The latest climate change news from WWF

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.”
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
(30 October 2021)- As the highly anticipated climate COP26 event opens in Glasgow, UK today, the world is looking to the climate talks to show the implementation of the Paris Agreement can be accelerated to get on track to ensure global warming does not exceed the1.5°C goal. COP26 must provide confidence and clarity on a global pathway to achieving the transition to a net-zero-emissions and climate-resilient future and preventing a climate catastrophe.Scheduled from 31 Oct - 12 Nov, it will see climate negotiators meet face-to-face for the first time in 18 months, at a time when scientists are warning us that time is running out to prevent irreversible damage to the planet. With this in mind, WWF is calling for world leaders to turn their pledges into action and complete the rulebook so that implementation can be accelerated. The urgent call comes as devastating climate impacts all around the world increase in intensity and frequency, devastating ecosystems, lives and livelihoods. Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF Global Lead Climate & Energysaid: “Leaders hold the world’s collective expectations in their hands. Decisions they make at this pivotal moment will define our future for decades to come. Next year we must be able to move forward into a new era of climate action - one that sees world leaders move together as one to tackle it, if we are to have any hope of keeping warming to 1.5°C - for the benefit of the planet and people.” There is currently a huge gap in climate ambition to meet Paris Agreement goals. Just this week the UN Climate Change published the lastupdateto the UNFCCC NDC Synthesis report, capturing the impact of the national climate plans submitted by countries. It finds that under current pledges, there is expected to be an increase in of about 16% in global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (compared to 2010), while limiting warming to 1.5°Crequires a 50% cut by 2030. This underscores the urgency and need for big emitting countries to do more. WWF has identified five key priorities it is calling ‘ambition red lines’, the minimum needed 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. Ends Notes for Editors Sign up to receive WWF’s daily COP26 newsletter, What’s Hot in Glasgow.Emailkrichards@wwfint.org All WWF’s COP26 media statements will be posted to our websitewww.panda.org/cop26 Visit WWF’s pavilion in Section D, Hall 4 at COP26, or watch the events via livestream on Youtubehere. WWF COP26 Expectations Paperhere(and in Spanishhere). WWF COP26 Ambition Red Lines paper (a climate policy manifesto)here(and in Spanishhere). WWF Expectations Paper on Loss & Damagehere. Anchoring nature in the COP26 text outcomeshere. Unpacking the UNFCCC Global Stocktake for ocean-climate actionhere. Coastal and marine ecosystems as nature-based solutions in NDCshere.
Posted: October 30, 2021, 12:00 am
Following the publication of the SUSREG framework and related online tracking tool in April 2021, WWF today launches its first SUSREG Annual Report. The report looks into the findings of the assessment of measures taken and progress made by central banks, banking regulators and supervisors to integrate environmental and social considerations in their mandates and activities. It covers 38 countries across the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific regions, incl. most members and observers of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. Together, they account for more than 90% of global GDP, 80% of total GHG emissions and 11 of the 17 most biodiversity-rich countries. The results of the assessment indicate that while central banks and banking supervisors are developing their strategy and starting to take concrete measures to address climate-related risks, broader environmental and social risks are significantly less well covered. “The progress made by central banks, banking regulators, and supervisors is encouraging. We need to accelerate such efforts to address the environmental and social challenges we face if the world is going to deliver the commitment of the Paris Agreement and the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals,” says Margaret Kuhlow, WWF´s Finance Practice Leader. “Nature loss is as significant a threat as climate change, and the two are interrelated. We can’t solve one without tackling the other.” Regulations and supervisory expectations are now starting to be rolled out globally, with 35% of the assessed jurisdictions mandating banks to develop and/or strengthen their climate, environmental and/or social risk management practices. Notable examples include the European Central Bank and the Monetary Authority of Singapore issuing new climate and environmental risk management guidelines, as well as Banco Central do Brasil strengthening its existing risk management regulations, covering the full spectrum of environmental and social risks. There is also a noticeable acceleration in the conduct of studies to better understand and quantify the exposure to banks to risks such as those associated with climate change and biodiversity loss, and on the development of taxonomies to define ‘sustainable’ activities. However, there remains a lack of evidence of specific regulatory actions being taken or supervisory tools being used to ensure compliance with enacted rules and expectations and to guard the financial system against climate and broader environmental and social risks. From a central banking perspective, environmental and social considerations are not yet fully integrated in key monetary policy measures, such as asset purchases, collateral frameworks or refinancing programs, with only 22% of the relevant central banks having some of these measures in place, and none of them fully satisfying the related SUSREG indicators. Although more progress can be seen in foreign exchange reserves and overall portfolio management, making better use of these tools would ensure central banks contain environmental and social risks and do not slow down the transition to a more sustainable economy. “We need a profound transformation of our financial system, one that systematically considers environmental and social risks and that follows a precautionary approach”, says Maud Abdelli, WWF´s Greening Financial Regulation Initiative Lead. “We expect that central banks and financial supervisors will take prompt action commensurate with the challenges we are facing and to support a timely, orderly and just transition towards a resilient, sustainable and low-carbon economy”, says Sylvain Augoyard, WWF’s SUSREG technical lead and author of the 2021 Annual Report. Given their leadership role, WWF urges central banks and supervisors to take a stronger public stance on the need to respond to environmental and social challenges. This would support more ambitious action from governments and send the right signals to financial institutions, notably over upcoming regulatory and supervisory changes. In this critical decade of action, ambitious intervention and international coordination will be the key to success. WWF will update the online assessment on the SUSREG Tracker platform twice a year, and report annually to evidence the progress made, highlighting areas of good practices as well as where improvements are needed. More Information on WWF´s SUSREG Tracker here. More information on WWF´s Greening Financial Regulation Initiative here.
Posted: October 28, 2021, 12:01 am
(Thursday 28 October) The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), the global body enabling businesses to set emissions reduction targets in line with science of which WWF is a partner, today launches the world-first Net-Zero Corporate Standard. The SBTi’s Net-Zero Standard is the world’s first science-based certification of companies’ net-zero targets in line with the Paris Agreement’s goal of keeping planetary warming to 1.5°C. Alberto Carrillo Pineda, Co-Founder and Managing Director of the SBTi, said: “Companies are currently self-defining net-zero targets without credible and independent assessment of their ambition and integrity. For the first time, the SBTi Net-Zero Standard offers companies robust certification to demonstrate to consumers, investors and regulators that their net-zero targets are reducing emissions at the pace and scale required to keep global warming to 1.5°C. We’re now inviting all companies with net-zero targets and ambitions to show stakeholders that their decarbonization pathway is aligned with science. And the rest of the business sector - we call on you to join the Race to Zero.” Marco Lambertini, WWF Director General, said: “A huge global effort is required to halve emissions before 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. This is the least we need to do if we are to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis, and build a climate-resilient future for people and nature. So it is imperative for business to use the Science Based Targets initiative’s Net-Zero Standard to accelerate decarbonization efforts at the depth and pace needed to align with the goals of the Paris Agreement.” Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF Global Lead Climate & Energy and SBTi Board Member, said: “To keep the 1.5°C global temperature target within reach, it is vital to have businesses do their part. But crucially, we need a credible basis for assessing progress. The Science Based Targets initiative’s Net-Zero Standard sets a common, robust and science-based framework for corporate net-zero target-setting. This gives companies the confidence to take their climate actions to the next level. They can be on the right side of history by being part of the transformation to a global net-zero emissions economy.” The first seven firms to have their net-zero targets certified as part of the SBTi’s pilot scheme are unveiled today. They are: AstraZeneca (UK), CVS Health (US), Dentsu International (UK), Holcim (Switzerland), JLL (US), Ørsted (Denmark), and Wipro (India). More companies are now invited to commit to set net-zero targets, which the SBTi will begin validating from January 2022. 90%+ decarbonization by 2050 is the only route to science-based net-zero Companies adopting the Net-Zero Standard will be required to set both near- and long-term science-based targets across all scopes*. Near-term targets cover immediate emissions reductions for the next 5-10 years, while long-term science-based targets determine the total level of decarbonization by 2050 or before. Through the standard, the SBTi clarifies that science-based net-zero requires companies to achieve deep decarbonization of 90-95% before 2050**. At that point, a company must neutralize any limited residual emissions that are not yet possible to cut. However, the SBTi sets clear parameters that these residual emissions - which must be neutralized through carbon removals - cannot exceed 5-10% of a company’s emissions depending on its sector. Neutralization activities can take the form of technological removals (eg. Direct Air Capture (DAC) with geological storage) and nature-based solutions (eg. reforestation). The principle at the heart of the SBTi Net-Zero Standard is the “mitigation hierarchy”. This means companies should address value chain emissions and implement strategies to achieve these targets as the main strategy to reach net-zero emissions. The SBTi recognizes the urgent need to scale up near-term finance to help address the nature and biodiversity crisis and increase the likelihood the global economy limits warming to 1.5°C. Given that, the Standard recommends companies make investments to reduce emissions outside their value chains. However, these investments should be in addition to, not a substitute for, rapid and deep reductions of a company’s own emissions. Furthermore, the role of finance in corporate decarbonization is vital for the world to reach net-zero emissions. The SBTi is therefore leading efforts to define and develop metrics around what net-zero looks like for financial institutions to decarbonize the real economy and is launching its Net-Zero Foundations for Financial Institutions: Draft for Public Consultation on 10 November 2021. Developing the first-ever science-based net-zero target The Net-Zero Standard was developed in consultation with an independent Expert Advisory Group, made up of experts from academia, civil society, science and business. More than 80 companies took part in a road-test of the Standard in August 2021. The Expert Advisory Group will continue to refine and develop the Standard in early 2022, specifically looking at best practice in beyond value chain mitigation and how to further support companies in reducing scope 3 emissions. To date, more than 600 companies have made a commitment to reach science-based net-zero before 2050 through the SBTi’s Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign. Companies can commit to setting a science-based net-zero target, join this campaign and the UNFCCC Race to Zero on the SBTi website. ENDS Notes to editors: *The SBTi Net-Zero Standard covers all of a company’s value chain emissions, including those produced by their own processes (scope 1), energy and power they buy in (scope 2) and those generated by suppliers and end-users (scope 3). **With the exception of the forestry, land-use and agricultural (FLAG) sector in which 20% of carbon removal is permitted after deep decarbonization of 80% by 2050. Currently the GHG Protocol is developing new guidance for corporate land use and removals accounting and, in parallel, the SBTi is developing specific science-based target setting methods for companies with land sector emissions which will provide FLAG companies with the opportunity to factor in land sector emissions and reduction opportunities into their net-zero strategies. This will become mandatory for companies setting SBTs in land-intensive sectors starting in September 2022 For more information, including interviews and comment, please contact: Mandy Woods, WWF | E: mwoods@wwfint.org Georgia Dalton, ESG Communications | T: +44 (0)7798751529 | E: georgia@esgcomms.com Rosie Williams, Science Based Targets initiative | E: Rosie.Williams@cdp.net About the Science Based Targets initiative The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is a global body enabling businesses to set ambitious emissions reductions targets in line with the latest climate science. It is focused on accelerating companies across the world to halve emissions before 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions before 2050. The initiative is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and one of the We Mean Business Coalition commitments. The SBTi 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. www.sciencebasedtargets.org @sciencetargets
Posted: October 27, 2021, 11:01 pm
(25 October 2021) - UN Climate Change today published the last update to the NDC Synthesis report, capturing the impact of the national climate plans submitted by countries. The update of key findings of the NDC Synthesis Report confirms the overall trends identified by the full report, which was released on 17 September 2021. The information received confirms that the updated or new climate action plans can be effective in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over time. However, the updated report also confirms that for all available NDCs of all 192 Parties taken together, a sizable increase, of about 16%, in global GHG emissions in 2030 compared to 2010 is anticipated. Comparison to the latest findings by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows that such an increase, unless changed quickly, may lead to a temperature rise of about 2.7°C by the end of the century. This update of the Synthesis Report is being provided to ensure that Parties have the latest information to consider at COP26. Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF Global Lead Climate & Energy said: “While there were 30 additional enhanced NDCs submitted since the last UNFCCC Synthesis report, with very little change to the projected 16% increase in emissions by 2030, I believe we can still start COP26 with a better scenario. “We are still waiting to see what the most important emerging economies will submit - China and India in particular. “It is clear that the big emitting countries need to do more. There is the opportunity of the G20 countries meeting this weekend, and world leaders gathering in Glasgow at the beginning of next week for leaders to show climate leadership and to put the path on a trajectory to a 1.5℃ future. “There is a decisive week ahead, and we expect that the leaders must not disappoint us." Notes for Editors: Read the full UN Climate Change press release here. See WWF’s previous comments on the full Synthesis report, published in September 2021, here. Read the update of the key findings of the full NDC synthesis report here. Read the full NDC synthesis report here. View the interim NDC registry here. For more information, contact Mandy Jean Woods mwoods@wwfint.org
Posted: October 25, 2021, 12:00 am