As nearly 2,500 global leaders and the media are meeting in Davos, the World Wide Fund for Nature called on them to accelerate their action to tackle climate and nature crises.
On Wednesday, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) on called for urgent action to secure a nature-positive and net-zero emissions world at the 2022 annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.
"While it is important to recognize the progress that has been made on key environmental issues in the last year, the world remains on course for environmental catastrophe unless it takes urgent and unprecedented action to address the climate and nature crises," WWF International Director Marco Lambertini said.
"In the face of growing political and economic instability, leaders meeting at Davos must balance short-term responses with the long-term actions needed to increase resilience and secure a liveable planet for future generations."
"This means urgently increasing the ambition of their climate targets, transitioning to sustainable food systems, and stepping up efforts to conserve the ecosystems and biodiversity left on the planet, while restoring what's possible. This year, world leaders have an unmissable chance to embrace a 'Paris-style' agreement to tackle our escalating nature crisis and make a fairer, nature-positive and food-secure world a reality."
WWF warned that global greenhouse emissions are returning to sky-high levels last seen before the COVID-19 pandemic, while deforestation remains alarmingly high, and the global extinction crisis continues unabated.
The WEF in Davos takes place ahead of Stockholm+50, an international meeting convened by the United Nations to be held in Stockholm, Sweden, on June 2-3. It aims to commemorate the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment and celebrate 50 years of global environmental action.
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Meanwhile, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) warned that over one million species are now threatened with extinction.
"On top of the nature and climate crises, we are facing an escalating food security crisis. As leaders grapple with shocks and stresses, and justifiably focus on securing food supplies, we must ensure building sustainable and resilient food systems remains a long-term priority. If not, we will face even more frequent and more damaging crises," Joao Campari, leader of WWF's Global Food Practice, said.
"The way we produce and consume food is both the biggest driver of nature loss and a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Adopting nature-positive food production practices is a win-win for people and the planet and should be a priority for forward-looking countries and businesses," he added.
According to the WWF's "The Living Planet Report 2020," food systems are responsible for 80 percent of deforestation and generate around 30 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. Natural disasters caused by climate change and human ecosystem disruption cost more than US$300 billion per year.
"Climate-smart growth could deliver at least US$26 trillion in economic benefits through to 2030, and a move to more sustainable agriculture, combined with forest protection, could deliver over US$2 trillion per year," it said.