STATEMENT: Conservation International on Results of the First Global Stocktake
September 8, 2023
ARLINGTON, Va. (Sept. 8, 2023) – Today, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) released the inaugural Global Stocktake Synthesis Report, a landmark document assessing how far the signatories of the 2015 Paris Agreement are from meeting climate goals.
Lina Barrera, Conservation International vice president for international policy, released the following statement in response to the findings of the first global stocktake:
“As our world warms, every tenth of a degree matters, and we must be sprinting toward net-zero — but today’s report suggests we have barely started walking.
“Decarbonizing the global economy was never going to be straightforward, and progress was never going to be perfectly linear. Today’s report will inform debates and deliberation at this year’s climate talks (COP28). To that end, the results themselves are far less important than what leaders choose to do with them.
“COP28 must end with a comprehensive plan to halve emissions by the end of the decade. We do not need more dialogue, more conferences, or more memorandums-of-understanding — we need trillions of dollars to start flowing to renewable energy, transportation and, crucially, nature-based solutions and climate-smart food systems.
“Even if the world phased out fossil fuels today, global temperatures would continue to rise until we also reversed deforestation and land degradation. Leading scientists have found that nature can provide at least one-third of the mitigation required to avoid the worst climate scenarios. Likewise, there is widespread agreement in the scientific community that three of the top five solutions with the highest potential for reducing emissions involve nature. These natural climate solutions carry the added benefit of slowing biodiversity loss while supporting economic growth and many of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Last year, Conservation International and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research released the Exponential Roadmap for Natural Climate Solutions. The report laid out an actionable path to net-zero land-sector emissions by 2030, noting that the opportunity is already right in front of us. The plan requires no technical leaps of faith — instead, we must improve management of the world’s working lands, focus our restoration efforts, and protect the carbon-rich ecosystems that cannot regenerate before 2050. These projects are cost-effective, immediately scalable and essential if we are to have any hope of limiting planetary warming to 1.5C."
About Conservation International: Conservation International protects nature for the benefit of humanity. Through science, policy, fieldwork and finance, we spotlight and secure the most important places in nature for the climate, for biodiversity and for people. With offices in 30 countries and projects in more than 100 countries, Conservation International partners with governments, companies, civil society, Indigenous peoples and local communities to help people and nature thrive together. Go to Conservation.org for more, and follow our work on Conservation News, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram and YouTube.