The Moving for Climate NOW Manifesto

The Paris Agreement came into force on 4 November 2016. The climate summits in Marrakech, Bonn and Katowice have featured relevant progress in its implementation, having reached an agreement on a significant part of the Katowice Rulebook that will govern the climate treaty from 2020.

The 25th Climate Summit in Madrid, under the presidency of Chile, has been very important because now is the time to finalise the Katowice Rulebook that will enable climate goals to be effectively and efficiently tackled.

The summit, whose battle cry is Time for Action, also marks the beginning of a new cycle of increased ambition that goes beyond the 2oC target set out in the Paris Agreement and moves towards climate scenarios that restrict temperature increase below 1.5oC.

The IPCC special report on global warming of 1.5°C notes that this half degree difference can significantly reduce the magnitude of climate impacts. However, there is no time to waste. The planet has already warmed by 1°C above pre-industrial levels and under current rates we are expected to breach 1.5°C between 2030-2052.  Whether and how this 1.5oC scenario is achieved will greatly influence the resilience of natural and human systems, which are already experiencing the impacts of the multiple observed changes in the climate system, according to the IPCC Reports on Oceans and Land.

Achieving the 1.5°C goal requires about 45% reduction on 2010 emission levels by 2030 and reaching global net-zero CO2 around 2050. Countries are called to develop an ambitious approach to strengthen their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in 2020 and to present long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies (LTS) fully aligned with a 1.5°C pathway and net zero emissions by 2050.

NOW is the time to jointly support and contribute to the 1.5°C pathway

We already know that fighting climate change is a huge challenge. No generation in the history of mankind has ever faced such a global, complex and hard to solve problem. But it is also a huge opportunity, not only by avoiding the impact of climate change, but also because it brings economic stimulus, employment, lower air pollution and a better life today and for future generations. Tackling climate change also contributes to many other Sustainable Development Goals.

It is also a serious ethical conflict that impacts mainly on the most disadvantaged sectors of the population and which is jeopardising the future of the coming generations. Besides, if we fail to take action, the irreversibility of the situation will mean that any future measures will be ineffective and much more expensive.

But we ALL have to act: actors big and small or public and private; governments local or global; adults, youth… we ALL have to move ALL the levers of change (policies, technological, fiscal, financial, cultural, etc.) and we have to do it NOW. We have already done a lot of talking and now we have to urgently mobilise in every country and sector.

Those of us that have joined the Moving for Climate NOW initiative come from various countries and organisations. It should not be strange to have different opinions about some aspects of the policies to be implemented. However, we are aware that given the seriousness of the situation, we have to concentrate on JOINING and MULTIPLYING forces to mobilise society all around the world to achieve the 1.5oC target.  Debate should not delay action. Society as a whole has to be mobilised. In this huge climate mobilisation, these points are very important and urgent:

  • We need all on board. Governments and all economic sectors need to define long term strategies and objectives aligned with a 1.5oC pathway, focusing on mitigation of climate impacts and on building climate adaptation and resiliency.
  • Energy, which is the main cause of the problem, should also be the main source of solutions with a model based on clean energies, sustainable mobility and energy efficiency, that also contributes to increased climate resiliency.
  • Technological progress is on the side of climate. Clean energies (renewables, energy storage, mobility, etc.) are under a deep technological revolution that can spur competitive and cost-effective solutions to climate change. The technological transition should be completed as soon as possible and mechanisms should be set up to transfer it to developing and vulnerable countries.
  • The transition needs to be fair. A successful low carbon pathway requires the participation of all stakeholders. Alliances and measures to tackle impacts on vulnerable groups will be crucial to leverage all the opportunities that involve an ambitious approach to climate action, without leaving anyone behind.
  • The right policies and the right tools are needed now. Every minute counts. Public authorities should take advantage of all opportunities for action to implementing the Paris Agreement, including new regulations, economic and fiscal instruments, public procurement to boost companies that are more committed to climate, leading by example at their own facilities, education and awareness schemes, etc.
  • Nature is our ally in the fight against climate change and an essential part of the mitigation and adaption solutions. Conserving and restoring marine and terrestrial ecosystems is crucial to achieve the climate goals and sustain our life on earth.
  • The financial system should mobilise the huge volume of economic resources needed to finance the transition towards a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy. Sustainable financing, mainly from private sector, will be key to tackle this challenge and, in particular, to achieve at least the annual $100 billion climate finance roadmap for 2020, set by the Paris Agreement.
  • Companies should use their resources to help create a climate-neutral and resilient economy, using all the levers (circular economy, natural capital solutions, etc.) that drive forward climate action and the energy transition.
  • The general public and social organisations should implement the values and habits that are crucial to solve the climatic emergency we are at. Each individual has a key role to play as it is the sum of millions of small actions what makes a difference. Drivers that promote a change in social behaviour (education, awareness), are as essential as good policies to achieve exponential solutions.
  • Greatest challenges cannot be tackled alone. To combat climate change we need to work together through public-private partnerships, multi-stakeholder or cross-sector alliances that share the same values because they optimise resources and improve outcomes.

The slogan for this initiative, Moving for Climate NOW, sums up our message to society: Let’s ALL move, pulling ALL the levers RIGHT NOW.