WWF: Failure to address climate change today will cost us more tomorrow



Posted on 06 September 2013  | 
The more CO2 we produce, the more severe weather events can be expected in the future.
© WWF Germany / BERND LAMMELEnlarge
Gland, Switzerland - The urgency to address climate change was highlighted again today with the release of a report by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society Society [1] in which researchers found evidence of human-caused climate change in about half of the 12 extreme weather and climate events analyzed from 2012.

This report comes ahead of release of the next IPCC Assessment Report which is expected to reiterate the scale of the climate change challenge that’s facing the world, and the urgency with which action must be taken. Reports by the IPCC and others not only highlight the issues – and in this case, also the danger and severe impact of extreme weather events - but also the inadequacies of governments’ responses.

With the global power sector being the biggest source of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, WWF is campaigning [2] to urge governments and international financial institutions to switch investments away from dirty fossil fuels and into renewable energy.

“We need to act and invest money now in clean, renewable energy to limit dangerous climate change, to reduce the risks to human health from dirty fossil fuels, to fast-track access to energy, and to safeguard our collective future,” said Samantha Smith, leader of WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative.

Lou Leonard, vice president of climate change at the World Wildlife Fund in the US says failing to address the climate crisis today will cost us far more tomorrow. “As climate change plays a larger role in extreme weather, taxpayers will need to spend more and more each year to clean-up after each and every disaster.”

The lack of political urgency to address climate change was surprising, given the impact of extreme weather in many countries, according to Leonard.

“Today’s research reaffirms that climate change is today’s problem, not tomorrow’s. With President Obama making the case to address climate change in the US, and the forthcoming IPCC Assessment expected to reiterate the scale of the global climate change challenge, the time for climate action is now," said Leonard.

Notes to editors:
  1. Report: Explaining Extreme Events of 2012 from a Climate Perspective 
  2. WWF’s global campaign Seize Your Power
  3. Press release: http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2013/20130905-extremeweatherandclimateevents.html
For more information please contact
Mandy Jean Woods mwoods@wwf.org.za / +27 82 553 4211 (SMS if urgent) @MandyJeanWoods
Samantha Smith ssmith@wwf.no / @pandaclimate

About WWF
WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations, 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.

The Global Climate & Energy Initiative (GCEI) is WWF’s global programme addressing climate change, promoting renewable and sustainable energy, scaling up green finance, engaging the private sector and working nationally and internationally on implementing low carbon, climate resilient development.

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The more CO2 we produce, the more severe weather events can be expected in the future.
© WWF Germany / BERND LAMMEL Enlarge

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