As climate negotiations resume today at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in Bonn, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) urges delegates to establish a post-2012 global climate change regime.
Following disappointment in Copenhagen last December, the timing for the adoption of a new legally binding agreement remains unclear, but parties should strive to agree on the building blocks for a deal at the next UNFCCC Summit in Cancun, Mexico, in November this year.
Greenhouse gas emissions are continuing to cause alarming increases in temperature. The combined global land and ocean surface temperatures in April were the warmest on record. Current reductions and pledges to cut emissions will not be enough to keep global warming below 2°C. This will result in irreversible damage to livelihoods and ecosystems on which we all depend.
“Despite the disappointing outcome of the Copenhagen conference, one success story was REDD-plus (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation). REDD-plus emerged with a coherent and broad scope and positive movement on environmental and social safeguards,” says IUCN’s Director of Environment and Development Stewart Maginnis. “We need to build on this success and seal a deal on REDD-plus.”
The need to tackle climate change is more urgent than ever. Action must be taken now, without waiting for international negotiations to reach a conclusion. Nature is our ally against climate change. Healthy ecosystems can help us cope better with the impacts of climate change and store carbon.
“A framework for adaptation to climate change that provides adequate funding and recognizes the role of ecosystems needs to be adopted,” says Ninni Ikkala, IUCN Climate Change Coordinator. “In parallel, we must work on the ground to increase the resilience of local communities facing the impacts of climate change, including through better management of natural resources.”
IUCN special webpage related to the meeting: http://www.iucn.org/unfccc/events/2010_bonn/