COP 24 | WWF
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Countries must raise their ambition of climate targets by 2020, if we are to secure the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement and protect nature and people. WWF's new report shows us how.

WWF at COP24: 2 - 14 Dec

Read the ambition report

WWF joins the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the Talanoa Call for Action, the High Ambition Coalition, the Climate Vulnerable Forum, UN organizations, non-state actors and all those who marched around the world in their call to countries to deliver at COP24.

We should no longer talk about urgency like we have for the past 10 years; this is an emergency. The IPCC Special Report on 1.5 Global Warming is clear: emissions must be reduced by 45% by 2030 in relation to 2010 levels. The survival of people, species and ecosystems depends on this.

We need to see from Katowice a decision that calls on countries to review and enhance their national climate plans by 2020 in light of the 1.5°C Report. We also need a strong rulebook as a first step to consolidate the Paris ambition mechanism. The Talanoa Dialogue brought us many examples that show climate action is possible. Now it’s up to negotiators and ministers to respond to the people they are representing at these talks.

- WWF

This is the reality of our warming world

The science is clear - every half a degree matters. We must fight to stay below 1.5˚C.

 

 

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REACTIONS

(WWF reaction to COP24 draft text as of 9.30am CET)
Mark Lutes, Delegation Lead for WWF at COP24, said:

We’ve seen progress overnight. It’s important that the IPCC 1.5C report has been recognised in the draft text and the pieces are all there to signal ambition. Now we must see the final text express a clear indication that countries will increase their Paris targets by 2020.

On the Rulebook, there’s enough to operationalise the Paris Agreement but some essential parts still need to be agreed. However, with countries already impacted by climate change, one key area of concern is how the world’s most vulnerable are supported. It is extremely concerning that loss and damage has been relegated to a footnote in the current draft.

WWF joins the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the Talanoa Call for Action, the High Ambition Coalition, the Climate Vulnerable Forum, UN organizations, non-state actors and all those who marched around the world in their call to countries to deliver at COP24.

We should no longer talk about urgency like we have for the past 10 years; this is an emergency. The IPCC Special Report on 1.5 Global Warming is clear: emissions must be reduced by 45% by 2030 in relation to 2010 levels. The survival of people, species and ecosystems depends on this.

We need to see from Katowice a decision that calls on countries to review and enhance their national climate plans by 2020 in light of the 1.5°C Report. We also need a strong rulebook as a first step to consolidate the Paris ambition mechanism. The Talanoa Dialogue brought us many examples that show climate action is possible. Now it’s up to negotiators and ministers to respond to the people they are representing at these talks.

Commenting on the news that the UK has formally offered to host COP 2020, Gareth Redmond-King, Head of Climate Change at WWF-UK, said:
“This is great news and we welcome the bid to host the 2020 COP – it’s an opportunity for the UK to lead the way on climate change at a time when the need for action has never been starker.

"The talks taking place right now in Poland are critical to ensuring we get to 2020 on track to meet the Paris targets and avoid runaway climate change. The UK yesterday showed leadership in joining with other countries to call for the highest possible ambition in Katowice. This is an important political signal which we hope will rally others and ensure the talks deliver an ambitious outcome. The time to step up is now. We need all countries to signal they will increase their climate ambition by 2020."

Commenting on the UN Secretary General's presence at COP24 and remarks at the closing of the high level segment of the Talanoa Dialogue, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Leader of WWF's Climate & Energy Practice, said:
"The presence of the UN Secretary-General is a strong political signal of the importance of driving the talks toward a positive conclusion at a moment of uncertainty. He rightly stresses that this is a moment of truth. Now is the time when the world must step up to ensure Katowice delivers an ambitious outcome."

Commenting on the EU-led High Ambition Coalition’s commitment to greater climate ambition, Vanessa Perez-Cirera, WWF’s Climate & Energy Practice deputy lead, said:
“This is a critical moment in Katowice. The EU has stepped up into a leadership role by heading the much-needed commitment to greater climate action by the High Ambition Coalition, a group of developed and developing countries. With this announcement to increased NDCs and short-term climate action, the EU and other members of the Coalition are acknowledging science's call for urgency - and are telling the tens of thousands of people who’ve demonstrated recently for greater climate protection that they have heard them. Today, we hope that this coalition will work towards ensuring the effort to increase ambition and revise NDCs by 2020 is included in COP decisions.”

Commenting on the role of small island states at COP24, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Leader of WWF's Climate & Energy Practice, said:
“Small island states have a lot to lose if there is a weak outcome this week in Poland and everything to gain by being the strongest climate champions in the room. These are the countries that fought for a stronger Paris Agreement when it was formed in 2015 and these are the countries that are going to be calling for the world to step up this time around. They can help fill the void in leadership by building coalition of countries pushing for stronger action, giving other nations the political cover they need to join in, too."

In response to the release of NOAA’s 2018 Arctic Report Card, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) released the following statement from Margaret Williams, managing director for US Arctic programs:
“This is yet another stark reminder of climate change’s indelible mark on our world. Warming temperatures are thawing permafrost and shrinking Arctic sea ice. These changes rob wildlife species of their habitat, and raise sea levels around the world, affecting communities from Nome to New Orleans.

Commenting on the progress of discussions at COP24, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Leader of WWF’s global climate and energy practice, said:
“Today and tomorrow ministers must step up. We need to deliver a Katowice high ambition package – something that shows the world we have a strong outcome from this round of talks. That package must call for improved 2030 targets, 2050 pathways to net zero emissions, recognize the science, and perhaps offer the chance for an overall assessment in 2020 on where we are and how far we have to go. I am sure with the current presidency’s hard work we will have this package.”

Commenting on the opening of the political phase of the Talanoa Dialogue, Alfred Ralifo, policy lead from WWF-Pacific said:
“Today’s focus on the Talanoa dialogue is an opportunity to look at what’s promised and how much more needs to be done to increase climate commitments ahead of 2020. We need to keep the world on track and in line with what the science says is needed. This is the opportunity for Ministers to reiterate the need to keep laser focus on limiting warming to 1.5C, and ensuring the IPCC report on 1.5C is recognized this week at the talks.

Commenting on today's launch of the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, Laila Petrie, Textiles Network Lead at WWF said:

“WWF welcomes today's commitment by these leading companies to reduce their carbon footprint and to begin a sector-wide programme of investing in the decarbonisation of their value-chains. The fashion industry currently contributes more than 2% of global GHG emissions, and this is predicted to increase significantly in coming years without intervention. The IPCC report has made clear that every industry must undergo deep changes if we are to limit warming to 1.5°C. This charter marks the first step to bring together brands, textile manufacturers, financial institutions and policymakers to ensure that the future of the fashion industry is one that moves towards net zero emissions by 2050. We hope that this will inspire and catalyse similar changes across multiple industry sectors."

Commenting on the 2018 Adaptation Gap Report, Sandeep Chamling Rai, WWF’s Senior Global Climate Adaptation Policy Advisor, said:

"Recent climate events have focused attention on the devastating impacts of global warming on human livelihoods and health. Floods, drought and wildfires are also already destroying ecosystems worldwide. Yet this report shows that finance to build climate resilience is nowhere near the level needed to combat these threats, and the gap is widening further.

"If we don't act now, everyone will suffer but the world's most vulnerable will be impacted most.

Commenting on the signing of a MOU WWF-China and the Institute of Climate Change and Sustainable Development of Tsinghua University, Sze Ping LO, CEO of WWF-China said:
“This move can help address global environmental challenges and demonstrate China's experience. In the long run, it can also give full play to the advantages of academic institutions and international organizations in the field of policy advice, and talents, which will help China play a leading role in the global climate governance.”

In response to today’s announcement by France, in response to the fuel protests, that the country will freeze tax increases for six months, Pierre Cannet, Head of climate and energy, WWF-France, said from the UN climate talks in Katowice:

"There’s no viable solution to reducing emissions on the scale needed in France without a price on carbon pollution as well as complementary policies, but a process that is not developed in an inclusive manner is destined to fail. Today's announcement that the French government is freezing carbon tax shows they put the cart before the horse by not addressing the social measures necessary for a just transition."

"Achieving decarbonization at the speed called for by science requires political will, and equity needs to remain at the core of the discussion."

Commenting on the joint announcement by the Multilateral Development Banks on aligning their financial flows with the goals of the Paris Agreement, WWF issued the following statement from Margaret Kuhlow, Leader of WWF's Finance Practice:
 
“The largest financiers of global development are aligning their activities with the highest goals of the Paris Agreement. Financial flows have a central role to play in securing a decarbonized economy. The world’s best scientists have made clear that climate impacts are coming faster and sooner than we thought, but financing has not caught up with the science. This is the type of signal that could catalyze further investments to help countries transition their economies and adapt to worsening climate impacts.”

Commenting on the World Bank Group’s announcement of its commitment to provide $200 billion over five years for climate action, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Practice, said:

“Scaled up finance must be one of the key outcomes in Poland. This commitment from the World Bank Group sends a strong signal to developing countries that finance levels are moving in the right direction. We look forward to seeing how it will be implemented.

"It is also crucial to start to discuss and show commitment to the post $100 billion  target  necessary to create a decarbonized and resilient economy and help vulnerable and developing countries face their more urgent climate needs."

Commenting on the G20 Summit, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF’s global climate and energy practice, said:

“G20 was always going to be an important indicator of political will going into the next round of UN climate talks. That leaders of 19 of the world's largest economies signed up to the Paris Agreement reaffirmed their commitment to its full implementation in the resulting communique is important. It is also a reflection of the Argentinian government rightly making climate an important topic on the agenda. “WWF strongly welcomes the UN, France and China statement expressing France and China's highest political commitment to implementing the Paris Agreement and recognizing the critical need to link climate efforts to biodiversity. 

New ambition for climate targets from Canada a welcome signal
Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna signalled Canada will set more ambitious goals to tackle climate change.

Mary MacDonald, senior vice president and chief conservation officer for WWF-Canada, is at the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) climate-change meetings in Poland:

“This fall we learned how badly the world is failing to meet goals to limit climate change to 1.5 degrees Celsius warming. Missing that target will be devastating, not just to wildlife, but to vulnerable communities as well. We are already witnessing the impacts of rapid climate change in Canada – from melting sea ice in the Arctic, to catastrophic floods on the Saint John River, to devastating forest fires. Already every one of the 167 freshwater sub-watersheds in this country has been affected by climate change.

“With these changes and challenges in mind, we are pleased to see Canada has signalled its intent to increase its ambition to tackle climate change. Canada is the first G7 country to do so.

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Scott Edwards
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