By Mission 2020
London, April 10, 2017: A 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.”