WWF’s Ambition Vision for 2020 and beyond

Posted on 09 December 2019

The Climate Crisis: We know from the IPCC 1.5˚C report in 2018 that we face a severe ambition gap – we are not on track to achieve the emissions reduction necessary to stave off even modest consequences of climate change, thus also undermining achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The differences between a 1.5°C world and a 2°C world are dire As UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres stated, “We know that even if the promises of Paris are fully met, we still face at least a 3-degree temperature rise by the end of the century – a catastrophe for life as we know it. Even more worrying is that many countries are not even keeping pace with their promises under the Paris Agreement.”

But we also know that we still have a small window of opportunity to close this ambition gap and limit warming to 1.5°C. This will require transformational action at an unprecedented scale, one that can secure benefits for the economy, nature and ecosystems, and human well being alike.

Given the urgency, 2020 will be fundamental to closing this gap. The Paris Agreement invites countries to provide by 2020 a) updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), in light of the gap between current commitments and 1.5°C Paris goals, and b) Long-Term 2050 Strategies. As a consequence, 2020 will test both the strength of the Paris Agreement and our determination to make the changes needed to set the world on a path to remaining below 1.5°C.
Four Pillars of Ambition
  1. Top-Level Ambition: Countries and non-state actors alike should signal their specific intent to raise their level of ambition by 2020.
  • Countries should commit to enhancing NDCs by 2020 by including carbon neutral 2050 long-term strategies and specific adaptation actions that reduce climate vulnerability for people and nature. They should address how they will halve emissions by 2030.
  • Likewise, corporates and sub-national actors should commit to 1.5oC compatible solutions, and immediate and scaled-up action on adaptation that supports and respects the value of nature.
  • Build political momentum from the Summit to the UNFCCC COP25 and COP26. 
  1. Transformative Sectoral Actions (economic and social) that will set us on a path to achieve the transitions suggested by the IPCC described below.
  • Land & Natural Systems: Integrate sustainable land management & nature-based solutions such as conservation and restoration of forests, wetlands, and grasslands and better land and water management for agriculture and food production, into plans (NDCs, City plans, science-based targets). Elevate the role of nature in adaptation and the importance of adaptation of natural systems.
  • Energy Systems: Financial portfolio alignment around coal and fossil fuel phaseout and 100% renewable energy commitments; elevate the importance of cooling and efficiency; eliminate fossil fuel subsidies; invest in 1.5 compatible solutions.
  • Urban Systems (including Transport and Infrastructure): Work with for cities to align and implement 1.5°C plans & policies.
  • Industrial Systems: Solidify the importance of a just transition; elevate the Science Based Targets initiative 1.5°C effort within the Summit; bring focus on private finance, asset owners, and central banks; push for Green Climate Fund (GCF) replenishment with at least a doubling of contributions.
  1. Central Role of Corporate and Sub-National Actors: Reinforce the fundamental importance of collaboration and co-ownership of action and ambition by decision-makers at every level of society (national governments, cities, states, businesses, local communities, Indigenous groups and citizens) in order to realize the promise of economic and social transformation while preserving our natural heritage.
  2. Elevate the Voice of the People and the Youth: After 7.6 million people around the world raised the voices and marched for climate action 20 and 27 September, 2019, we encourage leaders to respond to these voices, stand for the people in making bold announcements and help to channel that energy into urgency for higher ambition.
David Tong / WWF-New Zealand
© David Tong / WWF-New Zealand