Posted on 26 March 2009
This report outlines WWF's expectations for the outcome of the UN climate change meeting in Copenhagen at the end of 2009.
How important is climate protection these days? The world economy is in recession. Some countries are on the verge of national insolvency. Thousands of factories are closing and jobs disappearing. For some, the pending climate disaster now seems a less immediate threat; the policies needed to reduce emissions seem a harsh demand in light of people losing their homes and their income.
At the same time, the disasters that loom in the wake of full blown climate change mean that the current recession, when over, will literally only fill a few pages of history books, while the devastating effects of climate change will fill volumes. They will need to detail the countries lost, massive extinctions, plagues, droughts and floods, and the loss of lives and cultures. Climate security must be a continued priority since science tells us we only have until 2020 to put ship “earth” on a new course. There is no alternative to an ambitious outcome at the Copenhagen COP in December 2009.
In 2009, we have already seen some countries invest smartly to create jobs, foster innovation and help their economies go green. However, the nightmare scenario still exists of the next stimulus and recovery packages locking us into the root causes of climate change and throwing us back by twenty years.
The reforms to deal with the root causes of the economic recession present a huge opportunity, which must not be lost. In this context of a “green economy”, international commitment to climate change is more important than ever. We must show that we are serious about pursuing a sustainable, low-carbon, climate resilient future.
WWF would like to emphasize the view that mitigation as part of low-carbon development is not just a burden we want to minimize, but ultimately is an opportunity for job creation and a healthy society, setting the world on a development path that we can sustain over long periods.