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2020dontbelateA group of leading climate and business experts today identified the year 2020 as a game changing opportunity to turn the tide on the devastating impacts of carbon emissions. Convened by Christiana Figueres - former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – the group met today in London to encourage urgent action in the next three years.

The aim is to protect the remaining window of opportunity to protect vulnerable populations from the worst impacts of climate change and safeguard the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Drawing on findings from a newly published report - “2020: The Climate Turning Point” - the campaign will highlight why the 2020 turning point is necessary, and importantly how it can be realistically achieved, thanks to exponentially growing climate action. The new report, a collaboration between Yale University, Carbon Tracker and Climate Action Tracker (a consortium of Ecofys, New Climate Institute and Climate Analytics), with a contribution by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, summarises the most up to date scientific basis for urgent action to reduce carbon emissions and provides a roadmap of action to 2020.
What needs to happen by 2020?
In the next three years, businesses, investors and policy makers need to take bold, but achievable steps so that major milestones are reached by 2020. A wide range of sectors have a role to play so that by 2020:
Energy: Renewables outcompete fossil fuels as new electricity sources worldwide.
Transport: Zero emission transport is the preferred form of all new mobility in the world’s major cities and transport routes
Infrastructure: Cities and states have established plans and are implementing policies and regulations with the aim to fully decarbonise infrastructure by 2050
Land Use: Large-scale deforestation is replaced by large-scale land restoration and agriculture shifts to earth friendly practices
Industry: Heavy industry - including iron & steel, cement, chemicals, and oil & gas - commits to being Paris compliant
Finance: Investment in climate action is beyond USD $1trillion per year and all financial institutions have a disclosed transition strategy
Christiana Figueres explained the urgency behind the 2020 milestones: “Everyone has a right to prosper, and if emissions do not begin their rapid decline by 2020, the world’s most vulnerable people will suffer even more from the devastating impacts of climate change. Science tells us this is our imperative, technology shows us we have what it takes, the economics are pointing us in the right direction and the benefits to humanity will be immense. This is no time to waver. What has been missing since Paris is a near term focal point for action, which is why we have brought together some of the best minds on the subject to collectively demonstrate that the arc of transformation to a fossil free energy system is possible. We have a collective responsibility to raise ambition, scale up our actions and move forward faster together to safeguard the sustainable development goals and protect the inalienable right to life of our and future generations. Let’s not be late.”
The rallying cry comes in the wake of the US President’s recent Executive Order to roll back many of the Obama Administration’s climate change regulations, including the Clean Power Plan to reduce emissions from coal-fired power plants, which has caused wide spread concern amongst climate change activists.
Christiana Figueres will continue to galvanise a cross-industry movement to ensure that the 2020 turning point is met. You can join the movement by following the #2020DontBeLate hashtag on social media.
The full panel convening today were:

  • Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
  • Astro Teller, entrepreneur, scientist, and author, CEO of X (formerly Google X)
  • Lord Nicholas Stern, Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics
  • Professor Joanna Haigh, Co-Director of the Grantham Institute at Imperial College
  • Professor Thomas Stocker, Professor of Climate and Environmental Physics, Physics Institute, University of Bern, IPCC Co-Chair (2008-2015)
  • Helena Morrissey, CBE, Chair, Investment Association
  • Moderated by Steve Sedgwick, Anchor, CNBC

Report link: http://www.mission2020.global/2020TheClimateTurningPoint.pdf

Based on unfccc.int

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