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The latest climate change news from WWF

Limiting warming to 1.5°C is possible, necessary and urgent. The difference between possible and impossible is political will. © Global Warming Images / WWFBrussels, Belgium - 8 October 2018

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C released today demonstrates how critical it is to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Approved by 195 governments, the report underscores the small window of opportunity we have to make immediate, deep and transformational changes—without which the world we know will be irreversibly changed.
 
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C makes clear that allowing global temperatures to rise by 2°C above pre-industrial levels will have greater consequences compared to a 1.5°C limit, including the massive loss of natural habitats and species [1], a disappearing Arctic ice sheet, and higher sea levels.
 
The climate impacts will also affect our health, livelihoods, human security and economic growth [2]. 2017 was already one of the costliest years on record for global insured losses resulting from natural and man-made disasters [3]. In Europe alone, heatwaves could increase by a factor of five by the end of this century, with droughts likely to be become increasingly frequent in the Mediterranean area, western Europe, and Northern Scandinavia [4].
 
Current emissions, which put us on a 3°C plus global warming trend, will lead us to breach tipping points that will cause irreversible changes. Delaying action will only lead to deeper, costlier, and most importantly unproven 'solutions' in the future--whereas we have policy solutions available today that will prevent those catastrophic climate impacts.
 
"The EU's pledge to reduce emissions by at least 40% by 2030 is far from sufficient to meet IPCC's scientific recommendations of a 1.5°C global warming limit. To achieve this 1.5°C pathway, the EU needs to aim for net-zero emissions by 2040 [5]. This will require ambitious action in every sector, but it is feasible and will bring huge benefits – to health, jobs and energy independence" commented Imke Lübbeke, Head of Climate & Energy, WWF European Policy Office.
 
"Limiting warming to 1.5°C is possible, necessary and urgent. The difference between possible and impossible is political will. Clearly the responsibility is with national and policy makers to keep Europe safe by contributing to keep global warming to 1.5°C. The EU's long-term climate strategy, to be published end November this year, needs to be based on the science of the IPCC report — and not on pressure from business lobbies who are trying to delay the inevitable. The findings make very clear how crucial time is in achieving this 1.5°C limit", continued Lübbeke.
 
Tomorrow, the EU's Environment Council will develop its recommendation ahead of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change's Conference of the Parties (UNFCCC COP24). Based on the IPCC's landmark scientific evidence, WWF urges the EU to increase the ambition in their Paris Agreement national climate commitments by 2020 [6], and demonstrate further global climate leadership through a transformational long-term climate strategy come November.  
 
Notes to Editors:
 
The IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C is available here.
 
[1] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180517143635.html
 
[2] http://www.oecd.org/env/the-economic-consequences-of-climate-change-9789264235410-en.htm
 
[3] https://rmets.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/joc.5291
 
[4] http://www.swissre.com/media/news_releases/nr20171220_sigma_estimates.html
 
[5] http://www.wwf.eu/media_centre/publications/?uNewsID=330758
 
[6] http://www.wwf.eu/media_centre/?uNewsID=336033

Further information:
 
The IPCC report and its summary for policymakers were commissioned by governments following the UN meeting in Paris in 2015, when it was agreed to act to limit increases in global average temperature well below than 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to try keep that increase at 1.5°C.

Contact:

Alexandra Chevalier
Senior Communications Officer, Climate & Energy
achevalier@wwf.eu 
Posted: October 8, 2018, 12:00 am
ACT 8: Providing links to climate change science © WWF / Dr Lucy Hawkes
Brussels, Belgium - 4 October 

On Tuesday (9 October), the Environment Council will meet to develop EU recommendations ahead of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change's Conference of the Parties (UNFCCC COP24, 3-14 December in Katowice, Poland), and to finalise conclusions on the preparations for the COP 14 meeting of the UN's Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15, 17-29 November 2018, Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt).

This Council meeting takes place the day after the release of the UN IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C, which outlines the massive differences half a degree will make for human communities and ecosystems. WWF urges Member States to base their decision-making on this ground-breaking evidence, taking into account the following recommendations for a clear, robust and effective Paris Agreement work programme.
 
What will WWF be looking out for?
 
UNFCCC COP 24
  • Global greenhouse gas emissions must peak by 2020 and decline thereafter if we are to limit global temperature rise to well below 2°C, let alone 1.5°C. To this end, WWF urges Member States to accelerate their pre-2020 climate action. The pre-2020 climate and energy policies will be critical in setting the foundation for an effective and just transition to low-carbon climate-resilient societies.
  • Current Nationally-Determined Contributions (NDCs), which run from 2020 to 2030, commit the planet to a dangerous 3°C+ warming pathway.
    Accelerated implementation of current NDCs is essential to bend the business-as-usual emissions curve, and to reverse their current 3°C trend. The earlier the EU will confirm its readiness to improve its 2030 NDC, the more it will galvanise other countries to do the same. Much has happened since most Parties submitted their NDCs -- both in the policy-making realm and in the real economy -- that can help Parties recalibrate their national goals.
  • Further emissions reductions will be needed in subsequent periods, beyond the NDCs 2020-2030 timeframe, to remain under the 1.5°C limit. WWF encourages the EU to aim for net zero emissions in the EU by 2040 [1].
  • Developing a durable and effective ambition mechanism, which is part of the Paris Agreement's implementation guidelines, is central to progressively building resilience, over the coming years and decades. WWF urges that the purpose, inputs, functions, processes, outputs and ultimate outcomes of the ambition mechanism be kept in clear sight as Parties negotiate across Agenda items.
     
"The UN IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C has laid out how paramount it is for the global community, led by the EU, to reach the Paris Agreement target of 1.5°C," stated Imke Lübbeke, Head of Climate & Energy, WWF European Policy Office. "For WWF, progress in three areas is critical to put the world on this trajectory of a 1.5°C limit in temperature rise: Accelerated action in pre-2020, raising ambition of the EU NDCs by 2020, and the 5-year ambition cycle or ambition mechanism."
 
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP14
 
During the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP14) to the CBD in Egypt, Parties will decide on the process to adopt a new global strategic framework to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity at CBD COP15 in China in 2020.
 
  • WWF's Living Planet Report shows biodiversity continues to decline at alarming rates. In Europe, we are not on track to meeting the 2020 target of halting biodiversity loss. Without an ambitious, integrated, and high-level response, this trend will continue to worsen. The EU needs to step-up efforts to fully implement the EU Biodiversity Strategy. WWF is advocating for a Global Deal for Nature and People to be adopted in 2020 with the aim of halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2030.
  • The EU must be a leading advocate for a strong global post 2020 biodiversity framework with an ambitious mission and tangible targets. In addition, the EU should advocate for a better and more effective implementation and accountability mechanism in the new strategy.
  • The significant delays in achieving the Aichi Targets both in the EU and globally are to a large extent due to the lack of political will, weak implementation and insufficient financial support. Furthermore, subsidies harmful to biodiversity, especially in the area of agriculture and forestry, undermine efforts to stop biodiversity loss.
  • Mainstreaming the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity into different sectors is therefore critical to address key drivers of biodiversity loss.
  • An effective and comprehensive resource mobilisation strategy needs to be completed as part of the full post-2020 global biodiversity framework. Given the ongoing loss of nature and the need for restoration, current EU financial resources to implement the goals of the CBD are insufficient, so the EU should increase funding commitments in the next decade.
 
"All indicators are in red as human activities are currently driving us into the 6th mass extinction. The EU needs to become a champion for nature protection both locally and globally, and the level of ambition and political commitment to halt and reverse biodiversity loss needs to be raised. Mainstreaming nature protection into other sectors is crucial and in this respect the EU is failing at home. We just need to look at the CAP proposal that is currently being discussed, which continues to protect intensive agriculture, a key driver for biodiversity loss" said Sabien Leemans, Senior Policy Officer, Biodiversity, WWF European Policy Office.
 
Note to editors
 
[1] WWF position: the EU's long-term climate strategy. Available at: http://www.wwf.eu/media_centre/publications/?uNewsID=330758
 
Contacts
 
Angelika Pullen
Communications Director
apullen@wwf.eu
+32 473 947 966

Imke Lübbeke
Head, Climate & Energy
iluebbeke@wwf.eu
+32 2 743 88 18

Sabien Leemans
Senior Biodiversity Policy Officer
sleemans@wwf.eu
+32 486 800 437
Posted: October 4, 2018, 12:00 am
Drought © Shutterstock

BERLIN, Germany (25 September, 2018) – Governments will meet in Korea next week to approve a landmark report that outlines what it will take to keep global warming to 1.5℃ above pre-industrial levels. The report is expected to underscore the critical need for urgent and transformative climate action as climate impacts increase in scale, frequency and intensity.
 
The report is produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the UN body responsible for assessing the science related to climate change. It will be the authoritative scientific underpinning to guide government policy decision-making as countries look to enhance their national climate commitments under the Paris Agreement.
 
The report is expected to inject urgency into UN climate talks in Katowice, Poland, in December, and beyond.
 
Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF's global climate and energy programme, said: "The report is expected to underscore what we already know: we need unprecedented, systemic and just transformation across the economy – in our energy, land, urban, and industrial systems -  if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. The longer we leave tackling emissions, the greater the impacts and the deeper and more expensive the emissions reductions will need to be in future. What we need now is political leadership to ensure we step up to the challenge ahead."
 
Dr Stephen Cornelius, chief adviser on climate change for WWF-UK said the world must not underestimate the importance of the report. "The findings will influence the path we follow for years to come. Higher temperatures means higher climate impacts which will irrevocably alter the delicate web of life on which humans and nature thrive. Limiting global warming will require rapid and deep emissions cuts," he said.
  
Notes for Editors

  1. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change meets to approve the Summary for Policymakers of its Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C in Korea 1-5 October. The report will be launched on Monday 8 October at 10am local time.
  2. Read WWF's expectations paper for the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C here.
  3. Read WWF's position paper on temperature overshooting here.
  4. Read WWF's position paper on carbon dioxide removal, including carbon sequestration in natural systems here.
  5. Read WWF's blog on the challenges facing decision-makers in Korea here.
 For further information, contact:  


 

Posted: September 25, 2018, 12:00 am
Solar panels on a bank building in Berlin, Germany. © Edward Parker / WWFBrussels, Belgium - 20 September 

WWF deeply condemns the falsely-alarmist approach put forth by BusinessEurope in a leaked memo that cast a light on how one of Brussels biggest lobbies plans to undermine the European Commission's climate strategy ambitions.
 
Imke Lübbeke, Head of Climate and Energy at WWF's European Policy Office reacted to BusinessEurope's memo: "The exposed climate strategy of Europe's largest business and industry federation is irresponsible, narrow minded.  Climate change is a challenge unprecedented in human history, and the window for limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C is closing rapidly. 
 
The 'case' BusinessEurope is trying to make is--simply-put--outdated in terms of economic arguments, and out of touch with industry trends. Their tactics go against a number of forward-looking companies who are seizing the opportunities of a climate-proof economy and have committed to do their share to meet the Paris Agreement targets, from investing in industrial decarbonisation innovations, divesting their assets from fossil fuels, to heavily investing in clean energy."
 
The EU is in the process of developing its long-term climate strategy to reflect the Paris Agreement targets. This plan could heavily impact all emissions and energy targets set for the EU until 2050. We, at WWF have urged the European Commission to develop an overarching plan to achieve net zero carbon emissions in Europe by 2040.


Contact:
Alexandra Chevalier, Communications & Media Officer (Climate & Energy)
WWF European Policy Office
achevalier@wwf.eu
Posted: September 20, 2018, 12:00 am
The Global Climate Action Summit took place in San Francisco from 12-14 September 2018. © Creative Commons

(SAN FRANCISCO, US) 14 September 2018 – At this week's Global Climate Action Summit, leaders from business, local governments and civil society committed to more than 500 actions and detailed new plans to work together to reduce global emissions. The Summit concluded with a call to national governments to increase climate ambition to secure a climate-safe future for all.

 

"The momentum toward bold action at the next round of UN climate talks accelerated this week," said Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF's global climate and energy practice, and Summit advisory committee member. "Scores of businesses and local governments stepped up to address the climate challenge. Now, national governments can arrive in Poland with the wind at their backs, giving them the courage to commit to even greater emissions reductions that move us closer to a 1.5-degree future."

 

Under the banner of the 30x30 Forest, Food and Land Challenge, WWF and an alliance of over 100 NGOs, businesses, state and local governments, indigenous groups and local communities issued 17 commitments to advance the forest, food and land agenda. Land - and how we use it - is the second largest source of emissions, but can deliver up to 30% of the climate solutions needed to meet the Paris targets. The new commitments help improve food systems, enhance the restoration, conservation and resilience of natural and working lands, and unlock new financing and technology for the sector.

 

Key announcements include:

 
  1. Through the Pacific Coast Collaborative, states and cities on the United States' West Coast committed to reduce food loss and waste by 50% by 2030, a commitment with the potential to reduce 25 million tons of GHG emissions per year from the often-overlooked food sector.
  2. Walmart announced the development of a platform that will help its suppliers engage with local leaders in different jurisdictions to stop deforestation and reduce carbon emissions in their supply chain. As an example of how the platform will work, Unilever is committing to support better production and forest protection efforts in Sabah, Malaysia, where palm oil is driving deforestation.
  3. The Global Environment Facility announced half a billion US dollars in funding to drive improved land use and forest conservation, and nine of the world's leading philanthropic foundations announced their intent to commit at least $459 million through 2022 to Forests, Indigenous Rights, and Lands to Combat Climate Change.
  4. Seventeen states in the U.S. Climate Alliance Natural and Working Lands Initiative has committed to inventory all land-based greenhouse gas emissions and to identify sequestration opportunities on a path to setting state-wide sequestration targets.
  5. Danone and WWF have committed to work with the Science Based Targets Initiative to build a pipeline of more companies with land-intensive footprints to set science based targets.
"This is the week local action delivered for global impact. It's clear that local governments and private  sector leaders are now driving the climate transition at a level that can keep US targets within reach," said Lou Leonard, WWF-US' senior vice president for climate change and energy. "The actions of US business, mayors and governors are demonstrating to the rest of the world that despite Washington's rhetoric, Americans still stand behind the promise of the Paris Agreement."
 

During the summit, US leaders sent a strong signal of progress. Since April, nearly 500 members of the We Are Still In coalition submitted plans and detailed 300 new commitments to increase climate action. Fifty commitments related to renewable energy and electric vehicles, and several include plans to collaborate across sectors. A further sixty members pledge to work with coalition partners to embrace renewable energy and energy efficiency.

 

Globally, newly-established climate coalitions in Japan and Mexico urged the creation of new efforts to unite subnational actors in other countries, including Colombia, South Africa, Argentina and Japan, and offered to work together with national governments to accelerate climate action and leverage domestic opportunities to enhance climate ambition.

 

For further information, contact: Scott Edwards WWF-International sedwards@wwfint.org

Posted: September 16, 2018, 12:00 am
Planting pine trees, Rwenzoni, Uganda © Simon Rawles(San Francisco, US) 13 September 2018Today, a cross section of industries and countries came together to announce commitments to improved land stewardship that have the potential to help keep Paris Agreement targets within reach. During an official session of the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS), 17 announcements were made under the umbrella of the 30x30 Forest, Food and Land Challenge, which calls for action to improve food production and consumption, better conserve forests and habitats and use land more efficiently and sustainably to deliver up to 30% of the climate solutions needed by 2030.
 
The announcements, which came from farmers, ranchers, foresters, chefs, Indigenous Peoples, business leaders and elected officials, represent a step forward on land stewardship climate commitments and will inspire greater ambition globally.
 
"Today's commitments are good news for our planet," said Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF's global climate and energy programme.  "Agriculture, forestry and other land uses contribute more greenhouse gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, planes and ships in the world, yet land-oriented climate change solutions receive only 3 per cent of climate funding. Today we committed to taking the steps needed to close that gap. With the next round of UN climate talks right around the corner, countries must advance more of these conversations to set science-based targets and develop land-based solutions that will help mitigate the worst effects of climate change."
 
The following is a sampling of the land stewardship announcements made at GCAS:
 
Champions of the 30x30 Challenge: Through the Forest, Food and Land Challenge, more than 100 NGOs, businesses, state and local governments, and indigenous and local communities have come together to create a new and more unified platform for action on land and climate. Together they will define a common forest, food and land agenda in order to raise the ambition of land-based climate action of all actors by 2020. To further solidify and operationalize this agenda and to ensure continued common purpose beyond GCAS, the coalition announced the formation of a Leaders Group to serve as catalysts of achievement of the 30x30 Challenge going forward. This group of visionaries will represent the breadth of the land sector – both in terms of its central thematic areas and key actor groups – and through their influential voices, they should continue to grow the reach of the challenge. Together, this group will define, prioritize and elevate clear opportunities, outcomes and milestones to drive ambition.
 
Financing and Technology
 
Global Environment Facility (GEF) Financial Commitment: The GEF announced half a billion USD for a new GEF Food, Land Use and Restoration Impact Program. Working with governments, the private sector and other partners, this new initiative will create multiple benefits, not least for climate mitigation. The program is designed at an intersection of the landscape and value chain approaches and is built as part of a multi-stakeholder initiative.
 
Healthy and Responsible Food Systems
 
Cool Food Pledge: The Cool Food Pledge is a new global platform to help companies, universities, hospitals and cities offer diners appealing and healthy food while reducing food-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25% by 2030. The Pledge will help signatories track the climate impact of the food they serve, develop plans to sell delicious dishes with smaller climate footprints and promote their achievements as leaders in a growing movement. At GCAS, a group of food providers serving more than 60 million meals annually announced their commitment to the Cool Food Pledge. The Pledge is an initiative of World Resources Institute, UN Environment, Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance, Health Care Without Harm, Practice Greenhealth and Climate Focus, and is pleased to have Sodexo as a supporter, helping promote the Pledge's activities with the dining facilities it serves.
 
FoodShot Global: A consortium of thirteen global food leaders, including venture funds, banks, corporations, foundations, NGOs and universities committed to invest in and accelerate scientific and technological breakthroughs that will improve soil health at scale. A healthy soil operating system will lead to more nutritious food, reduced agrochemical inputs, increased yields, higher farmer profits and healthier land and water ecosystems. By storing carbon, soil is also a key tool in fighting climate change. Healthy soil sets the framework for a food system capable of sustainably producing healthy, nutrient-dense food that is accessible to all. FoodShot Global's inaugural Challenge, Innovating Soil 3.0, will award up to $10 million USD in equity and up to $20 million USD in debt funding to innovative businesses, while $500,000 in philanthropic capital will be awarded to researchers, social entrepreneurs and advocates.
 
Pacific Coast Collaborative: The Pacific Coast Collaborative (PCC), representing the US states of California, Oregon, Washington and the Canadian province of British Columbia, was formed in 2008 when the leaders of the participating states and province agreed to work together on energy, climate, ocean health and other issues, as a region. The PCC is also collaborating with major cities along the West Coast to reduce carbon emissions and align building efficiency, transportation, renewable energy and organic waste systems. Together, we are building a thriving and innovative economy that fights climate change and benefits all residents by investing in clean energy, energy efficiency, and carbon pollution reduction. The PCC represents the world's fifth largest economy, a region of 55 million people with a combined GDP of $3 trillion USD. Their progress is detailed in this year's Report Card.
 
Restoration, Conservation and Resilience
 
Cities 4 Forests: The "Cities 4 Forests" initiative aims to catalyze a movement that builds political, social and economic support among city governments and their citizens to achieve forest conservation, restoration and sustainable management. Working with city governments, Cities 4 Forests is a voluntary coalition involving mayors (and their offices) from around the world (from developed, middle income, and developing regions), as well as civil society groups, universities, companies, utilities and institutions with expertise in forests, communications and policy. It offers influential cities three scales for engaging their most important forests: the inner forests (urban trees), nearby forests and faraway forests. 45 cities have joined Cities 4 Forests and the government of Norway has pledged $5 million USD over the next five years. 
 
Governors' Climate and Forest (GCF) Task Force Grants: The GCF Task Force, which includes nine governors from Brazil, Indonesia and the US, announced the first round of subnational recipients of grants from the $25 million USD GCF Fund with emphasis on the commitments that states are making to receive these grant funds. The GCF Task Force is leading subnational efforts to build robust and effective jurisdictional programs to protect and restore forests and enhance rural livelihoods. The GCF Governors are working on the implementation of low carbon and sustainable land use plans at the jurisdictional level in contributing to global efforts for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. One example is through the 2018 Sustainability Agreement for the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, public-private partnerships for restoring and protecting degraded and undermanaged landscapes in achieving sustainable supply chain initiatives, including efforts to engage indigenous peoples and local communities in sustainable landscape stewardship.
 
Indigenous Principles - Governors' Climate and Forest Task Force: The GCF Task Force released "Guiding Principles for Collaboration and Partnership Between Subnational Governments, Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities." The culmination of several years of work, these Principles will demonstrate the commitments of subnational governments to working in partnership with indigenous peoples and local communities. These Principles provide guidance on agreed upon terms of engagement and serve as a point of departure for this collaboration.
 
US Climate Alliance Natural and Working Lands Initiative: Members of the alliance are committing to working towards having natural lands that serve as carbon sinks. This work will take inventory emissions from land use and management, institute best practices to increase sequestration, identify policy pathways and set potential carbon sequestration targets. Included in this commitment is a policy-integrated carbon sequestration and GHG reduction model developed by multiple NGO partners in collaboration with the Climate Alliance. This will be a first of its kind direct linkage between such modeling and commitments to carbon sequestration targets, and the first proposed policy framework for carbon sequestration and GHG reductions from land use and management for US States.
 
Transparent Supply Chains and Governance
 
Cerrado Manifesto: Investors with $5.6 trillion USD in assets have joined a coalition supporting conservation of the Brazil's Cerrado, the world's most biodiverse savannah.  Representing more than 100 food and financial companies, the coalition is now the largest business group focused on protecting the Cerrado, which has lost about half of its native forests and grasslands, largely for the production of cattle and soy. Organized by FAIRR, the investors joining the coalition include APG, Legal and General Investment Management, and Green Century Capital Management.
 
Jurisdictional Approaches to Supply Chains: Walmart announced the development of a platform that will facilitate their suppliers engaging in jurisdictional approaches as part of their work on forests supporting their Scope 3 Science-Based Target for climate. This platform will be developed in collaboration with the four NGOs advising them on jurisdictional approaches (WWF, CI, TNC and EDF) – who will prioritize high risk jurisdictions and help identify legitimate efforts on the ground. As an example of how the platform will work, Unilever – an anchor partner and supplier to Walmart – is committing to support the farmer certification across 60k hectares as well as restoration in the Sugut, Kinabatangan and Tawau river basins in Sabah, Malaysia, with a view to increase sourcing in an area they can guarantee is not causing deforestation. This work on restoration will complement the broader jurisdictional initiative's work in the region working with palm oil and pulp producers and forest protection – advancing both deforestation and climate goals. The Sabah example is just the beginning of more engagement to come in key forested jurisdictions who are committed to becoming deforestation-free under the New York Declaration on Forests.
 
Pro-Amazonia Initiative: Ecuador's Inter-institutional Committee on Sustainable Palm Oil seeks to balance economic growth, productivity, and forest conservation and preservation. To achieve this, the Committee will work towards increasing production of palm oil on existing cultivation areas, by implementing sustainable agricultural practices based on national legislation and international standards, including the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO); thus, decreasing pressure on remaining forests in the country and strengthening the capacities of smallholder producers on sustainable management. These combined actions will contribute to Ecuador's advancement in the fight against deforestation, using a jurisdictional sectoral approach, with a vision towards reducing and eliminating deforestation from palm oil production in the Amazon by 2025, as well as achieving zero deforestation from the sector by 2030, nation-wide.
 
Rainforest Journalism Fund: The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting announced the creation of the Rainforest Journalism Fund supported by a five-year, $5.5 million USD grant from the Norwegian International Climate and Forest Initiative. This initiative will seek to increase the quantity and quality of reporting on tropical forests by funding nearly 200 original reporting projects along with annual regional conferences designed to raise the level of reporting on global rainforest issues such as deforestation, its drivers and its effect on climate change. The Fund will also provide hostile-environment and first-aid training to 75 journalists operating in rainforest regions during the course of the grant. Pulitzer Center will cooperate closely with the Amazon, Central Africa and South-East Asia. An emphasis will be put on supporting the work of journalists from within each rainforest region.
 
###
 
About the 30X30 Forests, Food and Land Challenge
 How we use land for agriculture, forestry and other purposes has a greater impact on climate change than any other sector of the economy except energy—yet, land-related solutions receive less than 3% of climate funding. The 30X30 challenge calls on businesses, states, city and local governments, and global citizens to take action to improve forest and habitat conservation, food production and consumption, and land use to work together to deliver up to 30% of the climate solutions needed by 2030. For more information, visit https://climatelandchallenge.org/
 
About the Global Climate Action Summit
 The Global Climate Action Summit is taking place from September 12 to 14, 2018 in San Francisco under the theme 'Taking Ambition to the Next Level.'  To keep warming well below 2 degrees C, and ideally 1.5 degrees C – temperatures that could lead to catastrophic consequences – worldwide emissions must start trending down by 2020. The Summit will showcase climate action around the world, along with bold new commitments, to give world leaders the confidence they need to go even further by 2020 to meet the Paris Climate Agreement goals. The Summit's five headline challenge areas are Healthy Energy Systems; Inclusive Economic Growth; Sustainable Communities; Land and Ocean Stewardship and Transformative Climate Investments. Many partners are supporting the Summit and the mobilization in advance including Climate Group; the Global Covenant of Mayors; Ceres, the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group; BSR; We Mean Business; CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project; WWF; and Mission 2020. For more information, www.globalclimateactionsummit.org. #StepUp2018
Posted: September 14, 2018, 12:00 am
The Global Climate Action Summit took place in San Francisco 12-14 September 2018. © Andrew Merrie

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 13 – A new report shows the potential for all sectors of global economy - energy, food and agriculture, industry, buildings and transport - to halve greenhouse gas emissions by around 2030. Stronger policies, the digital revolution and greater climate leadership are necessary to accelerate the economic transformation, say the authors.  


The report, announced by Christiana Figueres and global sustainability researcher Johan Rockström, to open the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, concludes that the energy transformation in the next decade could occur much faster than many forecasts as the price of renewables drops low enough to outcompete fossil fuels. But keeping up the pace will require sharper policies to push out fossil fuels. Other sectors, however, are off track.

 

The digital revolution remains a wildcard, says the report. Technology can directly influence 30% of the emissions cuts needed by about 2030, and indirectly affect the rest through influencing consumer habits, scaling up a sharing economy and supporting business transformation to a circular economy.

 

Greenhouse gas emissions must fall sharply to stabilise climate well below 2°C and aim for 1.5°C as agreed by nations in Paris in 2015. Emissions peaking in 2020 and approximately halving by about 2030 is consistent with the Paris Agreement's aim.

 

"Right now, it is easier to imagine a global climate catastrophe than a rapid economic transformation, yet the next decade could see the fastest energy transition in history," says co-lead author Owen Gaffney from Future Earth and the Stockholm Resilience Centre.

 

"People underestimate the power of exponential growth. In Norway, electric cars went from 6% of new sales to 47% in five years. If renewables keep doubling every five or six years, as they have for a decade or more, they will push out fossil fuels much faster than most forecasts. But not without stronger policies," he added.

 

The authors argue that the digital revolution is already driving an economic transformation.

 

"How this revolution is directed could make or break international climate targets. The tech sector can influence whether we live on a 1.5-2°C planet or on a +3°C world," says Johan Falk co-lead author from Future Earth and the Stockholm Resilience Centre.

 

"Technology will not solve the climate challenge alone. The key is to reach a critical mass of companies, cities, nations, industries and citizens that are contributing to the Paris Agreement and show how attractive this is - this will create the snowball effect we need to scale solutions", says Falk.  

 

The roadmap identifies the accelerators in terms of climate leadership, policy and technology required to scale 30 solutions and concludes that a set of game-changing strategies in the next 18 months are needed to keep up an appropriately fast pace.

 

These strategies include:

 
  • Accelerate climate leadership initiatives exponentially among companies, cities, industries and individuals to reach a critical mass with goals and actions to halve emissions fast.  

  • Create task forces to build momentum to end fossil-fuel subsidies, build out carbon pricing and wide-scale adoption of circular-economy approaches, as part of a broader goal to have coherent policies to shift away from fossil fuels.

  • Launch global tech initiatives, or "accelerators" to align the Fourth Industrial Revolution (digitalisation, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, internet of things, etc) with the goal to halve global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 - specifically to explore how tech giants can use their influence to support societal goals.

 

The report highlights that many companies can cut their own emissions faster than 50% every decade - and influence their suppliers to do the same. The next frontier is how companies can influence the consumers of their products and services to support low-carbon operations and lifestyles.

 

"To win the fight against climate change, we need to constantly push beyond what conventional wisdom tells us is possible. The digital revolution is one of the most powerful tools at our disposal. Now, to realise the full potential, we need leadership and action: by policy makers, business leaders and all of us", says Mikko Kosonen, President of the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra who produced the report together with Future Earth with WWF, Ericsson and Stockholm Resilience Centre and others.

 

"Disruption is here. Three unstoppable forces are pushing us towards a future of prosperity, growth and clean energy: climate leadership, market forces and the digital revolution," says former UN climate head Christiana Figueres, convenor of Mission 2020, a partner in the report.

"Leaders from cities, investors and corporates are forming alliances for climate action to inspire governments and peers to step up their efforts to reduce emissions. These include setting ambitious targets based on science, implementing these through increased entrepreneurship, and accelerating high impact innovation. We must do this if we are to have a future where people can live in harmony with nature." Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF's global climate and energy programme.

 

The report launch comes after months of unprecedented heat waves, droughts and flooding across the planet that have been linked to human-induced climate change that show even moderate warming can cause global-scale disruption. New research published in August 2018 shows the risks of crossing the 2°C threshold could be more severe than scientists previously realised.  

 

Additional quotes from partners

 

"As a sustainability pioneer in the private-sector, we have been both an advocate of climate action and investing in research and development of climate solutions. We understand the urgency for action. We believe leveraging new technology, such as digitalization and 5G, will be fundamental to reduce carbon emissions by half every decade, meeting the Carbon Law. As a company, we have cut our own emissions by 50% and are working to meet further reduction targets. We have demonstrated solutions that help make it possible and now other companies and policy-makers must join the quest for broader adoption of solutions to enable exponential reduction of carbon emissions globally." Börje Ekholm, CEO, Ericsson

 

"The world has crossed a Rubicon where incremental change is no longer adequate to address climate change. Fortunately, research and innovation have given us what we need – save time – to tackle the climate crisis. This roadmap shows how business, politicians and civic groups can leverage this knowledge to scale up progress exponentially. We've got the knowledge and the tools. And we increasingly, we have the economics behind us. Now we just need the drive to accelerate forward." Amy Luers, Executive Director, Future Earth

 

"The world is at a critical juncture and the stakes could not be higher. Greenhouse gas emissions need to peak by 2020 and then fall dramatically – approximately halving every decade in order to reach the Paris Agreement's terms. The consequences of missing this goal are potentially catastrophic for humanity. Yet all solutions exist to begin halving emissions immediately. Now is the moment to move from incremental to exponential action." Johan Rockström, Stockholm Resilience Centre, co-chair Future Earth, incoming co-director Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

   

Background – The report is a collaboration between Future Earth, the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Mission 2020, WWF, Ericsson, Internet of Planet and supporting partners Telia Company, Project Drawdown, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Fossil-free Sweden, MapLauncher, Swedish Energy Agency and Storythings. It supports the Step Up Declaration being launched at the summit and Entrepreneurs Declaration launched in advance of the summit.

 

The roadmap is based on the Carbon Law - a scientific paper published in 2017 that shows that halving carbon dioxide emissions every decade to 2050 is consistent with the Paris Agreement's aim to keep global average temperatures well below +2°C and aim for +1.5°C. An international team of experts from research, technology, and NGOs synthesised over 60 reports and academic analyses assessing scenarios related to very low greenhouse gas emissions.

 

The full report is available at www.exponentialroadmap.org

 

For further information, contact:

Stefan Henningsson, Senior Advisor Climate, Energy & Innovation, WWF-Sweden stefan.henningsson@wwf.se

Posted: September 13, 2018, 12:00 am
Uppsala city © Ana VeraThe Swedish City of Uppsala was named global winner of WWF's 2018 One Planet City Challenge. This year, 132 cities representing 23 countries participated in the Challenge.

Jakarta, Indonesia was given a special mention for its work in the We Love Cities campaign, which supports participants of the One Planet City Challenge, through citizen engagement.

The Challenge aims to mobilize climate action in cities. Urban populations are expected to increase from 4.2 billion to 6.7 billion by 2050, and already urban residents are responsible for more than 70 percent of global CO2 emissions. Cities were evaluated on their level of ambition and innovation for low carbon development in relation to local circumstances.

Uppsala impressed the jury with its strong, all-around performance in key competition categories. In particular, the jury appreciated Uppsala's sophisticated cross-sector sustainability interventions, as well as its strong leadership in the surrounding region. 

While Uppsala is a small city, the jury felt strongly that it served as a global example of urban sustainability due to its ambitious, innovative, and science-based targets and actions, especially on renewable energy and sustainable mobility. Uppsala is systematic in its approach, collaborating with neighboring municipalities to meet goals. An example is its metro-regional approach to mobility planning. With their goal to cut net community CO2 emissions by 100 percent no later than 2050 – and become climate positive thereafter – Uppsala stands out as a role model for other cities around the world.  The city's investments in transportation infrastructure was thought to be particularly impressive.

Uppsala Deputy Mayor Maria Gardfjell, said: "We are so happy and feel incredible honored to receive this award! For many years we have worked to systematically raise the commitment and awareness level both within the municipality organization and in all of Uppsala. We proudly share this win with dedicated businesses, the universities, environmental associations and the people of Uppsala. They all play an important part in our success."

WWF International Director General Marco Lambertini said: "With Uppsala's impressive investments in transportation infrastructure and their goal to cut net community CO2 emissions by 100 percent by no later than 2050 – and become climate positive thereafter – Uppsala stands out as a role model for other cities around the world. Over half of the world's population lives in cities today, and that number is growing. Uppsala shows the world that cities can take ambitious action with significant positive impact for people and the planet. It is critical and urgent that more cities step and take action, if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change."

ICLEI Secretary General Gino Van Begin said: "One Planet City Challenge cities are applying innovative solutions that set an example for cities across the world. They are committed to driving change as well as to tracking and to improvements. By reporting through the carbonnClimate Registry, they are able to make targeted, effective decisions to quickly advance climate and broader sustainable development goals."  - Gino Van Begin, Secretary General of ICLEI.
 
Notes for Editors:
  1. For a list of national winners, see: www.panda.org/opcc
  2. The One Planet City Challenge jury for 2018 were:
    • Aisa Kacyira, Deputy Executive Director and Assistant Secretary-General, UN-Habitat
    • Alexandre Meira da Rosa, Vice-president for Countries, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
    • Alice Charles, Head of Urban Development and Services, World Economic Forum
    • Aromar Revi, Director, Indian Institute of Human Settlements
    • Cornie Huizenga, former Secretary General, Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT)
    • Dan Hoornweg, Professor and Richard Marceau Research Chair, Faculty of Energy Systems and Engineering, University of Ontario Institute of Technology
    • David Simon, Director, Mistra Urban Futures
    • Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez, Senior Director and Head of Global Practice on Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience, World Bank
    • Gino van Begin, Secretary General, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability
    • Kyra Appleby, Cities Lead, Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)
    • Marion Verles, CEO, Gold Standard
    • Martha Delgado, General Director, Secretariat of the Global Cities Covenant on Climate
    • Qiu Baoxing, Former Vice Minister, Chinese Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development
    • Ramiro Fernandez, Director of Climate Change, Avina
    • Seth Schultz, Director of Research, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group
    • Simon Giles, Managing Director and Industry Lead – Global Cities, Accenture
    • Vijay Padmanabhan, Director, Urban Development and Water, Asian Development Bank (ADB)
    • Wee Kean Fong, Senior Associate, Climate and Energy, World Resources Institute (WRI)
    • Xolisa Ngwadla, Research Lead, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)
  3. WWF worked closely with ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability in mobilizing cities to join the Challenge. ICLEI provided the use of its carbon Climate Registry (cCR) as the reporting platform for the initiative.
  4. The Swedish Postcode Lottery and the Volvo Group are also financial partners in delivering the Challenge.
For further information, contact:  About WWF - 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. The Climate & Energy Practice is WWF's global program addressing climate change, promoting renewable and sustainable energy, scaling up green finance, adaptation, engaging the private sector and working nationally and internationally on implementing low carbon, climate resilient development. www.panda.org/climateandenergy
 
About WWF's One Planet City Challenge - Having engaged over 400 cities to date, WWF's One Planet City Challenge is the largest and longest running challenge of its' kind, aimed at increasing cities' climate efforts to deliver on the Paris Agreement on climate change. www.panda.org/opcc
Posted: September 12, 2018, 12:00 am
Zaineb Malaicha, a farmer from  Chemi Chemi, Lake Naivasha, Kenya © WW213001_Simon_Rawles

 

SAN FRANCISCO (10 September 2018)  – Global leaders from across the private sector, local government and civil society make their way to San Francisco this week to showcase progress, unveil new climate commitments and to launch new platforms to work in partnership across sectors to accelerate implementation.

The Global Climate Action Summit -- the first ever designed exclusively for businesses, sub-national governments, and local leaders -- sets the stage for the greater action needed by 2020 from all actors - from national governments within their national climate action plans, and from even more cities, states, businesses, and local communities around the world.

As  a member of the Summit's Advisory Committee, WWF is coordinating the 30X30 Forest, Food and Land Challenge. The initiative calls on businesses, states, city and local governments, and global citizens to take action for better forest and habitat conservation, food production and consumption, and land use, working together across all sectors of the economy to deliver up to 30% of the climate solutions needed by 2030.

This week, under the banner of 30x30, WWF is working with partners to unveil new efforts and commitments,  such as:

  • science-based targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase sequestration in land-intensive supply chains line in the release;
  • Collaborations between multinational companies and local governments and communities to eliminate deforestation in vital ecosystems;
  • Institutional and chef-led programs to halve food loss and waste by 2030;
  • Major financing to help regional and local governments to promote more sustainable land use and restoration.

WWF and its partners in We Are Still In will unveil new commitments from American businesses, mayors, universities and other US actors on 12 September at the We Are Still In Forum. More details can be shared under embargo upon request. Since its launch in June 2017, We Are Still In has nearly tripled in size to include over 3,500 signatories, collectively representing more than 155 million americans and $9.5 trillion in US GDP.

"For too long, land has been the overlooked piece of the climate solution. When we improve the way we manage our land and improve our food systems, we can help reverse the impact of human-caused climate change and get closer to keeping warming below 1.5oC," said Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF's global climate and energy programme, and Summit advisory committee member. "National governments need to follow the pace set by private sector and local leaders this week, looking for opportunities to enhance the ambition of their national climate plans through improved land stewardship."

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change projects that current commitments made by the private sector and local government have the potential to halve the emissions gap between current trajectories and what is needed to stay below 2°C of planetary warming. In the United States, for example, bottom-up progress can deliver half of what's needed to achieve the country's commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28% below the 2005 level in 2025.

"New targets from business and local leaders are a critical first step but alone they are not enough to transform our transportation, food and energy systems," said Lou Leonard, senior vice president of climate change and energy, WWF-US. "To change our trajectory, this Summit must generate new partnerships and new ways of working. In the US, this model of radical collaboration is working through efforts like the We Are Still In coalition. Together, unusual partners across American society are coming together to implement their goals. We can go further and reach higher by partnering across sectors of the economy to drive change."

In addition to organizing the high-level thematic dialogue on land stewardship on 13 September, WWF is convening a number of events, including:
 

  • We Are Still In Forum12 September, California Academy of Sciences. WWF and partners will be bringing together companies, cities, universities and others from the We Are Still In coalition to roll up their sleeves and find new areas for collaboration. (Register)
  • Forests, Food & Land Day12 September, Herbst Theater. WWF and partners will coordinate a day of TED-style presentations, interactive discussions, and more, from farmers and firefighters on the frontlines of climate change to CEOs and governors fighting it at scale. (Register)
  • Alliances For Climate Action 12 September, 1446 Market. Movements like We Are Still In are emerging in other nations. At this event, representatives of companies, local and subnational governments, academia and civil society from across the world will discuss recently launched alliances in Japan, Mexico. The event will also feature an interactive discussion about countries where these alliances are on way to being created. (Register)
 

For further information, contact:

Melanie Gade (WWF-US)
(303) 881 - 9877  |  melanie.gade@wwfus.org

 

Scott Edwards (WWF-International)
+44 7887 954116 |  E-mail: sedwards@wwfint.org

Posted: September 10, 2018, 12:00 am
EU strategy for long-term GHG emissions reduction © European CommissionThe EU is currently preparing its long-term climate strategy, expected for November 2018. 

This plan will shape forthcoming climate action ambitions up to 2050, and could impact the EU's 2030 climate and energy targets.

This strategy must be ambitious. The EU committed, in the Paris Agreement, to work to keep global warming to 1.5°C, and this plan should outline how this objective will be met.

The EU has opened a 'public consultation' - an online series of questions open to everyone and in all EU languages - on possible policy action.

We, at the WWF European Public Policy response prepared our own reply to the EU's public consultation.

(Please note that for some of our answers are specific to the WWF European Policy Office in Brussels and may not be relavant to all).
 

What can you do?

1. Open the EU public consultation, choose your language and fill in your details.

2. Go to Question 1, and select Answer 3 - 'Achieve already a balance between emissions and removals in the EU by 2050'. 

3. Submit your response. And please do share your action on social media. The more voices, the better!


 
Posted: September 6, 2018, 12:00 am
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