World climate change agreement brings benefits for nature and people
Paris - The commitments enshrined in the new global climate change agreement must be translated into on-the-ground action to protect nature and communities across Canada to reach the ultimate goal of limiting global warming below 1.5 C, a target that will help protect vulnerable regions, particularly the Arctic.
After two weeks of negotiations, governments reached an agreement that represents good momentum towards a global movement for action to combat climate change, but accelerated actions from governments, businesses and civil society will be needed to make real progress.
"World leaders arrived here on a wave of optimism, and have delivered an agreement that provides a foundation for the world to reduce the worst impacts of climate change," said David Miller, WWF-Canada's President and CEO. "With this agreement in place, it is important that Canada responds by making the spirit of the agreement a reality."
The Paris agreement goes into effect in 2020, and science tells us that in order to meet the global goal of limiting warming to below 1.5 C, emissions must peak before 2020 and sharply decline thereafter to ensure that communities and ecosystems in the Arctic and other vulnerable communities will be able to survive.
The talks also created a critical platform that produced commitments from governments and non-state actors that signalled that the world is ready for a clean-energy transition. WWF-Canada believes we must transition to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2050, and to do so in a way that takes into account what's best for nature and for communities.
WWF-Canada works with communities across the country that are under threat from a changing climate and disruptions from development. While international agreements play a big part in reducing these threats, pledges from actors associated with the agreement, such as businesses, cities, provinces, and community groups also play an important role. All of these elements were at play in and outside the negotiating rooms in Paris, and will provide essential support to reducing the impacts of climate change locally, nationally and internationally.
For WWF-Canada, developing strategies for climate-friendly land use, understanding and acting on climate impacts on land and marine ecosystems, and building partnerships that result in resilient communities are import areas of ongoing work that will help the country to adapt to a changing climate.
"What matters now is the road from Paris, and how we work together to take action based on the deal that has been reached today. Globally, and at home in Canada, making this a success means national and provincial governments, cities, businesses and citizens around the world will need to work together for nature, our true wealth," said David Miller.