World Energy Outlook 2021 – Analysis and key findings. A report by the International Energy Agency.
Solutions to close the gap with a 1.5 °C path are available – and many are highly cost-effective
TheWEO-2021highlights four key measures that can help to close the gap between today’s pledges and a 1.5 °C trajectory over the next ten years – and to underpin further emissions reductions post-2030.More than 40% of the actions required are cost-effective, meaning that they result in overall cost savings to consumers compared with the pathway in the APS. All countries need to do more: those with existing net zero pledges account for about half of the additional reductions, notably China. The four measures are:
A massiveadditional push for clean electrificationthat requires a doubling of solar PV and wind deployment relative to the APS; a major expansion of other low-emissions generation, including the use of nuclear power where acceptable; a huge build-out of electricity infrastructure and all forms of system flexibility, including from hydropower; a rapid phase out of coal; and a drive to expand electricity use for transport and heating. Accelerating the decarbonisation of the electricity mix is the single most important lever available to policy makers: it closes more than one-third of the emissions gap between the APS and NZE. With improved power market designs and other enabling conditions, the low costs of wind and solar PV mean that more than half of the additional emissions reductions could be gained at no cost to electricity consumers.
A relentlessfocus on energy efficiency, together with measures to temper energy service demand through materials efficiency and behavioural change. The energy intensity of the global economy decreases by more than 4% per year between 2020 and 2030 in the NZE – more than double the average rate of the previous decade. Without this improvement in energy intensity, total final energy consumption in the NZE would be about one-third higher in 2030, significantly increasing the cost and difficulty of decarbonising energy supply. We estimate that almost 80% of the additional energy efficiency gains in the NZE over the next decade result in cost savings to consumers.
A broaddrive to cut methane emissions from fossil fuel operations.Rapid reductions in methane emissions are a key tool to limit near-term global warming, and the most cost-effective abatement opportunities are in the energy sector, particularly in oil and gas operations. Methane abatement is not addressed quickly or effectively enough by simply reducing fossil fuel use; concerted efforts from governments and industry are vital to secure the emissions cuts that close nearly 15% of the gap to the NZE.
A bigboost to clean energy innovation. This is another crucial gap to be filled in the 2020s, even though most of the impacts on emissions are not felt until later. All the technologies needed to achieve deep emissions cuts to 2030 are available. But almost half of the emissions reductions achieved in the NZE in 2050 come from technologies that today are at the demonstration or prototype stage. These are particularly important to address emissions from iron and steel, cement and other energy-intensive industrial sectors – and also from long-distance transport. Today’s announced pledges fall short of key NZE milestones for the deployment of hydrogen-based and other low-carbon fuels, as well as carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS).
Federal and state governments should spend more time trying to improve people’s lives and less time trying to keep them quiet.
By Isabelle Reinecke
The jailing of a 22-year-old climate change protester is a prime example of this authoritarian tendency. Eric Serge Herbert wassentenced to 12 months in prisonfor his part in a two-week anti-coal protest under the banner of Blockade Australia. Herbert had blocked a coal train by climbing it in the Hunter region of New South Wales. Perhaps he got off lightly: the NSW police commissioner, Mick Fuller, had threatened to charge protesters who block rail lines with laws designed for those who wilfully seek to harm or kill rail passengers, which carry a maximum sentence of 25 years.
Australia is the only democracy in the world without a national human rights framework. Australians do not enjoy a universal right to protest, protected by law, even though our history is littered with popular movements and disruptive protests that have helped to create modern Australia. The Australian constitution offers only an implied right to political communication, which in some circumstances has protected some protest rights, most recently inBob Brown v Tasmaniain 2017; and only the ACT, Victoria and Queensland have gone so far as to protect some human rights through legislation. This leaves many commonly used mechanisms for dissent, debate and progress tenuously protected – at best.
Protests are by their very nature disruptive, unwieldy things – they are, after all, often about the powerless raising their collective voices to challenge the powerful. The right to protest goes beyond the right to assembly peacefully, and incorporates strikes, boycotts, occupations, blockades and many other non-violent tactics as befits the cause in question.
There is, however, a fundamental difference between protests that cause or threaten people with violence, and those which are merely disruptive. It is helpful to contrast the treatment of the “freedom protesters” in Victoria – who erected gallows in front of the parliament and called for the execution of elected officials – with the sentences meted out to those who protest Australia’s extractive industries by causing a nuisance.
There is an ongoing effort to restrict what is considered “legitimate” protest to that which is least effective. Prime minister Scott Morrison was quick to condemn the unjust treatment of protesters in Hong Kong, but at home, theCoalitionhas waged its own war on those campaigning for Indigenous rights, climate justice and animal welfare. Morrison has accused protesters of “economic sabotage” and threatened to throw the legal book at them after successful secondary boycotts of the Adani Carmichael coalmine. Laws being debated in the Senate would allow for charities that are even tangentially connected to protests to be deregistered, starving them of income. In Queensland, the use of “lock-on” tubes and similar protest paraphernalia now carries a two-year sentence.
In addition, state and federal governments have passed anti-protest laws that grant special protection to agricultural and extractive industries, which have a history of attracting protests from unions, First Nations peoples and environmentalists. Special laws penalising those who disrupt agricultural, forestry or mining activity, such as those under which Herbert was convicted, can be found across Australia. The Tasmanian government, which still bears the emotional scars of theFranklin Dam protestsin the 1980s, sought repeatedly to enact legislation that, in its original iteration, would have included mandatory minimum sentences for protesters who on more than one occasion “prevent, hinder, or obstruct the carrying out of a business activity”.
Even as the federal and state governments seek to criminalise protest, they are working overtime to undermine many of the legal channels for holding them to account. The commonwealth now routinely violates the freedom of information laws, through which the public can find out how decisions are being made and the impact of government policies. Earlier this month the Office of the Australian Information Commissioncensured the prime minister’s own departmentfor breaching freedom of information laws by failing to comply with requests within deadlines for the second year running. The Commonwealth Integrity Commission, the federal government’s neutered version of an independent anti-corruption watchdog, seems no closer to being implemented than when it was first proposed back in 2018.
Societies are made up of competing interests, and power struggles between these interests produce conflicts. Making space for different views and being able to accommodate this push-and-pull of competing ideas and interests is a sign of a robust democracy. Making governments less accountable to the public – whether by cracking down on protests or weakening legislative oversight – does not change the material conditions that underlie protests and political differences. It simply removes release valves that help prevent these tensions from escalating. Governments would be better placed spending more time working to improve people’s lives and less time trying to keep them quiet.
Traditional Owners Pabai Pabai and Paul Kabai are taking the Commonwealth Government to court for climate negligence to protect their home in Gudamalulgal in the Torres Strait.
Their people arebearing witnessto the destruction of their cemeteries and sacred sites, as well as salt water killing the gardens where they grow healthy food.
Similar cases overseas have changed the legal landscape and garnered international attention. To do the same we need as many people as possible to stand together with Pabai and Paul as witnesses to the destruction unchecked climate change is having on our way of life.
Activists have urged his Convex Insurance to join more than 40 other leading insurers and refuse insurance for the controversial Australian mega-coalmine Adani.
Convex is an international specialty insurer and reinsurer co-founded two years ago by Mr Catlin with operations in Bermuda and London.
The environmental organisation Market Forces published a satirical recruitment video on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube — a video that Convex recently needed legal action to have removed.
But Market Forces also hired an advertising van with a huge digital screen to play the video in the vicinity of the insurance event attendees.
Insurance Insider’s London Market Conference is billed as the best-attended and the most thought-provoking strategic event for (re)insurance professionals, executives and advisers involved with the London market.
Market Forces is using the event’s prominence to pressure Convex to rule out underwriting the Adani Carmichael coal project. It says that Convex has not ruled out the project although more than 40 other insurers have.
In a statement to promote their cause, the environmentalists said: “The Adani Carmichael coalmine in Australia is one of the most environmentally and socially destructive projects on Earth.
”It will emit 4.6 billion tonnes of CO2 — equivalent to more than eight years of Australia’s annual greenhouse gas emissions — and unleash proposals for even larger mines in the Galilee Basin.
“If all these mines go ahead, the Galilee Basin alone could produce over 5 per cent of global carbon emissions by 2030. The scale of the mine is so vast that it puts global climate targets in danger.
“In late 2019, after being denied insurance by mainstream insurance companies, Adani was able to secure coverage for the Carmichael coal project via insurers at Lloyd’s of London.
”However, while Adani Carmichael has managed to obtain sufficient insurance so far, its options in the Lloyd’s marketplace are rapidly shrinking, with five of Adani’s current insurers — the latest being Ascot — now publicly refusing to renew their insurance policies associated with the project.
“So far, 106 companies have ruled out underwriting the project, including 42 major insurance companies.
“One notable exception is London-based Convex Insurance. This makes Convex one of the only major insurance companies left that is willing to underwrite the project.
“Earlier this month, Market Forces published a satirical recruitment video exposing Convex’s willingness to insure coal projects like Carmichael. The video faced backlash from the company and led to Convex engaging lawyers to successfully remove the video from YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn.
“Activists played the video on a 4x2m screen ad van as attendees arrived for the conference held in Houndsditch, City of London. Activists also gave out briefings to attendees about the egregious impacts that the coalmine, rail line and export terminal would have if it goes ahead.
Mia Watanabe, UK Campaigner for Market Forces, said: “Convex is trying to censor a video about their involvement in financing dirty coal projects, so we’ve brought the video to their doorstep to show them that they have nowhere to hide.
“The recent end of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow — where countries agreed to ‘phase down’ coal power — and the International Energy Agency’s Net Zero report showing the need for ‘huge declines’ in the use of coal, shows that no climate-conscious insurance company can underwrite new coal projects. With over 40 major insurers ruling out underwriting the Carmichael project so far, all eyes are now on Convex to cut ties with Adani.”
States Fail to Adequately Address Climate Change: An Indigenous Peoples’ Analysis of COP26 Decisions | Cultural Survival
From October 31 to November 12, 2021, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties (COP 26) took place in Glasgow, Scotland. As Cultural Survival reflects on theoutcomes of COP26, we can’t help but feel that despite the tremendous efforts brought forth by Indigenous Peoples and our delegations from across the world, global leaders failed to act on the urgency of the climate crisis. Global leaders failed to empathize with what we, as Indigenous Peoples, experience on a daily basis– the direct impacts and catastrophes of climate change. If the climate crisis is to be abated, and if we are to reach the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5֯°C, the global community must wake up and acknowledge climate change is an urgent matter that requires true commitment and changed behaviors now.
This year, Indigenous Peoples represented the second-largest civil society delegation in attendance at COP26, second only to oil and gas lobbyists which accounted for 500+ delegates. The general feeling towards COP26 is best captured by Cultural Survival’s Lead on Brazil and COP26 delegate, Edson Krenak (Krenak), “COP26 brought us many disappointments. As always, Indigenous Peoples, as guardians of the land did not sit at the table where negotiations and decisions were made. States continue, together with corporations, to try to save the economy, capital, the money machine that is capitalism or colonialism – in this context, it is only these terms that are interchangeable, and they are not working to save the planet!”
Nevertheless, we are resilient and adaptive Peoples, and we will continue to do our part in holding our sacred responsibilities towards Mother Earth. As always, it is a pleasure to commune and gather with our Indigenous relatives from around the world and this gives us renewed hope. Again, in Edson Krenak’s words, “I realized that it is not just a colonial past and a condition of vulnerability that unites and defines us, but our ancestral pedagogy: we all learn by listening to the voice of the other species! During this time, Indigenous Peoples from many parts of the world gathered at theInternational Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change (IIPFCC) or Indigenous People’s Caucusto discuss and agree that our territories need to be protected, that our rights, the rights of fish, birds, animals, rivers, trees, and all other relatives of Mother Earth need to be respected.”
This article hopes to analyze and reflect on the occurrences of COP26, its accomplishments and deficiencies, particularly where it relates to Indigenous Peoples’ rights.
Increased Participation of Indigenous Peoples
Even though Indigenous Peoples were not at the helm of the decision-making machine, we were successful in lobbying and engaging with governments, and partners which allowed us to voice our concerns regarding climate issues in our communities. This allowed us to influence policies related to issues that will have a direct impact on our communities. We also reaffirmed and strengthened our resolve to continue to make our voices in these international spaces heard and continue to push for the recognition of human rights and the protection of Indigenous Peoples’ rights. As previously noted, the IIPFCC was the second-largest delegation at COP26 next to the oil and gas lobbyists. This in and of itself is a major accomplishment for Indigenous Peoples around the world.
Graeme Reed(Anishinabee), Co-Chair of the IIPFCC spoke about the activities of the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform (LCIPP), which was established at COP24 in 2018 in Katowice, Poland, along with the creation of a newly constituted body, the Facilitated Working Group, which has seven Indigenous representatives that are self-selected from the seven UN socio-cultural regions and seven States, “At COP26, we had the first-ever annual Knowledge Keepers Gathering. Twenty-eight knowledge keepers from around the world organized within those seven UN socio-cultural regions and we were able to actually have our own meeting that allowed us to create our own space. This is the first time ever that we’ve had a meeting within the parameters of the Blue Zone, which is the UNFCCC-controlled framework that explicitly asked States to stay out. For me, that’s just an indication of our ability and our growing ability to create space for Indigenous Peoples within these systems.”
Graeme Reed also commented on a few achievements, the adoption of the work plan (2022-2025) of the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform and securing one seat to represent Indigenous Peoples in the Climate Technology Centre and Network Advisory Body, the “first successful outcome was the adoption of the second three-year work plan of the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples’ Platform, which was co-constructed by the Facilitative Working Group which is represented by Indigenous Peoples and States on a consensus basis. We got acceptance of that work plan to continue for another three years and prospectively open up additional space for those sorts of annual knowledge holder gatherings. We also landed a decision on the Climate Technology Center and Networks Advisory Body. For a while, Indigenous Peoples have been advocating to have one seat, even if one seat is insufficient, one seat [is] to represent Indigenous knowledge, science, and perspective on that climate technology network.”
Adoption of the Glasgow Climate Pact
Another pivotal accomplishment coming out of COP26 is the adoption of theGlasgow Climate Pactby nearly 200 countries. This pact reinforced theParis Agreement, especially where it concerns setting Global warming limits. The Paris Agreement set global warming limits “well below 2° Celsius,” however, the Glasgow Pact aims to set global warming limitsto 1.5 degrees Celsius. It recognizes the fact that there is no safe limit for global warming. A fact that hopefully will resound globally and will have an impact on our carbon footprints. Numerous other Declarationsreached at COP26 also aimed to reduce emissions, with the hope of maintaining the target of global warming at 1.5֯°C. However, the general consensus is that it is not enough. For instance, it remains to be seen what impact coal mining, petroleum, and natural gas collection and the continuation thereof will have on the proposed targets. Last minute in the negotiations of the Glasgow Pact, India was able to get language included in the Pact that references a “phase down” rather than “phase out” of coal mining. This reinforces the criticism that COP26 did not act on the urgency of the climate change crisis. This undoubtedly will have a direct impact on the global community’s ability to keep 1.5֯°C alive. The chief organizer of COP26, Alok Sharma, described the Glasgow Pact as “a fragile win,” affirming the general feeling that not enough is being done in respect of the climate change crisis.
Cultural Survival’s Director of Strategic Partnerships and Communications and COP26 delegate, Daisee Francour (Oneida) shares, “While member states at COP26 did not make the necessary commitments to truly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Glasgow Climate Pact was the first climate deal to reduce coal, a leading contributor to climate change. While more than 40 countries have committed to phasing out coal, in our own communities, we must leverage this small commitment to push our local and national governments to go beyond this phase-out. This means continuing to apply pressure on these governments to work towards a true, just transition, which actually addresses climate, economic, and social justice. We cannot afford to take any steps backwards as we collectively dream and co-create a new, green economy. We must center Indigenous leadership, rights, and Free, Prior and Informed Consent as we build new systems, infrastructure, and materials to build a more sustainable future.”
Member States such as Denmark, Canada, Italy, and the United States along with other public finance institutions created a joint statement that commits to ending international public support for the unabated fossil fuel energy sector by the end of 2022.
Inclusion of Human Rights Language in Article 6
A major focus of negotiations at COP26 was Article 6 of the Paris Agreement as it was one of the unresolved issues at COP21 held in Paris in 2015when the Paris Agreement was signed. Therefore, the decision reached at COP26 in respect of Article 6 has been six years in the making. Article 6 serves as the rulebook on CO2 emissions, it is an accounting mechanism on how CO2 emissions are going to be calculated or accounted for. It sets out the rules for the use of Carbon Markets, Emissions Reduction, and National Climate Action Plans. Article 6 refers to a system of carbon trading that will allow big polluters to continue polluting. “Cultural Survival’s stance on Article 6 is that we do not believe in carbon market mechanisms as a climate change solution. We think they should be scrapped altogether. In the context of COP26 negotiations, these market mechanisms were disguised as nature-based solutions. Nevertheless, the IIPFCC decided to act within the proposed framework and push for the inclusion of references to human rights and Indigenous Peoples’ rights throughout the text of Article 6. The final text mentions the need to respect Indigenous Peoples’ rights but does not mention the need to obtain our Free, Prior and Informed Consent,” says Galina Angarova (Buryat), Cultural Survival Executive Director.
While the lobbying efforts of the IIPFCC resulted in getting language for the recognition of human rights and Indigenous rights in several provisions of this Article 6, as now evidenced in theGlasgow Climate Pact, the inclusive language could best be described as vague or general, lacking the vigor we hoped for. Unfortunately, other proposals made by the IIPFCC were not included. TheInternational Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Changedescribed their consternation, “[w]e welcome the inclusion of the rights of Indigenous Peoples in some provisions of Article 6.
However, we wanted to see an independent grievance mechanism, not a process in Article 6.4. We are also dismayed at the exclusion of our rights in activity design and implementation. In particular, the consultation provision in 6.4 is inadequate. It needs to include applicable international standards and ensure compliance with the rights of Indigenous Peoples to Free, Prior and Informed Consent.”
Addressing Loss and Damage
Another area of concern to many at COP26, including Indigenous Peoples and developing countries, is in the area of loss and damage caused by climate change effects. What came out of the Paris Agreement was the creation of a finance facility that would provide assistance to developing countries facing environmental degradation resulting from climate change effects, i.e. loss and damage. Therefore, the expansion of this loss and damage finance facility was a major agenda for developing countries at COP26. They pushed hard and hoped for a decision, in the new Glasgow Pact, seeking the expansion of the loss and damage finance facility. Unfortunately, their efforts were unsuccessful, as developed countries vetoed their attempts at expansion. Nonetheless, the Glasgow Pact acknowledges existing loss and damage already caused by the impact of climate change and that this will only increase and pose greater threats to societies, economies, and the environment. Also notable is paragraph 62 of the Glasgow Pact, which “acknowledges the important role of a broad range of stakeholders at the local, national and regional level, including Indigenous Peoples and local communities, in averting, minimizing and addressing loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change.”
However, major criticisms regarding the decision in the area of loss and damage are that it failed to set aside new funding for developing countries much less to Indigenous communities, despite the fact that they face more direct negative effects of climate change. As previously noted, there was major push back from developed countries related to the expansion of funding from entering the Glasgow Pact. For many, this is disappointing as developed countries seem to continually skirt their pledges and obligations, particularly, in light of the fact that their promise to provide $100 billion per year to fight climate change still has not been fulfilled. “It is a well known fact that the carbon footprints of Indigenous Peoples and some small developing countries are minimal in comparison to those of developed countries. Developed countries are the worst polluters of Mother Nature, however, they get to skirt their obligations, while Indigenous Peoples get to bear the brunt of these bad decisions. This is unfair to say the least,” says Monica Magnusson (Q’eqchi Maya), Director of Advocacy and Policy at Cultural Survival.
Funding and access to it were at the heart of COP26 discussions. For instance, a pledge of $19.2 billion was endorsed by world leaders at COP26 for the protection of forests and to end deforestation. Additionally, recognizing the invaluable role that Indigenous Peoples play in climate change solutions and mitigation, several philanthropic organizations pledged funding in the amount of $1.7 billion dollars, to fund the efforts of Indigenous Peoples in their fight against climate change. Of this, the IIPFCC said, “we appreciate the commitment of $1.7 billion to protect forests and land led by Indigenous Peoples and look forward to designing our own inclusive mechanisms that will benefit all socio-cultural regions…It is essential that Indigenous Peoples have direct access to finance, rather than systems that route funding through intermediary organizations that are completely inaccessible and unreliable. Dedicated climate financing for Indigenous Peoples could provide support for us to maintain, restore and enhance our knowledge and practices that care for the Earth, to promote Indigenous food sovereignty, create an appropriate structure for loss and damage to compensate Indigenous Peoples, and advance the rights of Indigenous women and persons with disabilities within the climate agenda.”
Indigenous Peoples welcome these funding pledges, and support from partners who see and recognize the invaluable role that Indigenous Peoples play in safeguarding our planet. It is, however, our hope that they will create or refine existing funding mechanisms that are directly accessible to Indigenous Peoples and will directly reach local communities at the forefront of climate change so that they can continue to sustainably manage forests, lands, and territories for the benefit of all.
Adoption of the Just Transition Declaration
Perhaps recognizing that the decision reached in the Glasgow Pact about limiting emissions, is nowhere close to meeting proposed targets, several declarations came out of COP26 aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One of particular interest is theJust Transition Declaration, which recognizes the need to include everyone, especially the vulnerable, in the transition to net zero emissions and environmentally sustainable economy. The preamble to the Declaration, acknowledges that vulnerable groups are most affected by climate change effects including those living in poverty, workers in carbon intensive industry and production. It also notes that climate change mitigation and adaptation must be inclusive and must benefit the most vulnerable by distributing resources equitably and ensuring economic and political empowerment, among other things. The Declaration stated, “ a commitment to gender equality, racial equality and social cohesion; protection of the rights of Indigenous Peoples; disability inclusion; intergenerational equity and young people; the promotion of women and girls; marginalized persons’ leadership and involvement in decision-making; and recognition of the value of their knowledge and leadership; and support for the collective climate action of diverse social groups. Social dialogue as well as rights at work are indispensable building blocks of sustainable development and must be at the centre of policies for strong, sustainable, and inclusive growth and development.”
The Declaration also acknowledges the need for safeguards in existing and new supply chains, and the importance of creating decent work for all, such as the most vulnerable. It recognizes the need to respect human rights and the need to promote social dialogue and engagement between all those who will be affected by the transition to green economies, such as governments, employers, and workers. Notably, it recognizes the importance of upholding human rights and the protection of the rights of Indigenous Peoples as well as acknowledging International Labor Organization guidelines. This is a plus for Indigenous Peoples’ rights recognition, human rights, and worker’s rights.
However, while this Declaration recognizes Indigenous Peoples’ rights, it could have included stronger human rights language such that of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and language affirming the rights of Indigenous peoples to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC). This would have particular importance and a big win for Indigenous Peoples because mining is occurring and will continue to occur on Indigenous territories. “Had the Declaration included stronger human rights protection language, it would have illustrated its commitment to focus more on the JUST aspect of transition and less on economic benefits,” says Coc Magnusson. Because that is not the case, Indigenous Peoples have to be more vigilant and will have to continue to hold states accountable to ensuring that UNDRIP and FPIC standards are operationalized within their territories.
Despite the numerous declarations that came out of COP26, such as the foregoing, declarations are not legally binding on signatories. But the benefit and utility in declarations are that they illustrate the intent of the parties to the agreement and perhaps it creates a moral obligation to stand by one’s pledge. This intent of parties with the support or pressure from civil society, local communities, and Indigenous Peoples will become stronger until changes are achieved. “Now, more than ever, Indigenous Peoples and other movements will continue to unify to pressure States to respect Indigenous rights, human rights, and FPIC. Parallel to this process, it is important to reflect on the consumerism in our households, especially in developed countries as consumers are the final clients of what is produced from extractivism. Over and over, I heard Elders say at COP26: ‘take only what you need and use it wisely’,” says Avexnim Cojti, Cultural Survival Director of Programs and COP26 delegate.
Given the overall lack of action for the urgency of the climate crisis by the global leaders, as evidenced in the decisions, pacts, and declarations reached at COP26, Indigenous Peoples recognized that there is so much more to be done. Much of this work, like keeping member states accountable to their commitment will fall on our shoulders. We recognize that if we are to win the climate change war, it means we as Indigenous Peoples will have to work harder, and we will have to amp up our efforts both at the local and international levels. We have to do everything that we can to ensure our local Indigenous communities get the financing they need to continue to steward their lands in a sustainable and environmentally respectable manner. We will continue to advocate for their collective rights to lands and resources. However, we recognize that we could talk all we want at global conferences, but the real effects and changes will only happen at the local level. “Local resilience requires local traditional knowledge. We cannot address a global crisis without focusing on local, place-based solutions,” stated Galina Angarova (Buryat), Cultural Survival Executive Director. Supporting Indigenous communities at the local level supports and enriches the ecosystem in that region, and the health of that regional ecosystem impacts that of surrounding ecosystems. This strengthens the interconnected and interdependent web of ecosystems (or web of life), and Indigenous Peoples’ traditional knowledge is the catalyst for the climate change mitigation our world desperately needs. We, at Cultural Survival, are committed to our Indigenous communities that we partner with, and we intend to continue to expand our efforts in ensuring the promotion and protection of Indigenous Peoples’ and human rights.
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Donating to Greenfleet this Christmas is a practical way you can make a difference and grow climate hope for the future. Give the gift of climate hope by donating to plant trees or offset emissions today.
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Global biodiversity loss is inextricably linked to climate change. Under all emission scenarios, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC)Sixth Assessment Reportfinds that global surface temperature will continue increasing until at least mid-century, withwarming of 1.5–2°C exceeded during this centuryand climate impacts threatening species and their habitats, unless there is a rapid and significant reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Transformative change is urgently needed if we are to combat both biodiversity loss and the climate crisis.
The time to act is now.
Investing in protected and conserved areas is investing in our future
Investing in effective protected and conserved areas is an essential tool for achieving the protection of nature, through biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation. In ourCreating a Nature-Positive Futurereportwe present a path to enhance protected and conserved areas coverageandquality to secure global nature, with multiple co-benefits for people.
The report builds on the findings of theProtected Planet Report 2020, summarising progress towards the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Target 11. Currently, protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs), also known as protected and conserved areas, cover 16.79% of non-Antarctic land and 8.0% of the ocean, with 43.7% of terrestrial ecoregions and 47.4% of marine ecoregions having some level of coverage. Protected and conserved areas provide essential protection of Key Biodiversity Areas and Ecologically or Biologically Significant Marine Areas, with 43.3% and 8.3% global coverage respectively.
Recent political and financial commitment to expand the coverage and quality of protected and conserved areas could be transformative. The benefits extend beyond biodiversity conservation to support achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals through improved water and food security, livelihoods, health, climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as goals under other Multilateral Environmental Agreements, including the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction:
Nearly two-thirds of the world’s population live downstream of protected areas, which provide them with freshwater. Increasing protection, restoration and sustainable management of ecosystems, such as wetlands and forests, can improve water security.
Despite these extensive benefits and increasing coverage of protected and conserved areas, the loss of global biodiversity continues, largely unabated. Therefore, to be effective, investments must also emphasize thequalityof protection rather than simply the coverage orquantityof protection.
This report proposes three main considerations for the implementation of protected and conserved area targets in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, to be adopted at the next CBD Conference of the Parties (COP-15):
The need for protected and conserved areas to prioritize representativeness, connectivity, conservation of areas important for biodiversity and nature’s contributions to people, equitable governance, and effective management.Evidence suggests sites with higher social equity have more positive conservation outcomes. This requires the recognition of various stakeholders, and their rights, their involvement in decision-making, and the equitable distribution of costs and benefits.
The need to embed protected and conserved areas into national policies and decision-making frameworks. Only through mainstreaming biodiversity conservation strategies, such as protected and conserved areas, will we be able to achieve sustainable development and climate actions and unlock their full benefits.
The urgency of the global biodiversity crisis is galvanizing world leaders into action. With momentous action being pledged by world leaders, such as the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature and the adoption of the Kunming Declaration by Parties to the CBD during the first part of CBD COP-15, this report calls for an essential focus on the quality aspects of protected and conserved areas. If these qualifying aspects are highlighted in investments and championed by Parties’ political will, a nature-positive future for people and planet will be within our reach.