CoR Planetary Emergency Action Plan

CoR Planetary Emergency Action Plan

Planetary Emergency Action Plan
Securing a New Deal for People, Nature and Climate

A DECADE OF ACTION: THE CASE FOR A PLANETARY EMERGENCY PLAN
For 10,000 years, human civilisation has grown and thrived because of Earth’s remarkable
climate stability and rich biological diversity. In the last 50 years, human activity has severly
undermined this resilience. Our patterns of economic growth, development, production and
consumption are pushing the Earth’s life-support systems beyond their natural boundaries. The
stability of these systems – our global commons on which we so fundamentally depend – is now
at risk. The science is clear that we are now accelerating towards tipping points and that the
consequences of inaction will be catastrophic for humanity. The time to act is running out1.
This is a Planetary Emergency. The definition of an emergency is a dangerous event requiring
immediate action to reduce risk of potentially catastrophic results. The impacts of climate
change and ecological destruction are more severe and are manifesting themselves earlier than
many scientific predictions in previous decades had foreseen. The most authoritative global
scientific assessments conclude that without major interventions, the risks will soon reach a
critical stage. We need to stabilise the climate at 1.5°C above pre-industrial temperatures,
halt the loss of biodiversity, slow polar ice sheet melt and glacier retreat, protect critical biomes
and store more carbon in soils, forests and oceans. This is how we will guarantee the longterm
health and well-being of both people and planet. To do that, however, our response to this
complex emergency must reflect the intricate links between life on our planet and the systems
that regulate it. It must address the convergence of crises and tipping points which have
created this Planetary Emergency. We have no more time for incremental, siloed policy action.
2020 is a “Super Year” for international policy action. It is the 75th anniversary of the
United Nations. It is the first opportunity for nations to increase climate ambition and meet
2050 net-zero goals. A new treaty on the oceans will be agreed. Biodiversity targets will be
announced. And 2020 will mark the beginning of the decade to scale action to achieve the
Sustainable Development Goals. This decade must be a turning point, the moment when the
world bends the curve, averts the impending disaster and opts instead to embark on the fastest
economic transformation in our history. Declaring a Planetary Emergency provides a new
compass for nations and injects the essential urgency into decision-making. It will ensure that
all action from 2020 will be taken in light of its impact on the stability of Earth’s life-support
systems, and be underpinned by the social and economic transformations needed to secure
the long-term health and well-being of people and planet. While our efforts should be global,
our responses must be local. They should be tailored to local needs, resources and cultures
to ensure they have maximum impact and work to everyone’s advantage.

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