The latest climate change news from WWF

(24 June 2022) - In the face of mounting global crises, the G7 leaders must show bold climate leadership at its meeting starting on Sunday. The G7 is a grouping of countries representing the world’s seven most advanced economies - Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. The meeting will take place from 26 to 28 June, under the leadership of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. In this pivotal moment, as the world grapples with possibly the worst energy crisis ever, it is deeply concerning that the world’s richest economies are responding by focusing only on their energy security, deepening fossil fuel commitments and infrastructure. Viviane Raddatz, Director Climate & Energy Policy, WWF Germany said: “G7 countries must prioritize accelerating renewables and energy efficiency over fossil fuel supply diversification as they seek to secure energy security. The temptation and pressure to find quick solutions could see Germany, and other governments, further deepening their long-term dependence on fossil fuel infrastructure, subsidies and commitments. “It has never been more critical for the G7 countries, led by Germany this year, to show climate leadership in the face of daunting global disruption and disorder. These disruptions will only increase if we do not tackle the climate crisis head on. This is not the time to retreat into the old fossil fuel ways.” Raddatz said the G7 must implement their commitment to end all international public fossil fuel finance by the end of this year, and scale up finance urgently needed to support developing countries in their transition to a clean and sustainable energy future. “It is the time for bold leadership that accelerates the energy transition to a sustainable future, and the G7 must show the way. We have no other choice,” she said. In a letter sent to Chancellor Scholz earlier, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF global climate and energy lead, called on Germany to ensure that G7 energy security concerns are addressed with increased focus on renewables and energy efficiency, rather than short-sighted support for fossil fuels. Pulgar-Vidal said volatility in energy prices disproportionally affects vulnerable countries. “The climate crisis demands urgent and effective global responses more than ever. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report reminds us that to avoid the most devastating climate change impacts, deep cuts in emissions are needed immediately. The science is clear: every tenth of a degree counts, and time is ever more of the essence.” Without immediate and deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in all sectors and regions going beyond current Nationally Determined Commitments (NDCs), the temperature goal of the global Paris climate accord cannot be met. “We also risk passing critical tipping points in the climate system that could trigger catastrophic runaway climate change.” This already does and will continue to affect the lives and livelihoods of the most vulnerable communities more than anyone else, he noted. The G7 must bind their climate commitments, including their clean and sustainable energy strategies, by resubmitting stronger NDCs that include or strengthen sectoral targets, other greenhouse gases like methane, or stringent implementation measures. All these energy and NDC commitments must be reinforced in the G7 Leaders Communiqué, if they are to be credible about their climate leadership in this time of energy and climate crises. Notes for Editors: A recently published WWF report, G7 Climate Crossroads: State of Play, takes stock of emissions trajectories, climate policies and complementary policies in G7 countries, and summarizes policies to enable just energy transitions, protect consumers against energy poverty, establish climate finance commitments and energy partnerships to facilitate energy transitions in other countries as well as makes proposals to introduce carbon border adjustment mechanisms. For further information, contact: Mandy Jean Woods mwoods@wwfint.org
Posted: June 24, 2022, 12:00 am
(BONN) 16 June 2022 - Stubborn blocking of progress on loss and damage, and financing shortfalls across the board from wealthy countries in the UN climate talks in Bonn, held up climate action desperately needed to tackle the climate crisis. This again highlights the disconnect between what is said and done in negotiations, and what is happening and needs to happen on the ground. The Bonn meetings kicked off a new phase of negotiations post-Glasgow COP26, with an increased focus on implementation. Parties are designing processes and agendas, and getting options and proposals on the table for discussion now, said Mark Lutes, WWF Head of Delegation. “Parties advanced work on a wide range of complex and difficult items. We did not expect concrete outcomes at this stage. But it is already clear that the general lack of a sense of urgency, and the perennial conflicts and fault lines between Parties, threaten the rapid progress we need this year and this decade. Process must lead to action, and urgency must be at the centre of all actions and processes. “Broken promises and unfulfilled commitments on climate finance and action by rich countries stand in the way of progress for all. Countries are falling back into old habits of holding one issue hostage to further another issue dear to them. So when some countries block progress on loss and damage finance and respond to increasing impacts of climate change, others block progress on mitigation. “As a consequence, developing countries are deeply concerned that the burden of fighting climate change is increasingly being pushed onto them, without sufficient financial and other support, while many of them are also bearing the brunt of the impacts the world is already feeling,” said Lutes. Politicians will have to show more political will to advance the implementation of their climate commitments, and opportunities are on the horizon with upcoming global political meetings at the G7 Summit, the Petersberg Climate Dialogue, the G20 Summit and at COP27. Viviane Raddatz, Director Climate & Energy Policy, WWF Germany said: “Instead of closing it, the ambition gap looms over us. Meanwhile, the climate crisis is worsening. The Bonn intersessional negotiations showed that much remains to be done to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C. Parties must finally live up to the urgency of the situation. Mitigation action and ambition enhancement must be expedited, this must be reflected in the climate negotiations. Pressure is now on Germany: it must use its G7 Presidency and the summit in June as well as the Petersberg Climate Dialogue in July to put these issues higher on the agenda and also build trust by raising its finance commitments before COP27.” Notes for Editors: Read the WWF COP27 Expectations Paper. All WWF reports, statements, issue papers and briefing notes will be published on our COP27 webpage at www.panda.org/cop27 Contact: WWF International Media Team - news@wwfint.org
Posted: June 16, 2022, 12:00 am
We are at a defining moment when it comes to addressing climate change. The risks of global warming and nature loss are quickly becoming overwhelming as our planet is facing multiple crises. The sad reality is that even if we stopped all emissions today, it would still take hundreds of years for our climate to regulate and start to cool. This is due to the amount of carbon and other greenhouse gasses already in our atmosphere. If we truly want to stop catastrophic climate change, then we need to reduce our emissions, draw down emissions already in the atmosphereand speed up the transition to a low-carbon future. Companies need to go beyond reductions and emissions to restore our climate. WWF’s Beyond Net-Zero guidance highlights what actions companies can take to truly help tackle the climate crisis. In addition to an easy to understand action list, the guidance includes the metrics, practical advice, and best practices to help companies go beyond. The 7 actions A corporate climate leader should strive to maximize its contribution to limiting global temperature increase to 1.5°C. This is done by halving emissions by 2030 and achieving net-zero by 2050 at the latest, as well as financing and supporting additional climate and nature solutions, engaging responsibly and actively in climate policy, collaborating with other companies and stakeholders, and enabling and inspiring customers. The seven actions that are expected from a corporate climate leader are: Account and disclose consistently and transparently according to best available practices and against all commitments. Set climate targets in line with 1.5°C according to the SBTi near-term and Net-Zero criteria. Reduce value chain emission (scope 1-3) in line with the 1.5°C trajectory. Finance and support climate and nature solutions across and beyond the value chain. Engage responsibly and actively in climate policy in line with 1.5°C and ensure internal and external corporate policy alignment. Collaborate with value chain partners, peers, employees, and other key stakeholders. Enable and inspire customers through sustainable products and services, education and campaigns, and transparent and accessible information. Why do we need this? Every day we hear new announcements and ambitions from companies in their efforts to become more sustainable. Not all of these are credible or are in line with the approaches and understanding we have to tackle climate change. With Beyond Net-Zero, WWF is creating a best practice approach to ensure action is in line with science and supports the needed societal shifts to achieve a 1.5°C future. Some companies try to reduce their impact by offsetting their emissions without tackling the underlying problems. But this is not good practice. We cannot offset our way out of a climate emergency. Companies need to make those drastic emissions cuts and restore and protect nature – the best strategy is to limit your impacts and emissions by as much as you possibly can before looking into alternative solutions. What is next? To ensure best practice, these topics will need continued development so that companies can go from the ambition phase of their reduction strategies to concrete and credible action plans in line with the latest science. Our long-term vision of Beyond Net-Zero is to provide more practical guidance to companies and collect and share best-practice examples and solutions. Our Partners We worked with H&M and IKEA to help develop this guidance. They are part of a small but growing group of companies that have clearly understood the science, the benefits of cutting emissions and the risks of inaction. To find out more about the Beyond Net-Zero guidance, please contact: Milan Kooijman (milan.kooijman@wwf.se) and Seán Mallon (smallon@wwf.org.uk).
Posted: April 27, 2022, 12:01 am
Last month, the world took a decisive step towards ending the scourge of discarded plastic. In Nairobi, leaders of 175 countries agreed to work towards an “international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution”. The news is hugely welcome. But, as negotiators begin the two-year process of drawing up a draft agreement, they must now ensure the climate impacts of the production, consumption and disposal of plastics are front and centre of the resulting treaty. Images of marine life choking on discarded plastic have galvanized public opinion around the world. Plastic pollution can now be found in the most remote parts of the world. Microplastics are having as-yet unknown impacts on the health of people and wildlife alike. All these make action urgent and popular. But what is less well understood among the public is the contribution that the plastics industry makes to the climate crisis. At present, plastics production accounts for around 6% of global oil production. This figure is set to rise to 20% by 2050 as we decarbonize other carbon-intensive parts of the global economy. That’s because energy-intensive processes see a considerable proportion of these fossil fuels emitted during plastic production. Plastics also contribute to carbon emissions once they are disposed of. Across much of the developing world, plastic waste is burnt, producing toxic air pollution as well as releasing methane and ethylene – both potent warming gases. Similarly, these gases are emitted when plastic is broken down by sunlight, whether on land or in water. This means that the global plastics lifecycle results in enormous volumes of greenhouse gas emissions. In 2019, production and incineration of plastics added an estimated 850 million metric tons of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, equal to the emissions from nearly 200 coal-fired power plants. By 2050, these emissions are forecast to account for 15% of total emissions. In addition, there are growing concerns that microplastics could be degrading the ability of ocean ecosystems to absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. Scientists believe that microplastics could affect the growth of phytoplankton and their ability to photosynthesize, undermining a critical carbon sink. It is clear, then, that addressing the contribution of plastics to climate change must be a central element of the plastic pollution treaty that emerges from the UN’s two-year negotiating process. Doing otherwise will make it much harder to keep 1.5℃ within reach. But there will be powerful forces arrayed against any international effort to address the climate impact of plastics production. Indeed, as the world moves to electrify transport, plastics will replace petrol and diesel as the key driver of future demand for oil. The oil and gas sector, facing demand destruction in its traditional markets, is investing heavily in plastics and other petrochemicals. An estimated $400 billion of global investment into additional plastics production capacity is at risk of ‘stranding’ – losing its economic value before the end of its life. That would be the case if there is an ambitious agreement on plastics, according to As You Sow. Oil companies will lobby vigorously against this outcome. Governments and civil society, then, must ensure that, over the next two years, the contribution of plastics to climate change must be a key consideration for negotiators. A failure to do so could risk putting the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature threshold beyond reach.
Posted: April 5, 2022, 12:00 am
Earlier this week, as the annual climate talks wound up in Glasgow, on the other side of the world, recognition was given to leading actors in the environmental movement for their contributions to the preservation of the global environment in a moving ceremony in Kyoto, Japan. Among this year’s three inductees in the Earth Hall of Fame Kyoto, are Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF Global Climate & Energy Lead. He was nominated alongside Kristine Tompkins (former CEO Patagonia Inc) and Tsuchiya Haruki (President of Kyoto Eco Energy Institute). Responding to the award, Pulgar-Vidal said: "This award is an emotional milestone for me. After many decades of working in environmental issues, wearenow in a time when we are not really appreciating what we have. The world has aligned around acollective vision, and there is no doubt that we must keep global temperature rise to a maximum of 1.5C, have to have net-zero and resilient economy by 2050, and halve global emissions by 2030. This clarity ofvision, and your recognition to be part of the Earth Hall of Fame Kyoto, gives me renewedvitality, moreenergy, and it will encourage me to redouble my efforts to tackle theclimate crisis, throughaction. Friends,of Japan, students, ladies and gentlemen, let’s continue to worktogether. Let’s make thisplanet a betterplace to live. We can’t give up." The Earth Hall of Fame Kyoto was founded in 2010 to commend those who have made great contributions worldwide to preservation of the global environment. Previous inductees include Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland; the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (established by the UN, World Meteorological Organization and UN Environment Programme to provide scientific information on climate change to the UN Convention on Climate Change), and Christina Figueres, former executive director of UN Climate Change. Pulgar-Vidal’s citation states, “When he was Minister of the Environment for Peru, as chairman of COP20, he stated that non-state actors should be involved in international negotiations and laid the foundation for the big swell of activities of non-state actors in present climate change countermeasures, and greatly contributed to the subsequent development of international negotiations on environmental conservation.” For further information, contact Mandy Jean Woods mwoods@wwfint.org
Posted: November 19, 2021, 12:00 am
In the wake of increased interest and pledges from both the public and private sectors to scale nature-based solutions, WWF has released a new report with guidance on implementing high-impact and high-quality nature-based solutions for climate mitigation. A Blueprint for High-Quality Interventions that Work for People, Nature and Climate, serves as a companion to WWF’s existing Blueprint for Corporate Action on Climate and Nature. This corporate climate mitigation blueprint, published in December 2020, describes the process for businesses to set and implement science-based targets compatible with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5℃ before making financial commitments that aim to impact climate and nature. After prioritizing internal emissions reductions first, funders can turn to nature-based investments and use the new blueprint to help direct their search for high-quality interventions for climate mitigation. The new blueprint focuses on forests, including mangroves. Many of the same guidelines and considerations can also apply to nature-based solutions for climate mitigation deriving from other ecosystems, such as marine environments, grasslands and agricultural lands. “When implemented effectively, nature-based solutions for climate mitigation can help reduce vulnerability, build resilience, and enhance rural livelihoods and the valuing of forests and other critical ecosystems,” said Josefina Braña Varela, vice president for forests and forest climate solutions lead at WWF-US. “This blueprint emphasizes that we must put people at the center. This includes providing the conditions for the full participation of Indigenous peoples and local communities and demonstrating the diverse benefits of these interventions in a measurable way.” To produce impact at the scale required to meet global climate objectives, unprecedented, deliberate and targeted investment is needed. Funders should prioritize the highest-quality interventions that equally benefit people, nature and the climate. With this in mind, the blueprint recommends the following set of guidelines to identify high-quality interventions: By design, nature-based solutions for climate mitigation should simultaneously prioritize improvements to livelihoods and human well-being, the protection and enhancement of nature, and the generation of carbon reductions or removals. Interventions should be implemented at a significant scale or clearly support an integrated landscape or jurisdictional strategy or program. Funders should not make carbon credits a first priority when looking to maximize interventions’ impacts. Funders should seek out best-in-class interventions that ensure quality, transparency, and equitable benefit sharing. “WWF welcomes the rapidly growing commitment to nature-based solutions, which harness the power of nature to protect, restore, and sustainably manage ecosystems to address society’s challenges and promote human well-being,” said Vanessa Pérez-Cirera, WWF’s global deputy leader of climate and energy. “It’s essential, however, to ensure that nature-based solutions for climate mitigation deliver real, meaningful and measurable benefits for people, nature and the climate and do so increasingly at subnational to national scales as envisioned in the Paris Agreement and recommended in our blueprint.” NEW! The Blueprint is now also available in French and Spanish.
Posted: November 10, 2021, 8:00 am
GLASGOW (8 November 2021) - After a week of headline-grabbing announcements, and some advances in the negotiations, there is a glimmer of optimism that some key issues could be agreed this week. But the good intentions on climate action must be backed by results in the negotiations and short-term actions. Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF Global Lead Climate and Energy, and COP20 President, said; “Specificity on key commitments is needed to boost the credibility of the COP discussions. This past Saturday, a record number of people marched through Glasgow demanding action, not words from leaders. Unless they hook promises into short-term action and make real progress in the negotiations, they will face a credibility crisis.” Ministers must show the world their leaders really care by making decisions on key issues, including climate finance, and loss and damage. Moreover, they must give certainty to the world that they are taking the problem seriously and ensure that COP26 stipulates that countries must enhance their national climate action plans before 2023 and report on progress. The ambition gap must be closed as soon as possible. Science requires it, and the world is watching.” Fernanda de Carvalho, WWF Global Policy Manager Climate and Energy said: “We must leave Glasgow with a clear pathway that fosters action and implementation on all fronts including mitigation, adaptation and finance. A key part of this is phasing out fossil fuels and the trillions in subsidies behind them and acknowledging the role of nature to keep 1.5°C within reach. Then we will be able to say leaders and negotiators have started responding to the demands of the people.” The difficult issues under the Paris ‘rulebook’, including Article 6 (market and non-market approaches), transparency and common timeframes for NDCs, have been sent to Ministers for their decision this week. There is also an expectation for key decisions on Loss and Damage and Adaptation finance, a global goal for Adaptation, and accelerated climate action and implementation. Mark Lutes, WWF Climate and Energy Senior Climate Policy Advisor, said: “Ministers have a lot of work to do this week across several issues, and will need to provide strong political leadership to steer the COP to complete the Paris Agreement rulebook and ramp up ambition and implementation.” For more information, contact Mandy Jean Woods mwoods@wwfint.org NOTES TO EDITORS: WWF has identified five key priorities it is calling ‘ambition red lines’, the minimum required from leaders and all stakeholders who can help to play their part to drive system change and economic transformation: 1. Accelerate decarbonization, now, and fast Governments, cities, companies, academia, civil society and investors, among others, must, as an urgent priority, move economic systems onto a sustainable footing, shifting away from our dependence on fossil fuels. In doing so, it is vital that workers in unsustainable parts of the global economy, and their families and their communities, are supported – no-one must be left behind. 2. Act on nature-based solutions Nature-based solutions are initiatives that protect, restore and sustainably manage land and ocean ecosystems such as forests, peatlands, wetlands, savannahs, coral reefs and mangroves. Although they reduce emissions, protect nature and people and create good jobs, they are not a substitute for emissions cuts in other sectors of the economy. Nature should be protected and restored because it absorbs and stores carbon and plays a key role in adaptation/resilience of places and communities. 3. Help nature and people adapt Governments must escalate their actions to urgently help the world’s most vulnerable people and many vital ecosystems to adapt and build resilience to a rapidly warming world. We must encourage transformational adaptation solutions. Examples of this could be revitalizing rivers, restoring degraded wetlands or relocating human activities in flood plains instead of building dams and dikes, or shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy. 4. Finance the future Private sector financial flows need to be aligned with international climate objectives, with capital directed towards low-carbon activities, away from fossil fuels. We must phase out harmful subsidies. More finance must be directed to support local priorities and fund innovative partnerships. Currently, only 10% of climate finance reaches local actors in developing countries. Developing countries must deliver on their $100 billion commitment, and additional funds should also be made available for vulnerable countries to deal with unavoidable economic and non-economic impacts, known as loss and damage. 5. Pivot to implementation Sufficient to keep 1.5°C alive, short-term goals must be supplemented by long-term strategies, as required by the Paris Agreement. They must include technically sound and feasible net-zero emissions pledges, with a primary focus on urgent actions to reduce emissions rather than on offsets or unproven technologies.
Posted: November 8, 2021, 12:00 am
A new report from WWFhas found that countries are increasingly recognising the value of nature-based solutions (NbS) in their efforts to address the climate crisis. Some 92 percent of the updated climate pledges (Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs) assessed in the study include nature-based solutions which harness the power of nature to reduce emissions and adapt to climate impacts. Under the Paris Agreement on climate change, countries are expected to submit enhanced NDCs to the UN every five years. This fourth edition of NDCs - AForce for Nature? comparedinclusionof nature-based solutions in the latest round of NDCs to previous pledges. As of 12th October 2021 (reportcut-off date) 140 parties to the UNFCCC (including the EU – 27 member states) had submitted 114 updated or revised NDCs. Parties to the Paris Agreement assessed in this report include major emitters and G20 nations including Australia, Argentina, the European Union, Japan, The Republic of Korea, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Parties with an updated NDC assessed in this report represent 42% of global emissions and it is worth noting that there is still a big gap, both in big emitters stepping forward with targets, and in closing the gap to pursuing efforts of keeping warming to 1.5 C as the latest UNFCCC NDC Synthesis Report recently found. The report found: A clear increase from 82% to 92% of NDCs that included nature 105 out of 114 (92%) of enhanced NDCs include NbS: 96 in the context of mitigation measures, 91 in the context of adaptation plans, with an overlap of 82 in both mitigation and adaptation. This reflects a positive trend compared to previous submissions. The number of NDCs that make explicit reference to NbS approaches has increased from 94 to 105 (by 12%), most of them in mitigation measures. 21 more countries include quantitative targets Out of the 96 NDCs that include NbS for mitigation, 69 have quantified these as numerical targets, mostly for the forest sector. The comparison with previous submissions also shows a significant positive trend, with 21 additional countries including quantitative targets. Significant increase in inclusion of wetlands, mangroves and oceans Most NDCs refer to a broad range of ecosystems, including forests, agricultural lands, mangroves, wetlands and marine ecosystems. There was a significant increase in the number of NDCs that mention wetlands, mangroves and marine ecosystems compared to previous version. 51 updated NDCs mentioned wetlands compared to 32 previous NDCs, 43 mentioned mangroves compared to 29 previous NDCs, and 60 mentioned marine ecosystems compared to 47 previously. Some NDCs dropped, while additional updated NDCs included nature in national plans 87 updated NDCs present national plans and policies in relation to the implementation of NbS, mostly for the forest sector. Overall, this is nine more than in the previous NDCs. However, ten updated NDCs dropped references to national policies for NbS that were mentioned in the previous versions, while 19 updated NDCs added specific mention of national policies for NbS where they had not earlier. More than three times as many NDCs refer to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) or other global processes. 46 NDCs refer to global processes and agreements, such as the SDGs, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands or the United Nation Convention to Combat Desertification, in the context of NbS. This reflects a large increase compared to the previous round, with 32 additional NDCs making such references. The number of NDCs explicitly referring to Indigenous peoples and other local communities grew by 88%. 30 NDCs explicitly refer to the Indigenous peoples and local communities in relation to the development and implementation of NbS. This is an increase of 14 NDCs, which demonstrates increasing attention to their essential role in the context of NbS NDCs are an important platform to formulate governments ambitions for strong climate action. Learn more about WWF’s #NDCS’sWeWant Checklist.
Posted: November 5, 2021, 12:01 am
Glasgow, UK (2 November 2021) - US President Joe Biden and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen today announced a global partnership to reduce emissions of methane - a potent greenhouse gas - by 30% by 2030, compared to 2020 levels. The Global Methane Pledge was first proposed in September. Today’s announcement sees the number of countries signatories jump to more than 80. Marcene Mitchell, WWF-US Senior Vice President for Climate Change, said: “Methane is an incredibly potent driver of climate change and we welcome the administration's leadership to tackle this powerful greenhouse gas. Beyond reducing the climate impacts of methane leaks, the proposal will clean the air for the communities living around these sites where methane is emitted. This is a critical step on our journey to addressing the climate crisis while ensuring a more just and equitable future.” Imke Lübbeke, Head of Climate and Energy at WWF European Policy Office said: “This pledge will allow emissions to be cut rapidly, which is essential if we are to tackle the climate crisis. However in terms of the energy sector, we can only truly remove the dangers of methane by ending the extraction and burning of fossil gas.” Vanessa Perez-Cirera, WWF Global Deputy Lead Climate & Energy said: “We need to be doing everything we can to keep global warming under 1.5℃. Reducing methane emissions is one of the quickest and most powerful ways we can take action. So it is encouraging to have so many countries pledging to cut methane emissions by 30% compared to 2020. “We would like to see all signatories to the Paris Agreement sign up to this pledge. However, with food systems responsible for around 50% of methane emissions, we will only have success if regenerative agricultural practices as well as other food consumption actions are also urgently adopted.” ENDS
Posted: November 2, 2021, 12:00 am
Rome, Italy (31 October 2021) - Ahead of the COP26 climate talks, G20 leaders mostly reaffirmed and made few new commitments to act on the climate crisis. Much more is needed to close critical planetary gaps. In the G20 Rome Leaders’ Declaration, issued today at the conclusion of the G20 Summit in Rome, leaders set out steps they will be taking to tackle climate change and protect and restore biodiversity. Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF Global Lead Climate & Energy, and President of COP20, said: “We expected much more from G20 countries, responsible for 78% of global greenhouse gas emissions. They must now enhance their 2030 Nationally Determined Contributions as soon as possible to close the ambition gap and limit global temperature rise to a maximum of 1.5°C, and urgently put in place policies and actions to meet those targets. We know that stronger commitments and action are urgently needed, as the UNFCCC NDC Synthesis Report showed. We can't afford to wait until 2025, so COP26 must deliver a Glasgow pathway to accelerate implementation that sets the course of action between now and then.” Commenting on G20 nature commitments, Gavin Edwards, Global Coordinator, New Deal for Nature and People, WWF-International, said: “The commitment from G20 leaders to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 brings us one step closer to securing a nature-positive world and is essential to protecting human health and livelihoods. It also supports climate action. Leaders meeting in Glasgow must remember that there is no viable route to limiting global warming to 1.5°C without protecting and restoring nature. “WWF welcomes G20 leaders’ promise to scale up and implement nature-based solutions or ecosystem-based approaches – done right, they are powerful ways to tackle our connected nature and climate crises in a manner that benefits people and the planet. It is essential that the critical role of nature-based solutions are now recognized in the formal outcomes of COP26 and also at the biodiversity COP in Kunming next year, and deployed with real urgency.” Commenting on the aspirational goal to collectively plant 1 trillion trees by 2030, Fran Price, Global Forest Practice Lead for WWF, said: “WWF welcomes the shared goal of G20 leaders to plant one trillion trees by 2030 as a contribution to the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and in step with keeping nature at the heart of COP26. However, given the urgency with which we need to protect and restore forests globally, we need more than aspirational goals and G20 leaders should back today’s commitment with credible implementation plans and finance – and ensure that these efforts engage and benefit Indigenous peoples and local communities and are carried out in ways that respect their rights and territories.” “Efforts to restore forest ecosystems must come alongside rapid decarbonization and efforts to halt the deforestation of standing forests, which continue to be destroyed at alarming rates. It is also important to ensure that trees are planted in the right places - ideally as part of broader, inclusive ecosystem landscape restoration strategies - and in consultation and collaboration with local communities.” On nature, the published G20 Declaration reaffirms Paris Agreement commitments and includes commitments to: Enhance their 2030 NDCs and submit adaptation plans. Strengthen actions to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030. Scale up and encourage the implementation of Nature-based Solutions or Ecosystem-based Approaches. Recognize the efforts made by countries (93 and the EU) that have endorsed the Leaders Pledge for Nature Make progress toward ensuring that 30% of land, oceans and seas (“30x30”) are conserved or protected by 2030, in accordance with national circumstances. Calls on CBD Parties to adopt an ambitious, balanced, practical, effective, robust and transformative post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework at COP15 in Kunming in 2022. Acknowledge that financing for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response (PPR) has to become more adequate, more sustainable and better coordinated. This needs to be backed up by finance to do so. Share the aspirational goal to collectively plant 1 trillion trees, focusing on the most degraded ecosystems in the planet. ENDS Notes to Editor: G20 Leaders commitment around 30x30 is an important step toward including a target in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework to ensure that, by 2030, 30% of land, inland waters, marine and coastal areas are conserved, while ensuring that areas governed by indigenous peoples and local communities are appropriately recognized and secured. WWF is a partner in Trillion Trees, a joint venture between three of the world’s largest conservation organisations - Birdlife, WCS and WWF, with the goal to protect and restore forests across the world for the benefit of people, nature and climate. WWF is a Global Partner in the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, which aims to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems on every continent and in every ocean. Keeping forests standing is the most effective nature-based solution we have. Forests are home to more than half of the world’s land-based species, support the livelihoods of over 1.6 billion people, absorb 30% of annual global anthropogenic CO2 emissions, and over 75% of the world’s accessible freshwater comes from forested watersheds. Healthy forests are therefore critical to human and planetary health. Yet between 2004 and 2017, 43 million hectares of tropical forests - an area the size of Morocco - were lost in the tropics and sub-tropics alone. Forest restoration is much more than just planting trees. Forest Ecosystem Restoration should follow the 10 guiding principles for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and must be inclusive and respect the rights and territories of Indigenous peoples and local communities.
Posted: October 31, 2021, 12:00 am