Retirement and Good Living

 Finance, Health, Retirement Locations, Volunteering and more...
Retirement And Good Living  
Follow us on Twitter at RetirementSite


Like us on Facebook at Retirementsite

Climate change news

Share this post/page...FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedInEmail   

The latest climate change news from WWF

Petrochemical plant on Teeside, UK. © WWFBrussels,  11 October 2017
  • EU trilogue negotiations on 12 October could lead to deal on Emissions Trading System reform for 2021-2030, after more than two years of negotiations
  • Carbon price signal has been too low for years due to surplus emissions allowances, despite repeated calls for reform from campaigners, industry and decision-makers
  • ETS free allowances would represent a pollution subsidy to heavy industry of more than €165 billion from 2021 to 2030 - ten times more than what would support clean innovation in that time
Sam Van den plas, senior EU climate policy officer at WWF European Policy Office said:

"The upcoming ETS reform deal will show the world where Europe's priorities lie. Two years after the Paris Agreement, we are on the brink of letting taxpayers fund polluting industry via free allowances and exemptions to the tune of almost € 500 billion up to 2030! Instead, we should use public resources to fund what the public supports. That is, energy savings, renewable energies and clean industrial innovation.

"We have the Paris Agreement behind us, and a series of climate laws to be finalised ahead of us. So, will EU decision-makers join the dots, and help our carbon market finally cut emissions in line with our international commitments?" added Van den plas.

WWF is calling on EU lawmakers to:
  • Align the EU ETS with the Paris Agreement's goal of keeping global warming to well below 2 degrees and working to keep it below 1.5 degrees. In order to achieve this, Europe needs to tackle the vast surplus of ETS emission allowances which undermine future emission reduction efforts.
  • Minimise free allocation of emission allowances. These free allowances represent lost auctioning revenues - which could have been spent on climate action. Taxpayers are providing an unjustifiable subsidy to Europe's largest polluters in the shape of free pollution permits.
  • Exclude coal investments from the ETS funding mechanisms.  WWF supports the European Parliament's proposal regarding a 450gCO2/kWh emission performance standard (that would rule out coal investments from these funds), to increase the overall amount of funding and establish a Just Transition Fund. Increasing  funding while not excluding coal investments is unacceptable.
More information:
The reform of the European Emission Trading System (EU ETS) for the period 2021-2030 is reaching its final stage in the trialogue negotiations between the European Parliament, European Council and European Commission. A final agreement could well be reached on Thursday 12 October. This is the first major EU climate law to be updated and agreed for the period after 2020 as part of the 2030 climate and energy package and Europe's implementation of the Paris Agreement. The EU ETS is one of Europe's key instrument to meeting its commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement, covering 40% of EU greenhouse gas emissions.

Sarah Azau
Senior Communications Officer
WWF European Policy Office
+32 473 573 317
Posted: October 11, 2017, 12:00 am
Improving energy efficiency in houses would save money and help the climate © WWF-Pacific / Sanjay KumarBrussels, Belgium - 11 October 2017

MEPs from across the political spectrum got behind an ambitious revision of the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) this morning. The Energy Committee (ITRE) voted in favour of tighter rules on national plans for decarbonisation of buildings by 2050. It supported using 'trigger points' in the life of a building to speed up renovations. ITRE was voting on a Report by Bendt Bendtsen MEP.

"Pumping costly energy into inefficient buildings is like pouring water into a sieve. Happily, we've seen today that the European Parliament's ITRE committee wants to patch up the holes. It wants to beef up national renovation strategies by adding a clear long-term goal for 2050, and encouraging the renovation of the worst performing buildings," commented Arianna Vitali, Senior Policy Officer for Energy Conservation at WWF European Policy Office.

"This vote is a wake-up call to Member States. Their backward-looking position will appear a long way away from the Parliament's if today's vote is signed-off in plenary later this month. The Parliament's Rapporteur Bendt Bendtsen will need to be strong in the trialogue negotiations in order to make our homes and offices more efficient, healthy and  climate-compatible," Vitali added.

More information:

The ITRE committee also voted today to enter into inter-institutional negotiations with Council. If this is not opposed by plenary on 26 October, Bendt Bendtsen will have the green light to negotiate with Council on the basis of his Report

Trilogue meetings - which are negotiations between European Commission, Parliament, and Council - are scheduled by the Estonian Presidency on 7 November and 5 December. The EU Council will negotiate on the basis of its position, or 'General Approach', which was reached on 26 June. The European Parliament will negotiate on the basis of the Report adopted today in ITRE.

The Estonian Presidency aims to reach a final agreement on the file before the end of this year

Arianna Vitali
Senior Policy Officer for Energy Conservation
WWF European Policy Office 
+32 2 743 88 16

Sarah Azau
Senior Communications Officer
WWF European Policy Office
+32 473 573 317
Posted: October 11, 2017, 12:00 am
Martin Sommerkorn, WWF Arctic Programme © Martin SommerkornWWF's Arctic conservation expert, Martin Sommerkorn, has been selected by the UN's Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to co-author a special report on the Arctic. The panel consists of experts and researchers from all over the world. 

Sommerkorn is humbled and excited by the opportunity. "An in-depth assessment like this hasn't been done before, even though oceans and polar areas are extremely important parts of our climate system and they're already changing dramatically."

"I see my role as a huge opportunity to increase the relevance of this report, not just for policy, but for people in the Arctic and beyond -- we must learn that the polar regions are not far away places, but rather intimately connected to our everyday choices."

Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate is scheduled for release in September 2019. Sommerkorn is one of two coordinating lead authors for the polar sections of the report. 
Posted: September 27, 2017, 12:00 am
France is leading an initiative to create a global pact for the environment. © WWF

NEW YORK (19 September 2017) – As climate change, biodiversity loss and environmental degradation continue to impact the wellbeing of millions worldwide, the Global Pact for the Environment, presented by French President Emmanuel Macron at the UN General Assembly today, should enjoy the support of all world leaders, urges WWF.

The initiative, first announced at a conference in Paris in June, offers a high-level platform to not only maintain the global momentum on climate action but further enhance the world's environmental ambitions.

WWF International Director General Marco Lambertini said: "In the past years, UN member states have made history towards a sustainable future, embracing the Sustainable Development Goals which assert a total interdependency between the environment, society and economy, and committing unequivocally to fight climate change. But now is not the time to be complacent. The science is showing us we need to do more to bend the curves of global warming and nature loss – and fast. WWF urges member states to support the global pact for the environment and take a step forward toward ensuring the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment for all. We need to do more on climate as well as bring the loss of nature higher in the political and development debate. There will be no chance to meet the ambition of the SDGs in a destabilized climate and degraded natural environment."

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF's global Climate & Energy Practice said:"Never was the time more opportune to support a global pact for the environment. We face incontrovertible evidence of the loss of biodiversity, weakening nature's ability to provide the services on which human survival and wellbeing depends. And we need to do this by 2020, when there will be a convergence of milestones associated with important global instruments such as the Aichi biodiversity targets, the Sustainable Development Goals and the global Paris climate agreement, which can become a tipping point for real change. The global pact can and should serve as a platform from which to build a strong collective global vision that aligns each of these global milestones."


For further information, contact Mandy Jean Woods

Posted: September 19, 2017, 12:00 am
Arctic sea ice extent on September 13, 2017. © National Snow and Ice Data Center

As the Arctic's sea ice reaches its annual minimum, the ice extent is yet again well below average - a timely reminder of how much harder we must work to achieve the 1.5C goal set by nearly 200 countries in the global climate Paris Agreement.

Figures from the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre show that sea ice hit a low of 4.64 million square kilometres on September 13, 1.58 million km2 below average. The Arctic has not seen an above average September ice extent in 16 years. This year marks the eighth lowest extent.

Nowhere are the effects of a warming climate being felt faster and deeper than in the Arctic. Even if the world meets the terms of the Paris Agreement, the Arctic is still expected to warm an additional 3° to 5°C, impacting the region's rich biodiversity and the lives of those who depend on it. 

The additional warming is largely due to a feedback loop. As warming water and air melt the Arctic's ice, the newly exposed ocean absorbs even more solar energy in turn. Exposed ocean also means more Arctic shipping, accompanied by black carbon emissions that settle on the ice and absorb even more heat - a runaway reaction that is melting the Arctic as we know it. 

WWF's Arctic Programme Leader Alexander Shestakov said: 
"In August, President Sauli Niinistö of Finland called for reduced emissions, saying '...if we lose the Arctic, we lose the globe. That is reality." Emissions, both of greenhouse gases and black carbon from increased Arctic shipping, are creating a perfect storm in the Arctic. We applaud Finland for its strong vision as the country takes leadership of the Arctic Council, and we urge Arctic states and others to prioritize the reduction of black carbon emissions and further cooperate on achieving Paris targets."

WWF's global Climate & Energy Practice Leader Manuel Pulgar-Vidal said: 
"The continuing trend of sea ice loss in the Arctic shows that the global community has much work to do to meet the 1.5°C target. It is critical we work together to immediately on solutions available now to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions, like scaling up renewable energy deployment, both in the Arctic and around the globe."

About the Paris Agreement

  • The Paris Agreement, approved in December 2015, commits nearly 200 countries to pursue all efforts to limit global temperature increase to 1.5°C to stave off some of the worst impacts of a warming planet.
  • 2016 was the hottest year on record. Last year, annual global average temperature rose to a record 1°C above pre-industrial levels.  
  • Even if we could stop emissions today without damaging the global economy, temperatures will continue to rise by a few tenths of a degree over the coming decades.
  • Limiting warming to a  1.5 C average increase would result in reduced sea level rise, shorter tropical heat waves, and potentially fewer extreme weather events like the devastating rains and floods recently affecting India, the United States, Bangladesh and Nepal.

About the sea ice minimum

  • Arctic sea ice generally reaches its lowest annual extent in September.
  • The minimum extent in 2017 is the 8th lowest recorded since satellite monitoring began in 1979.
  • Following a series of Arctic heat waves this past autumn, NSIDC reported the lowest sea ice extent ever recorded in March.

About WWF

WWF is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with almost five million supporters and a global network active in more than 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.    
Posted: September 19, 2017, 12:00 am
Apparel companies commit to science based targets for their emissions reduction plans. © ShutterstockNEW YORK (September 18) – Six top apparel companies today announced that they are joining the Science Based Targets initiative. Gap Inc., NIKE, Inc., Levi Strauss & Co., GUESS, EILEEN FISHER and VF Corporation committed to set emission reduction targets consistent with global efforts to limit warming to well below 2°C. The new companies join other fashion brands that that have already committed to set science based targets, including H&M, ASICS, Kering, PUMA, Walmart, Inditex, Woolworths Holdings Ltd, Marks and Spencer, and One Jeanswear Company.

More than 300 companies, including 15 from the apparel sector, have committed to set ambitious emissions reduction targets through the Science Based Targets initiative, a partnership between WWF, CDP, WRI and the UN Global Compact. Businesses who commit have two years to develop science-based targets, which are then reviewed by the initiative's team of experts. So far, 72 science based targets meeting the initiative's strict criteria have been approved. The initiative is also one of the We Mean Business coalition commitments.

"By joining the Science Based Targets initiative, these companies are positioning themselves as leaders in the apparel sector," said Cynthia Cummis, WRI's Director of Private Sector Climate Mitigation and member of the Science Based Targets initiative steering committee. "The fashion industry is known for innovation and these companies are using that spirit to tackle climate change. For apparel brands, up to 90 percent of emissions come from the value chain, and companies share many of the same suppliers, so setting ambitious value chain targets will open up a great deal of opportunity for collaboration, innovation and efficiency across the industry."

"Aligning our greenhouse gas reduction goals with Science Based Targets is an important action we can take right now to protect the future of our planet," said Victor Herrero, Chief Executive Officer and Director, Guess?, Inc. "We at GUESS understand the importance and urgency of climate change and therefore strive to set an example that will positively impact the future of fashion."

"We believe that the private sector has a critical role to play in the transition to a low-carbon economy. By joining the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi), we're strengthening our commitment to tackling climate change and working collaboratively, building on the progress we've made in our owned and operated facilities," said Melissa Fifield, Senior Director of Sustainable Innovation at Gap Inc. "We look forward to working with the SBTi to align our future emissions reduction targets with sound climate science."

"Levi Strauss & Co. knows that transitioning to a low-carbon future is vital to the health and well-being of the people who make and wear our iconic products," said Anna Walker, Senior Director, Global Policy and Advocacy, Levi Strauss & Co. "That's why we are committing to set science based targets in reducing our own emissions as well as emissions throughout our value chain. By doing so, LS&Co. and our communities will continue to thrive for the next 160 years and beyond."

In addition to reducing emissions from their operations, companies that join the Science Based Targets initiative are required to set ambitious "scope 3" value chain targets when these emissions are significant. This is important because to date, most apparel companies have not been measuring and managing emissions upstream and downstream of their operations, where most of their emissions lie.

Quantis, a company that specializes in environmental sustainability services and solutions, is working with ClimateWorks to develop a more comprehensive view of the apparel industry's footprint. A preliminary estimate, based on apparel production volumes and calculated with emission factors from Quantis' World Apparel and Footwear Lifecycle Database, shows that the greenhouse gas emissions of the global apparel sector may amount to a significant 5 percent of total emissions. This is comparable in impact to the total emissions of the aviation sector or to the total greenhouse gas emissions of Russia.

So far, two fashion companies have approved targets:
  • Kering, French luxury goods company and owner of Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga and other lines, commits to reduce emissions from upstream transportation and distribution, business air travel, and fuel and energy use by 50 percent per unit of value added by 2025, from a 2015 base-year. In addition, the company commits to curb emissions from purchased goods and services by 40 percent per unit of value added within the same timeframe.
  • Marks & Spencer, the British multinational retailer, commits to reduce absolute emissions from operations 80 percent by 2030, and has a longer term vision to achieve 90 percent absolute emissions reductions by 2035, from a 2007 base-year. In addition, the company commits to reduce value chain emissions by 13.3 megatonnes of CO2. between 2017 and 2030.
Setting science based targets is an opportunity for apparel sector companies to ensure they are doing their part to protect consumers and supply chains from the consequences of climate change. For example, scientists fear climate change could cut the global cotton supply by 30-45 percent by the end of the century.
The Science Based Targets initiative is currently working with the apparel sector to develop sector-specific guidance for setting science-based targets. The guidance aims to create clarity and consistency for the sector and reduce barriers for apparel companies seeking to set science-based targets.
The Science Based Targets initiative champions science-based target setting as a powerful way of boosting companies' competitive advantage in the transition to the low-carbon economy. The initiative defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting, offers resources and guidance to reduce barriers to adoption, and independently assesses and approves companies' targets. It is a partnership between WWF, CDP, WRI and the UN Global Compact, and one of the We Mean Business coalition commitments.

For more information and interviews contact: Mandy Jean Woods 
Posted: September 18, 2017, 12:00 am
Progressive companies are setting science based emission reduction targets. © DollarPhotoClubNEW YORK (September 18, 2017)–More than 300 global companies have now committed to set emissions reduction targets through the Science Based Targets initiative. This year, more than 90 new companies have joined, demonstrating that the private sector is committed to aligning their efforts to tackle climate change with the Paris Agreement's goal to limit global warming to well below 2°C.

Ahead of Climate Week, a surge of top apparel companies are announcing their commitment to set science-based targets, including Gap Inc., NIKE, Inc., Levi Strauss & Co., GUESS, EILEEN FISHER and VF Corporation. Upwards of 90 percent of apparel brands' emissions are from the value chain. Since apparel companies share many of the same suppliers, taking steps to reduce supply chain emissions can improve collaboration and create efficiencies across the industry.

Other new companies committed to set science-based targets include Cummins, Epsom, Mahindra Sanyo, Merck, CVS Health, Olam, Telefónica,  Veolia Environnement, Wyndham Worldwide Corporation and more. Companies that have joined the Science Based Targets initiative to date represent an estimated USD $6.5 trillion in market value, roughly equal to the NASDAQ stock exchange, and are responsible for 750 million metric tonnes of CO2. emissions per year, comparable to 158 million cars being driven for one year. The companies span 35 countries and represent a wide range of sectors including manufacturing, power, retail, consumer goods, technology, chemicals, apparel, hospitality and banking.

Lila Karbassi, Chief, Programmes, UN Global Compact, one of the Science Based Targets initiative partners said: "As more and more companies see the advantages of setting science-based targets, the transition towards a low-carbon economy is becoming a reality. Businesses now working towards ambitious targets are seeing benefits like increased innovation, cost savings, improved investor confidence and reduced regulatory uncertainty. This is becoming the new 'normal' in the business world, proving that a low-carbon economy is not only vital for consumers and the planet, but also for future-proofing growth."  

So far, 50 U.S. companies have committed to set science-based targets, which is more than any other country. This demonstrates that the American business community is stepping up to drive climate action forward and confront the global challenge of climate change. U.S. companies participating in the Science Based Targets initiative represent USD $2 trillion in market value and are responsible for 166 million metric tons of CO2 emissions per year. Mars, which is headquartered in McLean, Virginia, last week had its target approved by the initiative.

"Mars is very pleased to have our Sustainable in a Generation Plan targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, which we believe sets a new standard for responsible business growth," said Kevin Rabinovitch, Global Sustainability Director, Mars. "We are using science to set long-term absolute greenhouse gas targets covering our entire value chain and look forward to others joining us."

The Science Based Targets initiative is a partnership between WWF, CDP, WRI, and the UN Global Compact. Businesses who commit have two years to develop science-based targets, which are then closely reviewed by the initiative's team of experts. Only targets that meet strict criteria are approved. Importantly, companies setting science-based targets must seek to not only reduce emissions in their own operations, but also within their value chains, which can move entire industries toward more efficient and greener supply chains. The initiative is also one of the We Mean Business coalition commitments.

As of today, a total of 72 science-based targets have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, including 41 this year. Companies that have recently received approval on their science-based targets include Adobe, Colgate-Palmolive, CVS Health, Eneco, Givaudan, HP Inc., Kering, Kirin Holdings, Marks & Spencer, Mars, Nestlé, Tesco and more.

"Addressing issues like climate change and the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon future takes collaboration across our supply chain and with our industry peers," said Eileen Howard Boone, Senior Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy, CVS Health. "Our commitment to developing science-based emissions reduction targets demonstrates our ongoing responsible growth strategy and the measurable actions we are taking to reduce our environmental impacts."

For more information visit:
The Science Based Targets initiative champions science-based target setting as a powerful way of boosting companies' competitive advantage in the transition to the low-carbon economy. The initiative defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting, offers resources and guidance to reduce barriers to adoption, and independently assesses and approves companies' targets. It is a partnership between WWF, CDP, WRI and the UN Global Compact, and one of the We Mean Business coalition commitments.
Contact : Mandy Jean Woods
Posted: September 18, 2017, 12:00 am
Sail boats in the Baltic Sea © Juhani Väihkönen/WWF FinlandIn his State of the Union address delivered to the European Parliament today, President Juncker pushed for a more democratic Europe, highlighted the importance of social standards and paid lip-service to climate action. However, he failed to recognise the urgent need for the European Union to rebuild itself on the basis of what matters most to European citizens: the wellbeing of its people, and the health of its environment.

"The wind is indeed back in our sails and President Juncker made a welcome push for a more democratic Europe today. However, he missed the opportunity to reset our Union on a path to a genuine sustainable future. He sidelined key European values by failing to properly address the urgent need for greater environmental protection, and by avoiding any mention of the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda," said Geneviève Pons, Director of WWF European Policy Office.

"We are concerned about President Juncker's apparent reluctance to tackle some of the most pressing and interlinked challenges facing Europe and the world today, such as climate change and environmental degradation. President Juncker should take his responsibility seriously and redefine Europe's global leadership role on climate action, while driving forward the energy transition domestically."

"Poll after poll confirms that climate change and the environment remain the top global concerns for Europeans and especially young people, most recently in the 'Global Shapers Survey' published by the World Economic Forum. These findings need to be taken seriously if we are to inspire a new generation of citizens to continue collaborating at a European level and guarantee a sustainable future for Europe," she concluded.

At the end of June, more than 250 non-governmental organisations from across Europe released their vision for a more democratic, just and sustainable Europe, as an alternative to the five scenarios proposed by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in March 2017.
Posted: September 13, 2017, 12:00 am
Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC © IPCC Reporting ServiceBERLIN, Germany (11 September 2017) - The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has approved the outlines of its Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) at a meeting in Montreal this week.
Dr Stephen Cornelius, Chief Adviser on Climate Change at WWF-UK said: "IPCC Assessment Reports are the authoritative source of information on climate change. The wide-ranging reports cover all aspects of climate change – from the physical science, to impacts, adaptation and vulnerability, and mitigation.
"With flooding, hurricanes and other extreme weather causing devastating impacts on people and ecosystems, an important section of the report will be the science of attributing extreme events to a changing climate.
"The reports will look at climate impacts already being felt as well as projections as the climate changes in the future. It is global in scope, covering land and ocean from the equator to the Poles. It importantly recognizes nature including looking impacts of climate change on species, ecosystems and biodiversity."
Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF's global Climate & Energy Practice, said: "The IPCC Assessment Reports contribute enormously to our understanding of the science of climate change. Their Sixth Assessment Report will come at a time the world is grappling with widespread climate impacts. How we better understand the science will help us to find solutions to keeping warming to below the 1.5°C set out in the global climate Paris Agreement."
Notes for editors:
  • The IPCC is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change.
  • The 46th Session of the Panel was held in Montreal, Canada, 6-10 September 2017.  Here, the three IPCC Working Group contributions to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) and the broad outline of the Synthesis Report were agreed.
  • The IPCC's Sixth Assessment Report will be released in 2021 – 2022.  
 For further information, contact Mandy Jean Woods  
Posted: September 10, 2017, 12:00 am
The securest, cleanest energy is the energy we don't use © iStock

The European Parliament's Environment Committee today adopted a forward-looking Opinion on the revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive, considerably improving the European Commission's proposal.

MEPs included a 40% binding energy efficiency target for 2030, while the Commission had proposed 30%. They also removed some loopholes that would undermine the directive's mandatory 1.5% annual cut in energy consumption.

"It's a bright day for energy efficiency. The Environment Committee has lived up to its name - its proposed 40% target would further reduce greenhouse gas emissions, moving us towards our Paris climate goals. Moreover, better energy efficiency is good for people's health, wallets, and the economy", commented Arianna Vitali, senior policy officer for energy conservation at WWF European Policy Office.

"MEPs on the Industry and Energy Committee must follow the strong lead given today when they vote on their report in November", added Vitali.

More information:

Today the Environment Committee of the European Parliament voted and adopted its 'Opinion' on the Energy Efficiency Directive. They included a 40% binding target. They also removed some of the 'loopholes' which undermined the annual energy savings obligation (Article 7 of the directive) - for example, the fact that energy used by transport was excluded from the calculation of the annual 1.5% energy savings goal.

This Opinion must now be taken into account by the lead committee on the directive, the Industry, Transport and Energy Committee (ITRE). ITRE will vote and adopt its report on 27-28 November. The final report then goes to a plenary vote before the full European Parliament.

Arianna Vitali
Senior Policy Officer for Energy Conservation
WWF European Policy Office 
+32 2 743 88 16

Sarah Azau
Senior Communications Officer
WWF European Policy Office
+32 473 573 317
Posted: September 7, 2017, 12:00 am
Please subscribe to our newsletter for the latest posts, news and more
About  · Blog  · Contact Us  · Terms of Service

copyright © 2016 by MSI - powered by WordPress