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The latest climate change news from WWF

wwf © wwfThe World Bank Group today announced a major new set of climate targets for 2021-2025, doubling its current 5-year investments to around $200 billion in support for countries to take ambitious climate action. The new plan significantly boosts support for adaptation and resilience, recognizing mounting climate change impacts on lives and livelihoods, especially in the world's poorest countries. The plan also represents significantly ramped up ambition from the World Bank Group, sending an important signal to the wider global community to do the same.

Commenting on the World Bank Group's announcement of its commitment to provide $200 billion over five years for climate action,
Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF's Global Climate and Energy Practice, said:

"Scaled up finance must be one of the key outcomes in Poland. This commitment from the World Bank Group sends a strong signal to developing countries that finance levels are moving in the right direction. We look forward to seeing how it will be implemented.
 
"It is also crucial to start to discuss and show commitment to the post $100 billion target necessary to create a decarbonized and resilient economy and help vulnerable and developing countries face their more urgent climate needs."  

David McCauley, WWF's Global Lead for Public Sector Partnerships, said:

"Evidence is emerging daily on the mounting adverse impacts of climate change. A key question at this round of talks is how will the world's most vulnerable communities afford the investments needed to build their resiliency for a present and future that is quite different from our past."
 
"The Bank's commitment should help reassure world leaders and, in particular, developing countries that international financial support is forthcoming to support necessary climate actions"
 
Posted: December 3, 2018, 12:00 am
Climate change is hitting the Arctic faster and harder than previously thought, according to a new WWF report. © WWFBrussels, Belgium

Government climate negotiators are in Katowice, Poland this week to join the 24th UN climate talks, hot on the heels of a number of reports just released which set the scene for catastrophic climate impacts without urgent, scaled up climate action.

Simply, the gap between current levels of climate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and what we still need to do is laid bare in the 2018 Emissions Gap Report, in the World Meteorological Organization's provisional statement on the state of the climate 2018 report, and in the IPCC's landmark special report on 1.5℃ of global warming.
 
The Commission's plan, released last week, to make the EU carbon neutral is a vital step to respond to the climate crisis. To consolidate this effort, and to further reduce the risk of overshooting 1.5°C global warming, WWF believes the EU needs to revise its NDC by 2020, to match the ambitions in its proposed long-term climate strategy of moving towards a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.
 
 
Posted: December 3, 2018, 12:00 am
© Shutterstock / 24Novembers / WWF © © Shutterstock / 24Novembers / WWF
Commenting on the G20 Summit, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF's global climate and energy practice, said:

"G20 was always going to be an important indicator of political will going into the next round of UN climate talks. That leaders of 19 of the world's largest economies signed up to the Paris Agreement reaffirmed their commitment to its full implementation in the resulting communique is important. It is also a reflection of the Argentinian government rightly making climate an important topic on the agenda.  
   
"WWF strongly welcomes the UN, France and China statement expressing France and China's highest political commitment to implementing the Paris Agreement and recognizing the critical need to link climate efforts to biodiversity.

"The UN climate talks next week in Poland remain crucial to securing a future free from runaway climate change. World leaders must recognize that unprecedented action cannot be delayed. The ball can't be kicked down the road. Crucially, businesses, cities and other non-state actors have shown this year that they are willing to support national governments in closing the emissions gap."

WWF applauds the Government of Argentina for ensuring that a G20 communique was issued with climate change included as a key focus.

This:
  • notes the findings of the latest IPCC Special Report on the Impacts of Global Warming of 1.5C;
  • recognizes the importance of comprehensive adaptation strategies, including investment in infrastructure that is resilient to extreme weather events and disasters;
  • supports actions and cooperation in developing countries, especially those that are particularly vulnerable, including small island states such as those in the Caribbean;
  • notes the discussion of long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies and alignment of international finance flows, and countries´ experiences and considered the 2018-2019 work program on adaptation, acknowledging that each country may chart its own path to achieving a low emission future; with
  • signatories to the Paris Agreement, who have also joined the Hamburg Action Plan, reaffirming that the Paris Agreement is irreversible and committing to its full implementation, reflecting common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in light of different national circumstances.
Posted: December 1, 2018, 12:00 am
© Shutterstock / 24Novembers / WWF © © Shutterstock / 24Novembers / WWFCommenting on the G20 Summit, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF's global climate and energy practice, said:

"G20 was always going to be an important indicator of political will going into the next round of UN climate talks. That leaders of 19 of the world's largest economies signed up to the Paris Agreement reaffirmed their commitment to its full implementation in the resulting communique is important. It is also a reflection of the Argentinian government rightly making climate an important topic on the agenda.   
  

"WWF strongly welcomes the UN, France and China statement expressing France and China's highest political commitment to implementing the Paris Agreement and recognizing the critical need to link climate efforts to biodiversity.

"The UN climate talks next week in Poland remain crucial to securing a future free from runaway climate change. World leaders must recognize that unprecedented action cannot be delayed. The ball can't be kicked down the road. Crucially, businesses, cities and other non-state actors have shown this year that they are willing to support national governments in closing the emissions gap."

WWF applauds the Government of Argentina for ensuring that a G20 communique was issued with climate change included as a key focus. This:
  •  notes the findings of the latest IPCC Special Report on the Impacts of Global Warming of 1.5C;
  • recognizes the importance of comprehensive adaptation strategies, including investment in infrastructure that is resilient to extreme weather events and disasters;
  • supports actions and cooperation in developing countries, especially those that are particularly vulnerable, including small island states such as those in the Caribbean;
  • notes the discussion of long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies and alignment of international finance flows, and countries´ experiences and considered the 2018-2019 work program on adaptation, acknowledging that each country may chart its own path to achieving a low emission future; with
  • signatories to the Paris Agreement, who have also joined the Hamburg Action Plan, reaffirming that the Paris Agreement is irreversible and committing to its full implementation, reflecting common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in light of different national circumstances.
Posted: December 1, 2018, 12:00 am
COP24 takes place in Katowice, Poland this year. © WWF/Jacqui Joshua

GLAND, Switzerland (30 November 2018) - Government climate negotiators head to Katowice, Poland this week to join the 24th UN climate talks, hot on the heels of a number of reports just released which set the scene for catastrophic climate impacts without urgent, scaled up climate action.

 

Simply, the gap between current levels of climate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and what we still need to do is laid bare in the 2018 Emissions Gap Report, in the World Meteorological Organization's provisional statement on the state of the climate 2018 report, and in the IPCC's landmark special report on 1.5℃ of global warming.

 

"We are counting on good progress in Katowice," said Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF's global climate and energy practice. "We have a roadmap for climate action in the Paris Agreement. Key outcomes from this meeting of UN climate negotiators will lay the foundations for continued multilateral progress in tackling climate change at the scale and speed necessary to match what science tells us is needed."

 

The scale of the challenge - and the opportunity - that this meeting presents should help focus minds, says Pulgar-Vidal.

 

WWF believes there is a clear set of outcomes needed to ensure the continued momentum for climate action, which we call the Katowice Package. These include:
 

- Urgently scaled up climate action both before and after 2020 accompanied by financial and other support for developing countries;
- Finalise and adopt a comprehensive set of rules to guide the implementation of the Paris Agreement. These must enhance the transparency of all countries' actions to address climate change, and lead to greater accountability and ambition of countries' individual climate plans;
- A renewed recognition that the gap between what we are doing and what we need to do is insufficient to fully implement the Paris Agreement, and an indication of what is necessary, including better integration of nature-based solutions to climate change; and finally,
- A commitment from Parties to update and resubmit improved country climate plans (or nationally determined contributions or NDCs).
  
"We have to ensure that we don't fall short of expectations for this round of negotiations," says Pulgar-Vidal.  The outcomes of COP24 must consolidate the momentum created in 2018, and lay the groundwork for a successful UN Secretary General's Summit in 2019 and the enhanced climate commitments and actions the world needs for its survival.
 

"Without aggressive, ambitious climate action, it will become virtually impossible for the world to avoid overshooting the 1.5℃ of warming," he said.

 

Notes to Editors:

  1. See WWF's COP24 Expectations Paper here

  2. Visit WWF's COP24 website here for daily updates, news, announcements.

  3. Visit WWF's pavilion at COP24  #pandahub. The full programme is here.

  4. The 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the UNFCCC will take place from 2-14 December 2018, in Katowice, Poland.

 

For further information, contact:

 

Scott Edwards | WWF International | sedwards@wwfint.org | +44 7887 954116

Posted: November 30, 2018, 12:00 am
Amazon Rainforest © Creative CommonsWWF-Brazil regrets the news that Brazil has given up hosting the 25th Conference of Parties (COP25) to the UN Climate Convention. The country has been prominent in international climate negotiations, playing an important role in diplomacy towards further reduction of greenhouse gases.

Brazil's participation is vital to meeting global targets, as the country is currently the 7th largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and the Amazon has a key role to play in regulating the global climate.

The decision comes in a moment of government transition and diverges from the previous position announced before the elections, demonstrating the strong influence of the transition team. The Brazilian ambassador to the next government, Ernesto Araújo, has shown skepticism about climate change and has harshly criticized the international negotiation process.

WWF-Brazil's executive director, Mauricio Voivodic said:  "The decision to not hold the COP in Brazil gives a signal to the world that the new government does not see climate change, the biggest challenge the planet faces, as a policy priority.
 
"In a period marked by environmental disasters around the globe, we hope that this decision does not imply weaker commitment from Brazil to cutting its carbon emissions in line with the Paris targets. Only by increasing climate action by 2020 are we going to be able to prevent dangerous global warming."

With an economy strongly supported by the use of natural resources, minimizing the effects and the measures to fight climate change could generate serious implications for a path of sustainable development. The climate security of the country and the planet, as well as the quality of the lives of all of us, depend on it.

"We reiterate Brazil is still party to the Paris Agreement and the need for countries to come together in climate solidarity is now," he said.

For further information contact Mandy Jean Woods mwoods@wwfint.org 
Posted: November 28, 2018, 12:00 am
Greenhouse Gases © WWF
Brussels, Belgium – 28 November 2018


The Commission's plan to make the EU carbon neutral is a vital step to respond to the climate crisis. The policy actions to get there, and how fast they are put in place, will be crucial to keep warming below the 1.5°C target.

Imke Lübbeke, Head of Climate & Energy, WWF European Policy Office said of the Commission's proposed strategy:

"Today is a defining moment in the fight against climate change. With this strategy the EU becomes the first major player to respond to the recent stark warnings from climate scientists and to take action to implement the Paris Agreement. However, we need to reach zero net emissions faster - by 2040 -, and we can achieve this with the solutions that are available to us right now.  

WWF urges Member States to support a net-zero emissions target for Europe. As the Commission has demonstrated, this will also boost jobs and growth, deliver tens of billions in health benefits and save trillions of euros on fossil fuel imports – money that will be invested here in the EU instead.

"As to how we get there, only the 8th scenario is viable", added Lübbeke. "Relying on bioenergy coupled with yet unproven carbon capture and storage technology at large scale is high risk, and a better and safer approach is the rapid deployment of technologies that are already at our fingertips: energy efficiency, renewable energy, circular economy principles and nature-based solutions to CO2 removal, such as the protection and restoration of forests, wetlands and other ecosystems"

While a long-term target is essential, last month's IPCC report made clear that the key to limiting warming to 1.5°C is urgent short-term action. To give this strategy the best chance of achieving its objective, the EU must also upgrade its 2030 targets dramatically, and adapt its regulatory framework accordingly, to provide the incentives now to transition to a low-carbon economy.

Contact:
Alexandra Chevalier
Senior Communications Officer, WWF European Policy Office
achevalier@wwf.eu 

+ 32 484 49 43 54
Posted: November 28, 2018, 12:00 am
Coal plants © Creative CommonsIn response to the findings of the UN Environment Emissions Gap Report 2018, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Leader of WWF's Climate & Energy Practice, said:
 
"Coming just days before the next round of climate talks, this report makes clear that current emission cuts pledged by governments are nowhere near ambitious enough to meet the temperature goal of the Paris Agreement. This was already known but, coming off the back of the findings of the IPCC special report last month, it should help to focus minds in Poland next week.
 
"Governments are being unambiguously notified by science that now is the time to step up climate action. To prevent dangerous climate change, they must commit to do more and do it earlier. We need to see them commit to significantly greater action by 2020. The ball can't be kicked down the road.
 
"What is clear is that, if we are going to close the emissions gap, everyone has to contribute. The key role of non-state actors is rightly recognised in the report. Action by businesses and local governments is increasing and should serve as inspiration for national governments to do the same."
 
Posted: November 27, 2018, 12:00 am
Argetinian flag © Creative CommonsBuenos Aires, ARGENTINA (20 November, 2018) – Leaders from the private sector, higher education, banking, and state and local governments formed a new domestic coalition vowing to help the Argentinean government deliver on and deepen its international climate commitments.

The announcement was made in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Alianza para la Acción Climática Argentina includes municipalities located across the country, from the capital city of Buenos Aires, to Río Grande, Tierra del Fuego Province, and Iruya, Salta Province. The coalition also includes leading actors in the banking, private and academic sectors, including Banco de Galicia, the clothing company Patagonia, and the University of El Salvador. The Alliance includes 2000 private producers of agro-commodities across Argentina united through the network CREA, which pledge to stimulate new climate action from agriculture. Agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU) are together responsible for 39% of Argentina's GHG emissions, and represent the second largest source of GHG emissions after energy.

Cristian Feldkamp, Executive Director, CREA, said: "We believe that proactively preparing for climate impacts and adjusting our practices to reduce our carbon footprint will make food production in Argentina more resilient, and our agriculture sector more competitive in global markets.  Producers have a critical role to play, but we will be faster and more effective if we champion climate action together with other subnational and non-state actors across the country. The Alianza para la Acción Climática Argentina gives us a much-needed platform to accelerate climate action in Argentina, and to work with the national government to deliver on and enhance Argentina's climate commitments."

Juan Bautista Filgueira, President, Environmental Protection Agency of the City of Buenos Aires said: "Over 90% of Argentina's population lives in urban centers. City governments are therefore at the crux of accelerating Argentina's path towards decarbonization. We have the opportunity and the responsibility to make our cities cleaner, healthier and safer, but we cannot do this alone. We are proud to be founding members of the Alianza para la Acción Climática Argentina so that, together with businesses, investors, subnational governments, academic institutions and other subnational and local governments, we can put climate change at the center of our conversation about what kind of development is needed in our country." 

According to its founding declaration, the coalition aims to "work proactively and collaboratively to enable the proper implementation of the commitments undertaken by Argentina under the Paris agreement through its NDC, create the conditions for the inclusion of additional actions and set the foundation to enhance the ambition of Argentina's NDC and climate actions."
 
This coalition is the fourth domestic multi-stakeholder alliance to launch in the since June 2017, after similar coalitions launched in the United States, Japan and Mexico. These coalitions are part of Alliances for Climate Action (ACA), a global network of domestic multi-sector coalitions committed to supporting the delivery and enhancement of their countries' climate goals, and collaborating to build the groundswell of climate action across the world. 
 
Sergio Graf, Director of the Renewable Energies Institute, University of Guadalajara, Mexico, said: "As founding member of the first Alliance for Climate Action in Latinoamérica, I am honored to welcome Argentina to this initiative. As more subnational and non-state actors in our region engage, our collective voice, work and commitment to climate action will grow. On behalf of the Alianza para la Acción Climática de Guadalajara, we look forward to exchanging experiences with Argentina to close the gap between statements and action."  
 
Kevin Rabinovitch, Global VP for Sustainability and Chief Climate Officer for Mars Incorporated, said: "We commend the Alianza para la Acción Climática Argentina for committing to accelerate climate action. The science is clear – it will take action from all countries and all companies to tackle climate change. That is why Mars has committed to cut greenhouse gas emissions across our value chain two-thirds by 2050. And it is why we joined We Are Still In, the largest climate coalition in the United States, as members of the Leaders' Circle to catalyze climate action in the U.S. and globally."    
 
NOTE TO EDITORS
  1. The ACA initiative is being jointly advanced by seven international organizations - C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, CDP, the Climate Action Network, Fundación Avina, The Climate Group, the We Mean Business Coalition and WWF  – together with leading partners at the national level.  
  2. The Japan Climate Initiative, the Alianza para la Acción Climática de Guadalajara, the  Alianza para la Acción Climática Argentina and partner effort We Are Still In, are each being coordinated by a subset of organizations at the national level.
  3. Media interested in interviewing signatories from any of the Alliances for Climate Action Initiative should email info@AlliancesForClimateAction.com.          
  4. The main goal of Alliances for Climate Action is to build robust and articulated domestic constituencies for climate action to work hand in hand with national governments to accelerate nationally determined processes of transformation towards low carbon and climate resilient societies. Alliances for Climate Action provides information and technical support to participating actors at the domestic level to develop actions jointly, engage constructively with national governments, and build domestic public support for accelerated climate action. Alliances for Climate Action also connects domestic coalitions with each other and elevates their voices internationally to encourage other non-State actors and national governments to accelerate climate action and up ambition together.
  5. Japan is ranked 6th in terms of global emissions (Source: WRI CAIT).  Japan's current commitment is found in its climate pledge submitted to the UN in 2015.
  6. Mexico is ranked 10th in terms of global emissions. (Source: WRI CAIT). Mexico's current commitment is found in its climate pledge submitted to the UN in 2015.
  7. Argentina is ranked 19th in terms of global emissions (Source: WRI CAIT). Argentina's current commitment is found in its climate pledge submitted to the UN in 2016.
  8. The United States is ranked 2nd in terms of global emissions (Source: WRI CAIT). The United States' current commitment is found in its climate pledge submitted to the UN in 2015.
  9. Agriculture, cattle ranching, forestry and other land uses accounted for 39% of Argentina's GHG emissions in 2014 (source: https://inventariogei.ambiente.gob.ar/files/inventario-nacional-gei-argentina.pdf)
  10.    Find more information about:
    1. Global Alliances for Climate Action initiative here;
    2. Japan Climate Initiative here;
    3. Alianza para la Acción Climática de Guadalajara here;
    4. We Are Still In here.
 
Posted: November 21, 2018, 12:00 am
Living planet report © Scott S Warren / National Geographic CreativeGland/Brussels, 30 October 2018. The ways in which humans feed, fuel and finance our societies and economies are pushing our planet's natural systems – which support all life on earth - to the edge, according to WWF's Living Planet Report 2018 released today.
 
A comprehensive overview of the state of our natural world, the Living Planet Report 2018 presents a sobering analysis of the impact of humans on the world's wildlife, forests, oceans, rivers, and climate, and the implications for vital services nature provides. The Living Planet Index (LPI) indicates that global populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles declined, on average, by 60 per cent between 1970 and 2014, with freshwater species hit hardest. The top threats to species are directly linked to human activities, including habitat loss and degradation, and overexploitation of wildlife.
 
The findings also demonstrate that the window for action is closing rapidly, and underline the urgent need for the global community to collectively rethink and redefine how we value, protect and restore nature.
 
"We cannot build a prosperous future for Europe and its citizens on a depleted planet, so economic and environmental agendas must converge if we are to build a sustainable Europe for all," said Ester Asin, Director of WWF's European Policy Office. "With the upcoming EU elections and the resulting renewal of key decision-making bodies, Europe has the opportunity to revive its global leadership on climate change and nature conservation, by taking decisive actions at home and driving a new global deal for nature and people. Europe must lead by example by adopting an ambitious post-2020 EU biodiversity strategy, and integrating biodiversity and climate protection into all relevant sectoral policies."
 
WWF is calling for a comprehensive framework agreement for nature and people under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which must galvanize action to protect and restore biodiversity. At EU level, WWF is asking for an ambitious post-2020 biodiversity strategy to halt and reverse nature loss, mainstreaming of climate and biodiversity protection into key economic sectors through its agriculture, water, infrastructure and development, and climate and energy policies, a reflection of these priorities in the next EU budget, and full implementation and enforcement of the Birds and Habitats Directives and the Water Framework Directive.
 
 
Rivers, lakes & wetlands suffer worst biodiversity decline
 
Freshwater ecosystems, such as rivers, lakes and wetlands, are continuing to deteriorate at breakneck speed, with species abundance declined by 83% since 1970. Lakes, rivers and wetlands are critical for people, nature and economies, yet they are under growing pressure from pollution, dam development,  and soaring demand for water to irrigate farms and fuel hydropower plants. In Europe, only 40% of surface waters are currently considered healthy (EEA, 2018), despite EU Member States' legal obligation to protect and restore all freshwater bodies under the Water Framework Directive – the law which protects all freshwater bodies in the EU and obliges Member States to restore those which have already been damaged to good health. But there is now a strong push from EU Member States to weaken this law.
 
"Without full, effective implementation of the Water Framework Directive, it will be impossible to defend our rivers and lakes, and the incredible biodiversity that depends on them", said Andreas Baumüller, Head of Natural Resources at WWF's European Policy Office. "It's time we heard a little less conversation and saw a lot more action from EU Member States, and that they seriously stepped up their game to make this visionary law work not just on paper, but in practice!"
 
The WWF European network, together with 100 NGOs across Europe, is currently running the #ProtectWater campaign to keep the EU water law strong, calling citizens to have their say in the current European Commission's public consultation.
 
NOTES TO THE EDITOR

About the Living Planet Report 2018
Living Planet Report 2018 is the twelfth edition of WWF's biennial flagship publication. The report includes the latest findings measured by the Living Planet Index tracking 16,704 populations of 4,005 vertebrate species from 1970 to 2014.
 
Indicators include the Living Planet Index (LPI), provided by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL); the Species Habitat Index (SHI); the IUCN Red List Index (RLI); the Biodiversity Intactness Index (BII); as well as Planetary Boundaries and the Ecological Footprint
 
The Freshwater Living Planet Index (1970 to 2014) shows that the average abundance of 3,358 freshwater populations representing 880 species monitored across the globe declined by 83%.
 
About the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD)
The EU Water Framework Directive is one of the EU's most progressive pieces of environmental legislation to date. It requires the protection, enhancement and restoration of our rivers, wetlands, lakes and coastal waters. Under this law, Member States have committed to ensure no deterioration and achieve good status for the vast majority of all water bodies by 2015, and at the very latest by 2027.
The Water Framework Directive is currently undergoing its standard review in the form of a 'fitness check' to look at the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and EU added value of the legislation. This includes a stakeholder consultation and a public consultation, running until March 2019.
More on our work on water in Europe: http://www.wwf.eu/what_we_do/water/
 
About the #ProtectWater campaign
The #ProtectWater campaign aims to keep the EU Water Framework Directive strong and save it from a potential revision, and in doing so, protect Europe's rivers, lakes, groundwater and wetlands, and the wildlife they house, for generations to come. The campaign is led by Living Rivers Europe (WWF's European network, the European Anglers Alliance, European Environmental Bureau, European Rivers Network and Wetlands International), and supported by 100 NGOs across Europe.
Find out more: https://www.livingrivers.eu/ 

Contact:

Angelika Pullen
Communication Director
WWF European Policy Office

apullen@wwf.eu
+32 473 947 966
Posted: October 30, 2018, 12:00 am
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