(Gland, Switzerland, November 6, 2015) - The need to scale up climate actions immediately is underscored by the findings of a new report released today by UN Environment Programme. The report shows that though progress has been made, we are on track for just half of the reductions necessary, even considering the new raft of country climate pledges, says WWF.
Commenting on the release of the 2015 Emissions Gap report, Samantha Smith, leader of WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative says the report shows that concerted actions can make a difference, but that we need much, much higher levels of ambition – starting now.
“There’s only so much CO2 we can pump into the atmosphere before we lock ourselves in to really dangerous climate instability. We can still change course, but UNEP tells us we have to act now, before 2020. And it is clear that every country will need to do more to cut emissions and adapt to climate change.
“A new global climate deal – which will be discussed by world leaders when they meet in a few weeks’ time in Paris - must ensure that countries improve their climate pledges both before and after 2020. Any deal must contain an “ambition mechanism” that will create regular opportunities to review and scale up efforts until they are both fair and enough to avoid climate danger,” she says.
Smith says an “ambition mechanism” could increase climate action by unlocking the financial, technological and capacity building support that developing countries need to do more, while wealthier countries scale up their efforts at home. “We need an agreement that creates opportunities for governments, business, cities and others to keep raising the bar and to take additional actions that go beyond what is committed today.”
“We will also have to raise the bar for support to vulnerable communities for adaptation given that we know they face higher levels of climate change impacts. We cannot forget that there are still four years left before 2020. The leaders that are in power today cannot leave all responsibility for increased action to their successors – they must act now to ensure that global emissions peak as soon as possible,” she said.