Surge of new cli­mate ac­tion com­mit­ments

The Gulf Today - Time Out - - ENVIRONMENT - BY MEENA S. JANARDHAN

Pos­i­tive global com­mit­ments were the out­come of the Global Cli­mate Ac­tion Sum­mit that con­cluded ear­lier this month in San Fran­cisco, show­cas­ing a surge of cli­mate ac­tion and com­mit­ments from re­gions, cities, busi­nesses, in­vestors and civil so­ci­ety; and call­ing on gov­ern­ments ev­ery­where to step up their ef­forts to tackle cli­mate change.

Lead­ers from all sec­tors of so­ci­ety gath­ered at the event to demon­strate how they are ‘tak­ing am­bi­tion to the next level’ with a wave of fresh and brave cli­mate ac­tion an­nounce­ments that, if im­ple­mented will gen­er­ate over 65 mil­lion new, low-car­bon jobs by 2030.

Im­por­tantly, the out­comes of the Sum­mit will pro­vide en­cour­age­ment to gov­ern­ments as they fi­nal­ize the im­ple­men­ta­tion guide­lines of the Paris Agree­ment in Poland in De­cem­ber of this year. It will guide them in pre­par­ing their na­tional cli­mate ac­tion plans in 2020, and give them bold op­tions and ex­am­ples for change in de­sign­ing their short and longterm cli­mate strate­gies. Trans­for­ma­tional ac­tion The meet­ing also un­der­lined the trans­for­ma­tional ac­tion they are al­ready pur­su­ing. Over 100 lead­ers, for ex­am­ple, are now com­mit­ted to car­bon neu­tral­ity—or re­mov­ing as much car­bon diox­ide from the at­mos­phere as they emit.

It finds that a stepped-up tran­si­tion to a low-car­bon econ­omy can:

• re­sult in $26 tril­lion in eco­nomic ben­e­fits world­wide through 2030,

• gen­er­ate over 65 mil­lion new low-car­bon jobs in 2030, equiv­a­lent to to­day’s en­tire work­forces of the UK and Egypt com­bined,

• avoid over 700,000 pre­ma­ture deaths from air pol­lu­tion in 2030,

• gen­er­ate, through just sub­sidy re­form and car­bon pric­ing, an es­ti­mated $2.8 tril­lion in gov­ern­ment rev­enues per year in 2030—equiv­a­lent to the to­tal GDP of In­dia to­day—funds that can be used to in­vest in other pub­lic pri­or­i­ties or re­duce dis­tort­ing taxes,

• by a shift to more sus­tain­able forms of agri­cul­ture com­bined with strong for­est pro­tec­tion, de­liver po­ten­tially more than $2 tril­lion per year of eco­nomic ben­e­fits, gen­er­at­ing mil­lions of jobs, im­prov­ing food se­cu­rity— in­clud­ing by re­duc­ing food loss and waste—and de­liv­er­ing over a third of the cli­mate change so­lu­tion, and

• by restor­ing nat­u­ral cap­i­tal, es­pe­cially our forests, de­graded lands and coastal zones, strengthen our de­fenses and boost adap­ta­tion to cli­mate im­pacts, from more ex­treme weather pat­terns to sea-level rise.

HEALTHY EN­ERGY SYS­TEMS

An al­liance of more than 60 state/re­gional, city gov­ern­ments and multi­na­tional busi­nesses are now com­mit­ted to a 100% zero emis­sion tar­gets. 12 re­gions – in­clud­ing Cat­alo­nia, Lom­bardy, Scot­land, and Wash­ing­ton State, rep­re­sent­ing over 80 mil­lion peo­ple and over 5 per­cent of global GDP will have 100 per cent zero emis­sion pub­lic fleets by 2030.

26 cities with 140 mil­lion peo­ple are com­mit­ted to buy only zero emis­sion buses start­ing in 2025 and cre­at­ing zero emis­sion ar­eas in their cities start­ing in 2030.

Busi­ness is step­ping-for­ward with multi­na­tional com­pa­nies com­mit­ted to tak­ing fleets zero emis­sion. Al­most 400 global com­pa­nies along with health care providers, cities, states and re­gions now have 100% re­new­able en­ergy tar­gets.

Over 30 en­ergy in­ten­sive in­dus­try and prop­erty play­ers have set smart en­ergy and net zero car­bon build­ings tar­gets. In­clu­sive eco­nomic growth 488 com­pa­nies from 38 coun­tries have adopted emis­sion re­duc­tion path­ways in line with the science of the Paris Agree­ment—up nearly 40 per cent from last year. Nearly a fifth of For­tune Global 500 com­pa­nies have now com­mit­ted to set sci­ence­based emis­sions re­duc­tion tar­gets.

At the Sum­mit, 21 com­pa­nies an­nounced the Step Up Dec­la­ra­tion, a new al­liance ded­i­cated to har­ness­ing the power of emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies and the fourth in­dus­trial revo­lu­tion to help re­duce green­house gas emis­sions across all eco­nomic sec­tors and en­sure a cli­mate turn­ing point by 2020.

Many signed a new Pledge for a Just Tran­si­tion to De­cent Jobs. They pledged to only buy from re­new­able en­ergy providers that up­hold fun­da­men­tal work­ers’ rights in­clud­ing so­cial pro­tec­tions and wage guar­an­tees. Sus­tain­able com­mu­ni­ties Over 70 big cities, home to some 425 mil­lion cit­i­zens, are now com­mit­ted to car­bon neu­tral­ity by 2050, in­clud­ing Ac­cra, Los An­ge­les, Tokyo and Mex­ico City. These ac­tions alone will lead to a 2.5 per­cent cut of an­nual global green­house gas emis­sions and the avoid­ance of 12 bil­lion tonnes of car­bon diox­ide equiv­a­lent by 2050. A fur­ther 9,100 cities rep­re­sent­ing 800 mil­lion cit­i­zens are now com­mit­ted to city-wide cli­mate ac­tion plans. This could lead to re­duc­tions of more than 60 bil­lion tonnes of car­bon diox­ide equiv­a­lent be­tween now and 2050. Land and ocean stew­ard­ship A pow­er­ful Lead­ers Group and a new al­liance link­ing over 100 NGOs, busi­nesses, state and lo­cal gov­ern­ments, indige­nous groups and lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties was launched to fire up ac­tion across the for­est, food and land agen­das.

Over 100 global sup­ply chain ac­tors and in­vestors–manag­ing over US $5.6 tril­lion–pledged to work with a va­ri­ety of or­ga­ni­za­tions to halt de­for­esta­tion and na­tive veg­e­ta­tion loss in the Cer­rado, Brazil.

Nine lead­ing phil­an­thropic foun­da­tions an­nounced their in­tent to com­mit at least $459 mil­lion through 2022 to the pro­tec­tion, restora­tion and ex­pan­sion of forests and lands world­wide— the an­nounce­ment un­der­lined indige­nous peo­ples’ and tra­di­tional com­mu­ni­ties’ col­lec­tive land rights and re­source man­age­ment. Trans­for­ma­tive in­vest­ments The In­vestor Agenda was for­mally launched bring­ing to­gether nearly 400 in­vestors manag­ing US $32 tril­lion of as­sets. In­vestors with as­sets more than a third larger than the econ­omy of the United States are now firmly fo­cused on ac­cel­er­at­ing and scal­ing-up fi­nan­cial flows into cli­mate ac­tion and build­ing a more sus­tain­able, low-car­bon, global econ­omy.

296 in­vestors have now joined Cli­mate Ac­tion 100+ which is work­ing with some of the high­est emit­ting com­pa­nies to as­sist them in low­er­ing emis­sions, get­ting on track with clean en­ergy and the goals of the Paris Agree­ment.

42 fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions gath­ered un­der the main­stream­ing Cli­mate Ac­tion in Fi­nan­cial In­sti­tu­tions ini­tia­tive, rep­re­sent­ing over $13 tril­lion in as­sets, an­nounced a com­mit­ment to help­ing cities, states, and re­gions fi­nance cli­mate ac­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.