The Climate Governance Commission says UN talks alone will not avert catastrophic warming
· Report offers ideas to fill the ‘climate governance gap,’ to achieve exponential progress
· Report to be presented by the Climate Governance Commission at COP26 in Glasgow
Stockholm: Disruptive thinking is urgently needed to fill the ‘climate governance gap’ and spur the exponential change needed to avert catastrophic climate change, a group of international experts said today.
The Climate Governance Commission, releasing its interim report ahead of the COP26 climate negotiations, said that whatever the outcome of the Glasgow talks, radical additional action would now be needed to accelerate the necessary progress to halve global emissions in the coming decade.
The Commission’s report, Governing Our Climate Future, is being presented at COP26 and offers policymakers a menu of ideas from diverse thinkers worldwide on ways to complement the existing UN climate negotiations, from reforms to current global institutions like the UNFCCC, to new institutions such as a Global Environment Agency, to changes in international law to include environmental crimes, to ‘bottom up pathways’ led from within countries and coalitions bringing together the most ambitious to push for the necessary progress.
“Whatever the outcome of the COP26 climate talks, it’s clear that it won’t be enough and we’re going to need other initiatives as well,” said Jens Orback, Executive Director of the Global Challenges Foundation, co-founder of the Climate Governance Commission.
“We know that solutions exist that would allow the world to stay on a safe path close to 1.5 degrees warming – what’s striking is the gap between what we know needs to be done and the level of concrete climate action that’s actually happening. We need better political leadership, but we also need radical disruptive thinking to spur new forms of global cooperation to meet this challenge.”
Ideas explored in the report include:
· ‘Climate clubs’ of action-oriented countries offer a way forward to catalyse and mobilise for a more ambitious collective climate agenda.
· A Global Green Hydrogen Alliance to promote the development of an inclusive global green hydrogen economy.
· A proposal from youth activists to bring climate change and its impact on human rights to the International Court of Justice of the United Nations.
A full list of authors and essays can be viewed here and below.
The report calls for climate change policies to be integrated at the core of nearly every policy field – from trade to peace and security – in a ‘whole of system’ and ‘whole of society approach.’ It also argues that progress may be subject to exponential leaps forward and tipping points.
“Just as global warming can accelerate and cross tipping points, so can its solutions,” said Magnus Jiborn, Head of Research at Global Challenges Foundation. “The spread of new technologies and behavioural patterns is often a non-linear process, driven by positive and negative feedback loops, creating tipping points that, once crossed, can lead to accelerating, exponential change. This doesn’t mean that change will happen by itself, but it does mean that targeted and timely policy interventions have the potential to trigger a pervasive transformation that becomes self-sustaining.”
The Global Challenges Foundation says it hopes the report will stimulate creative and ambitious thinking during the period of the COP26 talks when climate issues will be under intense scrutiny, but, more importantly, afterwards, when the world will need to accelerate innovative thinking to avoid disaster.
Notes to editors:
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About the Climate Governance Commission
The Climate Governance Commission was established by the Global Challenges Foundation in collaboration with the Stimson Center, the Global Governance Forum and the Exponential Roadmap Initiative, among other partners. It aims to contribute to addressing the deficit in adequate climate governance mechanisms at a global level.
About the Global Challenges Foundation
The Global Challenges Foundation works to incite deeper understanding of the global risks that threaten humanity and catalyse ideas to tackle them. Rooted in a scientific analysis of risks, the foundation brings together the brightest minds from academic, politics, business and civil society to forge transformative approaches to secure a better future for all. www.globalchallenges.org
- Magnus Jiborn, Head of Research at Global Challenges Foundation
- Dr Arunabha Ghosh, CEO of the Council on Energy, Environment and Water
- Sabina Dewan, President of JustJobs Network
- Paloma Costa Oliveira, Member of the United Nations Secretary General’s Youth Advisory Group
- Jimena Leiva Roesch, Head of Peace and Sustainable Development at International Peace Institute