The Moving for Climate NOW Manifesto

2020 is the 5th anniversary of the Paris Agreement. Since then, global progress to address the climate emergency has been made on almost every front but accelerated ambition is needed towards reaching global net-zero emissions around 2050. This goes beyond the 2ºC target set out in the Paris Agreement and moves towards climate scenarios that restrict temperature increase below 1.5ºC .

2020 is also a year marked by a worldwide pandemic whose sanitary, social and economic consequences are making all Governments across the globe define new stimulus and recovery mechanisms that will have long-lasting impact. We are at an inflection point in history and how we tackle reconstruction post COVID-19 will determine the pathway to our long-term sustainability challenges, including climate change.

The pandemic has made fighting climate change an even more pressing challenge, placing the nexus nature-health-climate in the center. No generation has ever faced such a global, complex and hard to solve situation. But we can use this moment to concentrate on the lessons we can learn from the current situation, and as an opportunity to drive a fair transition to a new sustainable socio-economic model that is climate-neutral and resilient. We need to acknowledge that there is no sustainable economy without a sustainable environment. The only way forward is a green recovery, which brings 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.

Those of us that have joined the Moving for Climate NOW initiative, which as the Paris agreement is also celebrating its 5th anniversary since the first journey in 2015, 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 towards a post-coronavirus recovery that strengthens the stablished roadmap of transition to a greener, better, inclusive and climate-resilient future. Debate should not delay action. Society as a whole has to be mobilised.

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

In this huge climate mobilisation, we stress these 5 critical levers:

  1. We need medium and long term pathways to raise ambition towards net-zero emissions by 2050: Governments and all economic sectors need to define strategies and objectives aligned with a 1.5oC pathway, focusing on mitigation of climate impacts and on building climate adaptation and resiliency. For this, consistent policy frameworks are needed now. Every minute counts. Public authorities should take advantage of all opportunities for action to implementing the Paris Agreement, and are called to develop an ambitious approach to strengthen their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in 2020. The financial system should mobilise the huge volume of economic resources needed to finance the transition, while setting up mechanisms to foster investment in developing and vulnerable countries;
  2. It is key to align the climate goals with the sustainable recovery measures from COVID-19. The stimulus programmes that will be applied in the short term after the coronavirus crisis will have a massive, long-lasting impact. This is why we must be meticulous in ensuring their social and economic benefits while strengthening a stablished roadmap of transition to a new social and economic model which will be climate neutral, healthy, resilient, sustainable and inclusive. In this process we need to ensure a fair transition, that tackles the impacts on vulnerable groups, without leaving anyone behind;
  3. We need to accelerate the decarbonisation of all sectors of the economy to meet the climate goals. Energy, which is the main cause of the problem, should also be the main source of solutions with a model based on clean energies, energy efficiency, sustainable mobility and heating, that also contributes to increased climate resiliency. Fortunately, technological progress is on the side of climate, with clean energies (renewables, storage, mobility, etc.) undergoing a deep technological revolution that can spur competitive and cost-effective solutions. Continued innovation support should continue to bring promising technologies to market (e.g. floating off-shore wind, green hydrogen, second generation biofuels, etc.), with a focus on early-stage development and industrial-scale demonstration;
  4. Nature is our ally in keeping a healthy planet and in our fight against climate change. It plays an essential part in 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;
  5. Greatest challenges cannot be tackled alone. We ALL have to act: actors, big and small or public and private; governments local or global; social institutions (religions, academia, NGOs, etc.); 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 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.

This alliance is a demonstration that global challenges like climate change and the pandemic require joining forces among diverse and different backgrounds. 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.