The headlines speak for themselves. The pictures paint a thousand words. Our planet is in flames. Lives and livelihoods are being destroyed. Our cities are under water. The biodiversity and ecosystems that are central to human survival are being incinerated before our eyes. This is our last chance to put out the fire.
The message in the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is unequivocal: there is no longer any doubt – if there ever was – about the scale of the climate crisis, about humankind’s role in driving climate change and exacerbating extreme weather events, about how much we have changed the planet. And we can say with absolute certainty that things will continue to get worse unless urgent changes are made.
To stand even the remotest chance of meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement (which aims to limit warming to 1.5oC above pre-industrial levels), we need action to halve emissions by the end of this decade. This report is a timely reminder to the world’s leaders, captains of industry, investors and consumers that a radical shift in policy is needed right here, right now.
Crucially, we need to protect and restore nature. Our old-growth forests, our ocean, our peatlands, our mangroves and our seagrass beds are our greatest allies in the epic struggle to avert climate chaos. Fauna & Flora International (FFI) has been banging this drum for longer than we care to remember. Last year, we launched the Our One Home campaign, calling for the protection and restoration of nature to be made a global priority and for an exponential increase in investment in locally led conservation initiatives.