WWF Global Climate and Energy Initiative leader Samantha Smith, issued the following statement: “An unprecedented 150 heads of state arrived in Paris today on a wave of historic momentum in the fight against climate change. This is a significant demonstration that climate change is at the top of the political agenda.
“With their opening speeches, leaders injected political energy at the start of the talks to mandate that negotiators leave Paris with a clear plan that will close the emissions gap, protect the vulnerable and ensure that the scale of resources needed to address climate change is delivered.
“Most importantly, we heard loud and clear from heads of state that addressing the needs of those particularly vulnerable to climate impacts must be at the centre of any agreement coming out of Paris. We also heard from nearly every developing country that addressing issues of equity and fairness will be key to unlocking more progress.
“India brought the most significant and game-changing announcement of the day with plans for a new solar alliance to provide solar energy access to the poor. The collaboration, which will include nearly 100 countries and impact billions of people, is evidence that it is possible to address climate change and poverty simultaneously.
“Ultimately, a global agreement in Paris must accelerate the energy transformation that is already happening thanks to soaring renewable energy markets, commitments by leading businesses, and action by cities, communities and individuals.
“The world is ready to move. In the wake of hundreds of mobilizations across the world calling for climate action this weekend, governments have the backing they need to go further.
“The real work begins now.”
WWF believes that in order to maximize the outcome in Paris, a new global agreement should:
1. Create a plan to close the ambition gap, including finance and other support to accelerate action beyond current pledges;
2. Deliver support to vulnerable countries to limit climate impacts and address unavoidable damage;
3. Establish a clear long-term 2050 goal to move away from fossil fuels and to renewable energy and sustainable land use.