COP25 – Time for action

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COP25 results disappoint

From the 2nd to the 13th of december, the future of this entire planet was discussed at the UNCCC (United Nations Climate Change conference) in Madrid. This might sound somewhat over the top, it is, however, the truth. The conference, including the COP25 (25th Conference of the Parties), served to follow up on the Paris Climate Change Agreement, as well as planning beyond 2020 with updated ambitions for the fight against Climate Change. The measures taken will be critical for whether an escalation of the climate change can be prevented.

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Urgency to act now while there is still a chance to prevent reaching the tipping point, which marks the point from where on a drastic climate change with fatal consequences is inevitable, was communicated more strongly than ever. Therefore, expectations towards the Conference were extremely high. The results, however, were more than disappointing as several voices claimed, among them Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The gap between what measures and objectives science demands, and what the COP25 was actually able to agree on, is a lot higher than had been hoped for. The lack of dedication and consensus on a global range is all the more reason for countries, cities, companies and anyone willing to join the movement to take their own steps and make their own commitments towards mitigation and adaptation.

 

Companies show initiative

And it’s already happening! While the general output was sobering, there is definitely also good news. Businesses all over the world for example are showing more and more willingness to take matters into their own hands. At the UN Climate Action Summit in september a group of companies already devoted themselves to highly ambitious emissions reduction targets in compliance with the goals of 1.5ºC and net-zero emissions by 2050. At COP25, the number of companies pledged to those goals was more than doubled, adding up to 177 companies. This stems from the “Business Ambition for 1.5ºC – Our Only Future” campaign with targets set in alignment to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). This commitment forms a major contribution to the Climate Ambition Alliance, a multi-stakeholder network convened by the COP25 Chilean Presidency uniting countries, businesses, investors, cities and regions devoted to reaching net-zero emissions by no later than 2050.

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Chances for Climate Action

Firstly, this development is great news because the combined emissions of those 177 companies equal the direct annual CO2 emissions of France. Therefore, this alliance alone is a good step towards reduction of emissions. Secondly, in addition to that direct effect, a wide-scale commitment such as this is likely to create a positive feedback loop – a so-called ambition loop. That means that ambitious environmental targets can inspire and motivate other companies, but also governments and private sector institutions to establish corresponding policies.

Increasing dedication towards Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) was also highly encouraged by both countries and non-state actors at the COP25. These efforts are directed at enabling the public to act on the climate crisis, through actions such as education, training and cooperation. Besides government initiatives, as a company such as Social Forest we can do our share by providing information, offering educational events and cooperating with other public as well as private players in matters of climate actions.

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Forests to the rescue

Another topic that forms an important part in battling the climate crisis that was also addressed during the conference is forestry. Healthy and well managed forests, such as Social Forest works on creating, not only contribute to a higher biodiversity and an increase in the quality of people’s life, but also fixate emitted carbon and thereby reduce the climate change effect. Through that, sustainable forest management greatly contributes to one of the main goals of the COP25: carbon neutrality.

Chile initiated the “Santiago Call for Action on Forests”, based on the fact that on one hand, 23% of all greenhouse gas emissions derive from the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) sector and on the other hand, forests, if sustainably managed, could provide up to 30% of greenhouse gas mitigation required by 2030 to keep the increase in global average temperature below 2ºC. The COP25 determines that the potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions that the forestry holds has to be utilized.

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Do you want to know how your company can contribute to a sustainable forest management and thereby become an actor in the fight for the survival of our planet? Then find out more about how Social Forest works against Climate Change and how you join us to work together on our website!

 

Images: UN News, Social Forest

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