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The latest climate change news from WWF

climate change © pexelsThis Monday 18 February, Finance Ministers of EU Member states will meet in Brussels to discuss the European Commission's strategic long-term vision for a climate neutral economy – A Clean Planet for all.

The massive economic and social costs of failing to implement deep systemic changes to combat the rising global temperatures has been well documented, especially in recent months. Beyond the costs of inaction, the necessary move to a net-zero carbon economy brings massive benefits and opportunities: An opportunity to strengthen and safeguard Europe's industrial competitiveness, provided the right framework conditions are in place - which is what Ministers should agree to do in Monday's Council meeting.

Imke Lübbeke, Head of Climate & Energy, WWF European Policy Office said of Monday's discussions:

"Now is the time for policy-makers to create a regulatory framework to tap into the economic benefits of the energy transition - and to avoid the skyrocketing economic and environmental costs of climate inaction".

The solutions and opportunities are there. For example, 1.2 to 3 million jobs could be created across Europe if resource-efficient business models were adopted on a large scale [1].  

WWF is calling upon Finance ministers to:

1.      Endorse the European Commission's strategic long-term vision for a climate neutral economy and support an EU long-term climate target to net-zero GHG emissions by 2040.
2.      Urge the European Commission to present a new and integrated EU industrial climate strategy for energy-intensive industries in support of a competitive, circular and net-zero emission heavy industry transition;
3.      Recognise the immediate need to provide a policy framework which supports and incentivises the full decarbonisation and transformation of resource and energy-intensive industry sectors before 2050;

"Acting now is crucial, since for most energy-intensive companies, 2050 is just one investment cycle away from today," said Lübbeke. "The EU's industrial and climate strategies need to be aligned to move towards a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions economy."


---------
Notes to editors:
[1] http://www.rebus.eu.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Extrapolating-resource-efficient-business-models-across-Europe.pdf

Contact:
Alexandra Chevalier
Senior Communications Officer
WWF European Policy Office
achevalier@wwf.eu
 
 
Posted: February 15, 2019, 12:00 am
The new assessment framework for the One Planet City Challenge (OPCC) is based on data from the UN climate panel – the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In the 2019 OPCC, participating cities will compare their current emissions with the emission reductions necessary to reach the 1.5 °C target in a tailor-made analysis. This will establish the ambition levels required, taking into account each city's level of development. Further, local governments that join the OPCC will receive guidance to big-win climate impact reductions actions, and advice on how best to adapt to the anticipated impacts of climate change.
 
The methodology we use is unique and overseen by international experts. WWF supports cities at no cost with a powerful tool to give clear feedback. This is important not just for decision makers, but also for engaged citizens rising across the world. The Challenge concludes in 2020 with an international expert jury nominating national winners. From those cities, the jury will choose a global winner – with the most compatible action plan aligned to 1.5 °C.
 
As the home of 55% of global population, expected to increase to 66% by 2050, cities are already responsible for more than 70% of global CO2 emissions.  To quote former UN Vice Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, "The battle for sustainability will be won or lost in cities". It is therefore essential that cities act to both combat and deal with climate change. Leading cities have an important role to play in showing the way. By demonstrating how climate action is done, these cities can have a major influence. WWF wants to work with these cities to help them make the most effective choices and to spread their learning to other cities.
 
FACTS
About limiting global warming to 1.5 °C from the IPCC Special Report:
  • Global emissions must halve by 2030 if the Paris Agreement goals are to be reached.
  • It costs less to act now than later.
  • Every year we do not act, delays achievement of the 1.5 °C goal by 2 years. 
  • Exceeding 1.5 °C would lead us to a highly uncertain future where many natural and human systems will be stretched beyond their capacity to adapt.
  • There is limited scientific knowledge and no institutional or governance experience of a world warmer than 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.
About the One Planet City Challenge
WWF's One Planet City Challenge began in 2011 and is the world's largest and longest-running challenge of its kind. The assessment criteria, which integrate data from the IPCC, is new for 2019. So far, more than 400 global cities have taken on the Challenge. These have already reported over 5,700 actions with an accumulated potential for emission reductions of 3.9 Gt CO2e. This year the OPCC will be run in circa 30 countries, covering half the global population. 
 
Past global winners of the One Planet City Challenge inlcude: Uppsala, Sweden (2018), Paris, France (2016), Seoul, South Korea (2015), Cape Town, South Africa (2014) and Vancouver, Canada (2013).
 
 
For more information about WWF's One Planet City Challenge:
panda.org/opcc 
 
Contact:
Jennifer Lenhart, global lead and expert,
One Planet City Challenge, WWF Sweden. Mobil+56 9 4152 0824,
email: jennifer.lenhart@wwf.se
 
WWF press: victoria.olausson@wwf.se , +46-707-387618
Posted: February 12, 2019, 12:00 am
UN SDG © UN SDGBrussels, 30 January 2019 - Today, the European Commission published its long-awaited reflection paper "Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030", which outlines its strategy for delivering on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including on the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. This paper is a welcome recognition that EU needs to considerably step up its efforts to fully live up to its international commitments and that in doing so it will bring a wealth of benefits for Europe and its citizens.

The paper is a clear acknowledgement that Europe's disproportional consumption of the world's resources pushes the planet's boundaries to its limits and that this cannot continue if we want to ensure wellbeing for all within the limits of the planet.

"People and planet cannot wait – we must start the transition to sustainable development right now. All across Europe, this transition is already happening at grassroots level, and now is the time for the EU to lead on scaling it up" said Ester Asin, Director of WWF European Policy Office, and a member of the European Commission's High Level Expert Panel on SDGs. "We now need concrete actions to translate SDGs into EU policies and assign clear responsibility for delivery within EU structures. Part of the plan should include reducing EU's considerable environmental footprint because at its current rate, EU consumption is bleeding our planet dry."

SDG implementation at EU level must be a key priority strategic objective of the Council and the new Commission. This also includes a comprehensive strategy and continued mainstreaming of climate and biodiversity through all EU policy areas to improve policy coherence. EU leaders have already called for a clear strategy for implementing the SDGs, so they must now endorse this option in their deliberations on what kind of Europe we want to see in the future.

Contact:
Angelika Pullen
Communications Director
apullen@wwf.eu 
 
Posted: January 30, 2019, 12:00 am
wwf © wwf

Katowice, Poland (15 December 2018) – As the UN climate talks conclude, WWF welcomes progress in adopting a rulebook to operationalize the Paris Agreement and a signal from the COP on raising ambition, but remains deeply concerned that countries have yet to show the level of climate ambition needed to tackle the climate emergency.

 

"World leaders arrived in Katowice with the task of responding to the latest climate science which made clear that we only have 12 years to cut emissions in half and prevent catastrophic global warming. They've made important progress, but what we've seen in Poland reveals a fundamental lack of understanding by some countries of our current crisis. Luckily, the Paris Agreement is proving to be resilient to the storms of global geopolitics. Now we need all countries to commit to raising climate ambition before 2020, because everyone's future is at stake," said Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Leader of WWF's Climate and Energy Practice.

 

This year's talks send a signal for countries to increase their climate targets by 2020 as a response to the latest climate science, delivered by the IPCC's Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5℃. Key developed and developing nations have rallied in support of accelerating global efforts toward securing a climate safe future. The COP outcome highlights the high-level UN Secretary General climate summit planned for 23 September 2019 as a key opportunity for leaders to respond to COP24's call for greater ambition by announcing or committing to updated and more ambitious national climate targets by 2020.

 

"This conference has placed a direct responsibility on leaders to arrive at September's climate summit with improved climate targets or a commitment to deliver them by 2020. Anything less is a failure in political and moral leadership," added Pulgar-Vidal.

 

This round of talks generated a working rulebook to operationalize the Paris Agreement, but critical gaps remain and will need to be addressed in future climate negotiations. A common set of rules governing the transparency and accounting on countries' climate progress did make it across the finish line, providing some flexibility for developing countries.  

 

The outcome of these talks conclude with little clarity on how to account for the climate finance provided by developed countries to developing countries, how the $100 billion goal by 2020 will be met, or how the overall finance target for post-2025 will be agreed.

 

Questions about which countries would emerge as climate champions this conference were answered on Wednesday night with the reemergence of a "High Ambition Coalition." The group that came together in Poland included the Marshall Islands, Fiji, Ethiopia, EU, Norway, UK, Canada, Germany,  New Zealand and Mexico, pledging to enhance their national climate plans before 2020 and increase both short and long term action.

 

Commenting on the leadership of vulnerable island nations at COP24, Fernanda Carvalho, Global Policy Manager, WWF Climate and Energy Practice, said:

 

"Climate change is already impacting people and nature. In leading by example and urging developed nations to do more, the world's most vulnerable nations have made it clear that we have no time to waste. WWF welcomes initiatives such as the High Ambition Coalition and the Talanoa Call for Action."

 

The 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP25) to the UNFCCC will take place in Chile in November, 2019, with the Pre-COP being held in Costa Rica.

 

---ends---



 

For further information:

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

 

About WWF

WWF is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries.  WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.  panda.org/news for latest news and media resources

 
Posted: December 15, 2018, 12:00 am
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
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