PROTECTING THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT037Above: WWFInternational's KimCarstensen: "The urgencyof addressing the climatechange threat remains" Main Picture: WWF at theGlobal Day of Action inCopenhagenGREAT EXPECTATIONS - CLOSE THE GAPGovernments are also ignoring a major gap that exists between the aspiration of limiting globaltemperature rise to below 2°C and the greenhouse gasreduction pledges contained in the CopenhagenAccord. Even if all countries achieve reductions at the upperend of the pledged ranges in the Copenhagen Accord,analysis suggests we face warming of 3.5-4°C, withdevastating impacts on people and communities,species and habitats. In this context, there is a pressing need for the G8countries - the richest in the world, with the greatesthistorical responsibility for causing climate change - toshow leadership by agreeing to increase their emissionreduction targets in line with the levels recommendedby scientists. In addition, G8 countries must help close the gap byproviding climate financing required to enable thepoorest and most vulnerable countries adapt to climatechange, as promised in the Copenhagen Accord. G20countries must make a political commitment toidentify the sources and mechanisms for long-termclimate financing in time for the UNFCCC meeting inCancun, Mexico this December.Each G20 country is due to deliver plans and time-lines showing how they will phase out their subsidies toenergy sources including coal and oil. WWF expects tosee movement forwards on this, which could not onlygreatly lower emissions of greenhouse gases, but alsoallow us to transition to clean, renewable energysources as part of the transition to low-carboneconomies, providing economic stimulus and greenjobs in the process.For more information email WWF at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org nworld. This commitment brought significant politicalimpetus to the issue of climate change beingaddressed at the UN-level in following years.And more recently, at last year's summit in L'Aquila, Italy, the G8 agreed the aspiration to limit global temperature rise to below the 2°Cthreshold. In the turmoil of the global economic crisis- and perhaps in recognition of the futility of rebuilding an inherently flawed system - the G8 alsocommitted to invest in a clean, environmentallysustainable, low-carbon economy. The G20 meeting in Pittsburgh in 2009 committed to phase outsubsidies for coal and oil. These meetings outside of the UN system can provideclear political signals to tackle climate change, andthereby build trust in the multilateral UN process. Ofcourse, these countries must also deliver on theirpolitical commitments through real emissionsreductions at home. WWF wants to see accountabilityfor previous commitments being included on the G8 agenda, together with an assessment of how well countries are delivering on their climate change commitments. Unfortunately, just weeks before the Summits, it isunclear whether climate change will be on the agendasof either the G8 or the G20. Canada has not givenclimate change a prominent place on the G8 agenda,nor convened a meeting of G8 Environment Ministers- the first time such a meeting has been omitted sinceGeorge W. Bush hosted the G8 in 2004. A particularly critical question is whether identifyingsources and mechanisms for providing financing formitigation and adaptation actions in vulnerablecountries will receive space on the G20 agenda. BIOGRAPHYKim Carstensen is the leader of WWF Global Climateand Energy Initiative at WWF International. FormerlyCEO of WWF Denmark, Mr Carstensen has beenworking on climate, global environment anddevelopment policy for many years. He was on theofficial Danish delegation to the Rio Conference in1992 and led WWF's preparation process for theWorld Summit on Sustainable Development inJohannesburg in 2002. Mr Carstensen headed theWWF International team at the recent CopenhagenSummit. He has insight into crucial politicaldecisions about climate change due to directinteraction with relevant key players in the keycountries over the years.
" "he global economy is showing signs ofrecovery, in particular in Asia. Thequestion is whether this will be a GreenEconomy Recovery in the 21st centurywith an emphasis on low-carbon, clean-tech, resource-efficient sectors and services or whether it is one that,despite some notable national exceptions, looksbackwards or, at the very least, maintains the vacuumof the status quo. First the positive news: Some economies have put thefinancial and economic crisis to good use. Last year, UNEP presented its Green New Deal policybrief to its annual gathering of environment ministers. Itrecommended that one per cent of GDP, invested ingreen investments, could go a long way to revving-up theglobal economy while stimulating low-carbon, resource-efficient sectors; generating employment and settingthe stage for a more sustainable development path. Professor Edward Barbier, one of the authors of theUNEP brief and a leading environmental economist,has assessed how far countries have so far gone. Of the US$3 trillion spent or earmarked globally for thefiscal stimulus, just over US$460 billion is aimed atgreen investments; this is equal to around 15 per centof the total fiscal stimulus or around 0.7 per cent of theG20's GDP. China and the Republic of Korea lead the way at threeper cent of GDP, followed by Saudi Arabia, 1.7 percent; Australia, 1.2 per cent; and Japan, 0.8 per cent. This is followed by the United States, with 0.7 per centof GDP; Germany, 0.5 per cent; France 0.3 per cent;and Canada, South Africa and the United Kingdom,0.2 per cent. Both China and the Republic of Korea are embeddingthese policy choices in medium-term planning. Forexample, the government of the Republic of Korea hasa five-year green-growth investment plan. It will spendUS$60 billion to cut carbon dependency with the aimof boosting economic growth to 2020 and generatingup to 1.8 million jobs. COPENHAGEN PROVIDESCOOPERATION, ECONOMIC ANDFOREST STIMULUS The UN climate convention meeting also provided an"economic stimulus" with developed economiespledging funding of US$30 billion over three years.This could rise to US$100 billion a year by 2020. The funds will assist developing economies to not onlyadapt to climate change but to also assist in atransition to a low-carbon economy. Some of the fundswill also be earmarked for investments in forests underthe Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forestDegradation (REDD). UN-REDD, of which UNEP is a key part, is preparingsome nine countries including Papua New Guinea,Panama and the Democratic Republic of Congo for thisnew opportunity. All in all, business opportunities inareas such as renewable and clean or cleaner energygeneration alongside ones in natural resourcemanagement. The Copenhagen Accord, to which over 100 countrieshave now associated themselves, is also the firstcooperative climate document bringing togetherdeveloped and developing economies on emissionreductions and constraints. BUSINESSES NEED TO EMBRACE A LOW-CARBON GROWTHTHE BIG ANDRAPIDLY GROWINGECONOMIES HAVETHE FINANCE,KNOW-HOW ANDCAPACITY TO RECEIVE AND TO INVEST SIGNIFICANTSUMS038SUSTAINABLE BUSINESSTACHIM STEINER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE UNITED NATIONSENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME (UNEP)Photo: UN Photo/Ryan Brown