continues to pollute and deplete our ever scarcer water resources, and puts an enormous pressure on our biodiversity.  In few decades, the total number of farmers in Europe has halved, common farmland birds have declined by 30% and only half of grassland butterflies are left. Accordingly, agriculture is identified as the primary cause of biodiversity loss, it uses more than 60% of freshwater reserves in water-scarce countries and is an important source of greenhouse gas emissions.

Almost all Europeans (94% according to the last Eurobarometer) are concerned about environmental protection, with agricultural pollution and soil degradation, and other farming-impacted issues ranking in the top 5 concerns. Moreover, 92% of citizens and 62% of farmers that took part in the Public Consultation on the Future CAP earlier this year were of the opinion that agricultural policy should deliver more benefits for environment and climate.

Read WWF's Position on CAP
Posted: November 29, 2017, 12:00 am
European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium. © European ParliamentBrussels, Belgium - 28 November 2017

The European Parliament's energy and industry committee (ITRE) today gave energy efficiency a new lease of life in Europe, but dealt a blow to renewable energy development.

On energy efficiency, MEPs supported a 40% binding overall target for 2030, with binding national targets, as well as strong rules on annual energy savings.

Arianna Vitali, Senior Policy Officer for energy conservation WWF European Policy Office said:

"Three cheers for MEPs on the ITRE committee! They rejected an attempt to paralyse energy efficiency, instead choosing to boost it via a major dose of forward-looking policy - including a 40% binding target. This puts efficiency right where it belongs, at the centre of the zero carbon transition the Paris Agreement requires.

"MEPs need to reaffirm this position in plenary, so that the EU Parliament can go into trilogue negotiations with its head held high."
 

On renewable energy, ITRE supported a 35% EU target for  2030, but with no binding national targets and with up to 10% 'flexibility'.

Alex Mason, Senior Policy Officer, Renewable Energy, WWF European Policy Office, said:

"MEPs have gone with a toothless proposal. A 35% EU target for renewable energy is better than the European Commission's proposal of 27% - but not by much. And with a 10% 'flexibility' margin it could end up being only 31.5%. This sends a message to investors that the EU is scaling back on renewable energy.

"In heat, and transport, MEPs have voted for new, higher renewables targets. Which would be great, but with no meaningful rules on bioenergy they're likely to be met by burning unsustainable and polluting biomass - a recipe for disaster [1]. For most heat and transport the answer is electrification, combined with storage, demand-side flexibility and energy from wind and solar."


[1] In October, the European Parliament's environment committee (ENVI) voted in favour of continued subsidies to burning trees for energy, in a defeat for science, the climate and forests - and the EU's reputation on climate change. More

Further information:
The Energy Efficiency Directive will go to a plenary vote in 15-18 January  2018, and then trilogue negotiations between the EU Commission, Parliament and Council will begin, since Member States already reached their position in June 2017.

The Renewable Energy Directive will be discussed by Member States on 18 December, at which ministers are expected to reach their position. It will go to a Parliament plenary vote in early 2018, after which  trilogue negotiations between the EU Commission, Parliament and Council will begin.

Calendar of the Clean Energy Package negotiations:
Revision of Renewable Energy Directive
 
European ParliamentEnvironment Committee: 11.10.2017 (advisory role and co-decision on bio-energy)
Energy Committee: 28.11.2017
Plenary: Q1 2018
 
Council of Ministers
 
Energy Council: 18.12.2017
 
Revision of Energy Efficiency Directive
 
European ParliamentEnvironment Committee: 07.09.2017 (advisory role)
Energy Committee: 28.11.2017
Plenary: January 2018
 
Council of Ministers
 
Energy Council: 26.06.2017
 
Governance of the Energy Union Regulation
 
European ParliamentEnvironment & Energy Committees: 7.12.2017
Plenary: Q1 2018
 
Council of Ministers
 
Energy Council: 18.12.2017
 
Electricity Market Design Initiative
 
European ParliamentEnvironment Committee: 20.11.2017 (advisory role)
Energy Committee: early 2018
Plenary: Q1 2018
 
Council of Ministers
 
Energy Council: 18.12.2017
 

Contact:
Sarah Azau
Senior Communications Officer
WWF European Policy Office
sazau@wwf.eu
+32 473 573 31
Posted: November 28, 2017, 12:00 am
Climate march at COP22, Marrakech, Morocco. © WWFThe European Parliament and Energy Ministers are currently finalising their respective positions on the Clean Energy Package - eight legislative proposals that will guide energy policy all across Europe for the next decade. They must step up and strengthen the proposals if Europe is serious about tackling climate change and making European policies work for people.

Listen to an audio recording of the press briefing held by NGOs today.


Wendel Trio of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said: "EU lawmakers need to vote for much stronger energy targets or we will blow our chances of meeting the Paris Agreement goals. We expect a sharp reality check on the weak proposal from the European Commission. The European Parliament is likely to support higher energy targets - we hope that governments will match the Parliament's ambition and follow suit."

Alex Mason of WWF European Policy Office said: "Wind and solar are ready to rev up. Yet EU Member States are about to do the opposite, slamming on the brakes by supporting low, non-binding targets and undermining any kind of rules that would boost investor confidence. There is more ambition in the EU Parliament, and we urge progressive MEPs to hold firm, and support higher and enforceable targets."

Clémence Hutin of Friends of the Earth Europe said: "The energy transition depends on serious progress on efficiency. The European Parliament has backed an ambitious 40% target four times in the past, which could halve EU emissions and brings multiple social and environmental benefits. It's time to deliver!"

Contact:
Sarah Azau, 
Senior Communications Officer, WWF European Policy Office
sazau@wwf.eu
Tel: +32 473 57 31 37

Notes:
Calendar of the Clean Energy Package negotiations:
Revision of Renewable Energy Directive
European ParliamentEnvironment Committee: 11.10.2017 (advisory role and co-decision on bio-energy)
Energy Committee: 28.11.2017
Plenary: Q1 2018
Council of MinistersEnergy Council: 18.12.2017
Revision of Energy Efficiency Directive
European ParliamentEnvironment Committee: 07.09.2017 (advisory role)
Energy Committee: 28.11.2017
Plenary: Q1 2018
Council of MinistersEnergy Council: 26.06.2017
Governance of the Energy Union Regulation
European ParliamentEnvironment & Energy Committees: 7.12.2017
Plenary: Q1 2018ci
Council of MinistersEnergy Council: 18.12.2017
Electricity Market Design Initiative
European ParliamentEnvironment Committee: 20.11.2017 (advisory role)
Energy Committee: early 2018
Plenary: Q1 2018
Council of MinistersEnergy Council: 18.12.2017
 
Posted: November 27, 2017, 12:00 am
EU can double its planned CO2 savings from power + save €100s of millions by halving coal and gas generation by 2030. © European Climate FoundationNew analysis shows how cheap renewables and flexible demand could replace more than half of European coal and gas generation by 2030, while reducing system cost, and almost doubling emissions savings from the power sector, compared to current plans. 

Brussels, 21 November 2017.

New research by energy consultancy Artelys, released today by the Energy Union Choices group, shows how rapidly falling prices for solar PV, wind power and other key, system balancing, technologies, have revolutionised the economics of Europe's power sector. It finds that Europe can aim for much deeper emissions reductions and higher renewables uptake while reducing electricity system costs – provided it pursues the right policies.

More renewables and greater emissions savings while boosting the economy

According to the analysis, the most cost-effective scenario for the EU's electricity mix contains a much higher share for renewables in electricity than that envisioned by the European Commission (61% versus 49% by 2030). Under this scenario, Europe would avoid an additional 265Mt of CO2 emissions, €600 million in energy system costs per year by 2030, and deliver 90,000 additional jobs (net) in the European energy sector.

Responding to the findings, Laurence Tubiana, CEO of the European Climate Foundation said:

"Ahead of the global stocktake on climate ambition, next year, this is great news. The economics are now decisively tipping in favour of clean energy, making an even stronger case for higher EU ambition for 2030. We need higher ambition from the EU if we are to honour the Paris Agreement and as a basis for Europe's future prosperity."

Renewables and flexible demand can replace coal - and a lot of gas

The analysis underlines the importance for EU member states delivering on the 'Clean Energy for all Europeans' package, and advancing plans to retire coal-fired generation.

Imke Luebbeke at the WWF European Policy Office said:

"The European Commission seems to chronically underestimate just how great a positive impact sustainable renewable energy can have. As this report shows, we can and must pull the plug on coal and crank up renewables way beyond the proposed 2030 target levels for the sake of Europeans' health, taxpayers' wallets and our shared climate."

The report also rebuts the myth that a coal phase-out would increase the role of gas in the European power system. By contrast, the researchers see the need for gas generation cut nearly in half by 2030: from 514 TWh in 2015 to 259 TWh per year. This also represents a significant fall in the outlook for gas generation on the Commission's current scenario, which projects 369 TWh of gas generation in 2030.

The decreased need for fossil fuel generation is mainly due to new, clean flexibility solutions becoming available as electrification increases across transport (Electric Vehicles), heating (Heat Pumps) as well as commercial and industrial loads (industrial refrigerators, boilers, etc).

Jonathan Gaventa, director at E3G said: "Cheap renewables push out gas as well as coal. European countries should feel confident that they can phase out coal power without increasing energy security risks or new dependence on imported gas. Cost-effective renewable power, demand-side flexibility and electricity grids can pick up the slack. Infrastructure planners need to get to grips with this new reality, or they risk wasting money on utterly unnecessary gas pipelines and LNG terminals."

Mike Hogan, Senior Adviser at the Regulatory Assistance Project added: "This analysis confirms the critical importance of tackling coal overcapacity. It also shows that If the EU fails to adopt the Commission's proposals to deepen market integration and create an enabling environment for demand-side flexibility, the costs for the power sector and for European consumers will be significantly higher."

The switch is cost-effective and brings more jobs to Europe

The overall cost saving to European businesses and consumers of pursuing higher renewables (around 61% of the EU-28's electricity mix, as opposed to 49%) is put at over €600 million per year by 2030, while also bringing, a net, 90,000 new jobs to European citizens. But policy is crucial.

While the report finds that the lower cost and higher performance of renewables fundamentally changes the outlook for the power sector in Europe, it notes that current EU policy frameworks fall short of unlocking the new opportunities. What is needed is a combination of the "smart retirement" of coal assets alongside flexible demand roll-out. 
 
PRESS CONTACTS

Nimali Samarasinha
Media Manager, European Climate Foundation Nimali.Samarasinha@europeanclimate.org 
T: +32 (0) 2 894 9304, M: +32 (0) 492 65 74 28
 
Sarah Azau
Senior Communications Officer
WWF European Policy Office
sazau@wwf.eu
Tel: +32 (0)473 57 31 37
Posted: November 21, 2017, 12:00 am
Theme of the WWF pavilion at COP23 © IISD Reporting ServiceBONN, 17 November 2017 – As the UN climate talks end later today, WWF recognizes the progress made on laying the groundwork for increasing climate ambition up to 2020 and beyond, but notes that 2018 will be key for countries to clearly signal their intention to step up and enhance their climate plans. In the hours remaining, WWF urges parties to resolve the issues still pending.

A year after the Paris Agreement entered into force, negotiations over the past two weeks have seen countries come to agreement on critical issues of pre-2020 action and support, and the role of gender, local communities and Indigenous Peoples in climate action. However, much remains to be done to ensure we seize the small window of opportunity we have to achieve the objectives of this landmark climate accord. Governments must strengthen urgent action, finalize the Paris Agreement rulebook and decide collectively to review and strengthen ambition of post-2020 climate commitments urgently. 

"From the onset, the paradoxes at this COP have been many. Negotiators have gathered in Bonn under a Fiji Presidency and, as states deliberate on future action, cities, regions, businesses and communities have stepped up their efforts toward achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. We also saw that despite the momentum seen in the corridors in Bonn, domestically countries are still falling behind" said Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, head of WWF's global climate and energy programme. "In a year marked by extreme weather disasters and potentially the first increase in carbon emissions in four years, the paradox between what we are doing and need to be delivering is clear: countries must act with greater climate ambition, and soon, to put us on a path to a 1.5°C future."

By raising the profile of pre-2020 action in the UNFCCC process, and agreeing on the design of a process to review and increase ambition through the Talanoa Dialogue, COP23 has provided important building blocks to move the spirit of the Paris Agreement forward. But success is far from guaranteed. The Polish presidency must complement, and aim to bolster, Fiji's efforts to accelerate progress towards finalizing the Rulebook that will guide the implementation of the Paris Agreement and ensure scaled up, predictable finance for developing countries, including for loss and damage.

"Two years ago, countries around the world were entrusted with an important mandate in Paris. Today, they are making progress but with the impacts of climate change accelerating, the pace and scale of the response is still insufficient. It is time to show bolder vision, innovation, and urgent action - domestically and on the international front - and build on the clear momentum we are seeing in our societies and economies already. We look to Poland to continue Fiji's legacy to translate the ambition and vision of the Paris Agreement into reality," added Pulgar-Vidal.

Countries are not the only ones taking action. Through the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action, efforts underway by states and non-State actors - including cities, regions, business, investors, and civil society - to galvanize climate action were in the spotlight at COP23 in Bonn. The WWF 'PandaHub' Pavilion hosted a full programme of dialogues and events to showcase the value of collaboration and innovation to create a sustainable, resilient future for all.

In addition, the U.S. Climate Action Center brought together over 100 prominent leaders from U.S. state and local governments, private sector and academia showing the U.S.' commitment to remaining a global frontrunner in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. WWF is one of many organizations supporting the new generation of climate leaders who comprise the "We Are Still In"  movement, the largest U.S. coalition ever assembled in support of climate action. "Never before has a coalition of American business, state and local leaders come together under a common banner to drive climate action," said Lou Leonard, WWF's senior vice president of climate change and energy.  "By working together, they can ensure that the United States meets its commitment under the Paris Agreement while creating new jobs and creating a safer future for communities in America and around the world."

The 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP24) to the UNFCCC will take place from 3-14 December 2018, in Katowice, Poland.

---ends---

For further information:
Rucha Naware, WWF International, rnaware@wwfint.org; +447393776573
 
About WWF
WWF is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries.  WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.
 
panda.org/news for latest news and media resources
 
Posted: November 17, 2017, 12:00 am
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