Global Climate Action Summit To Catalyze New Wave of Commitments

Elevates Land as Key Solution to the Climate Challenge 

SAN FRANCISCO (10 September 2018)  – Global leaders from across the private sector, local government and civil society make their way to San Francisco this week to showcase progress, unveil new climate commitments and to launch new platforms to work in partnership across sectors to accelerate implementation.


The Global Climate Action Summit -- the first ever designed exclusively for businesses, sub-national governments, and local leaders -- sets the stage for the greater action needed by 2020 from all actors - from national governments within their national climate action plans, and from even more cities, states, businesses, and local communities around the world.


As  a member of the Summit’s Advisory Committee, WWF is coordinating the 30X30 Forest, Food and Land Challenge. The initiative calls on businesses, states, city and local governments, and global citizens to take action for better forest and habitat conservation, food production and consumption, and land use, working together across all sectors of the economy to deliver up to 30% of the climate solutions needed by 2030.


WWF is working with partners to unveil new efforts and commitments at the high-level thematic dialogues on land stewardship on 13 September from 1:30 p.m. – 5 p.m., such as:  

  • Science-based targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase sequestration in land-intensive supply chains; 
  • Collaborations between multinational companies and local governments and communities to eliminate deforestation in vital ecosystems; 
  • Institutional and chef-led programs to halve food loss and waste by 2030;
  • Major financing to help regional and local governments to promote more sustainable land use and restoration. 

WWF and its partners in We Are Still In will unveil new commitments from American businesses, mayors, universities and other US actors on 12 September at the We Are Still In Forum. More details can be shared under embargo upon request. Since its launch in June 2017, We Are Still In has nearly tripled in size to include over 3,500 signatories, collectively representing more than 155 million americans and $9.5 trillion in US GDP.


“For too long, land has been the overlooked piece of the climate solution. When we improve the way we manage our land and improve our food systems, we can help reverse the impact of human-caused climate change and get closer to keeping warming below 1.5°C,” said Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF’s global climate and energy programme, and Summit advisory committee member. “National governments need to follow the pace set by private sector and local leaders this week, looking for opportunities to enhance the ambition of their national climate plans through improved land stewardship.”


The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change projects that current commitments made by the private sector and local government have the potential to halve the emissions gap between current trajectories and what is needed to stay below 2°C of planetary warming. In the United States, for example, bottom-up progress can deliver half of what’s needed to achieve the country’s commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28% below the 2005 level in 2025. 


“New targets from business and local leaders are a critical first step but alone they are not enough to transform our transportation, food and energy systems,” said Lou Leonard, senior vice president of climate change and energy, WWF-US. “To change our trajectory, this Summit must generate new partnerships and new ways of working. In the US, this model of radical collaboration is working through efforts like the We Are Still In coalition. Together, unusual partners across American society are coming together to implement their goals. We can go further and reach higher by partnering across sectors of the economy to drive change.”

In addition to organizing the high-level thematic dialogue on land stewardship on 13 September, WWF is convening the following events:

  • We Are Still In Forum – 12 September, California Academy of Sciences. WWF and partners will be bringing together companies, cities, universities and others from the We Are Still In coalition to roll up their sleeves and find new areas for collaboration. (Register)
  • Forests, Food & Land Day – 12 September, Herbst Theater. WWF and partners will coordinate a day of TED-style presentations, interactive discussions, and more, from farmers and firefighters on the frontlines of climate change to CEOs and governors fighting it at scale. (Register)
  • Alliances For Climate Action  12 September, 1446 Market. Movements like We Are Still In are emerging in other nations. At this event, representatives of companies, local and subnational governments, academia and civil society from across the world will discuss recently launched alliances in Japan, Mexico. The event will also feature an interactive discussion about countries where these alliances are on way to being created. (Register)

Notes to Editor

Melanie Gade (WWF-US) 
(303) 881 - 9877  |  [email protected] 

Scott Edwards (WWF-International)
+44 7887 954116 |  E-mail: [email protected]

About the Global Climate Action Summit
The Global Climate Action Summit will take place from September 12 to 14, 2018 in San Francisco under the theme 'Taking Ambition to the Next Level.'  To keep warming well below 2°, and ideally 1.5 degrees C – temperatures that could lead to catastrophic consequences – worldwide emissions must start trending down by 2020. The Summit will showcase climate action around the world, along with bold new commitments, to give world leaders the confidence they need to go even further by 2020 to meet the Paris Climate Agreement goals. The Summit’s five headline challenge areas are Healthy Energy Systems; Inclusive Economic Growth; Sustainable Communities; Land and Ocean Stewardship and Transformative Climate Investments.  Many partners are supporting the Summit and the mobilization in advance including Climate Group; the Global Covenant of Mayors; Ceres, the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group; BSR; We Mean Business; CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project; WWF; and Mission 2020. For more information, #GCAS2018 #StepUp2018