5 ways WWF helped fight the climate crisis in 2022

Young person at New York climate march 2019

The climate crisis grabbed headlines in 2022 both in terms of impacts and solutions, culminating in the international climate talks in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, where we saw some wins and yet still didn’t go far enough to reach our goals.

Pushing policy forward

In 2022, we saw the hard fought but unexpected triumph of the Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law by President Biden in August. This is the most significant climate legislation in a generation, supplying close to $400 billion to promote renewable energy and electric vehicles, boost clean energy manufacturing, and advance climate justice by investing in communities disproportionately harmed by climate change along with leveraging the ecosystems they depend on. By enabling the reduction of a billion tons of carbon dioxide through a combination of avoiding emissions and carbon interventions, the Act will give the US a fighting chance at keeping emissions at a level that would avoid the most catastrophic climate impacts.

Implementation in the corporate community

With its founding role in the Science Based Targets Initiative, a collaboration that helps companies set emission reduction targets in line with climate science, WWF has long been involved with efforts to promote target-setting for the private sector. In 2022, that work was expanded with the creation of science-based net zero targets for landowners through the Forests, Land and Agriculture targets initiative. WWF’s position as a trusted voice advocating for sustainability with the corporate sector also led to the creation of the Climate Business Network, a network of companies looking to share knowledge and discuss obstacles to reaching net-zero climate targets. In the industrial sector, the Renewable Thermal Collaborative released its game-changing Vision Report. The report, created in partnership with the consulting group BCG, provided first-of-its-kind insight into exactly how to achieve quick wins in six different segments of heavy industrial emissions by examining specific industrial processes, their temperature needs, and available technologies.

COP27: International climate talks

WWF was well-represented at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP27, participating in scores of events, including creating an action center for America Is All In, the largest coalition of non-federal climate leaders in the US. While WWF’s participation was robust and successful, the overall outcomes at COP27 were a mix of successes and frustrations. On a positive note, historically high-emitting countries agreed to a new funding vehicle to address loss and damage in developing countries. On the other hand, there was a general lack of commitment to ambitious mitigation targets. WWF will be in Dubai next year at COP28 to continue to advocate for ambitious climate action at all levels.

America Is All In

America Is All In also released a new analysis showing how an all-of-society climate strategy can enable the US to meet its 2030 climate target. This is in addition to its campaigns on encouraging green buildings and climate smart transportation, and its storytelling initiative – showing how All In members are stepping up to the challenge of climate change.

Adaptation and resilience

In 2022, a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change, confirmed that climate risks to people and nature are worse and increasing faster than anticipated. To address this growing challenge, WWF saw major investments in its resilience programming this year. Apple made a major commitment to WWF’s Climate Crowd to help vulnerable rural communities adapt to climate change and reduce pressure on nature. USAID is providing $2 million to support environmentally responsible disaster management in Fiji and Madagascar, while a partnership with OECD is helping the Philippines and Indonesia integrate climate risk management and natural capital into infrastructure planning. And The Coca Cola Company has renewed its commitment to invest in building landscape-level resilience in Mexico and Pakistan.

As 2022 winds down and 2023 begins, WWF’s climate team remains determined and will continue to look for the strongest ways to make progress and raise ambition alongside our partners. Climate change is a planet-wide problem and the solutions require all of us to be engaged. We must address the climate crisis together, and we must do it now.