Our Shared Challenge
The World Economic Forum’s 2016 Global Risks Report ranks “failure to address climate change” as the number one issue confronting the world. Climate change impacts exceed impacts of weapons of mass destruction (#2), water crises (#3) and all other global threats.
The winning strategy is not “business as usual.” Because of climate change, we are witnessing:
- Disappearing ecosystems and species: Biodiversity losses may drive “a transition of the Earth’s ecosystems into a state unknown in human experience.”
- Sinking cities: More than 130 cities with populations of over 1 million lie along vulnerable coasts worldwide.
- Escalating poverty: Climate change is “a major and growing threat to global food security,” with up to 122 million more people worldwide living in extreme poverty by 2030 as a result.
- More violent storms: Typhoon Haiyan devastated portions of Southeast Asia in 2013, killing at least 6,300 people in the Philippines alone.
- Spreading illness: 235 million people worldwide suffer from asthma, and the rate is rising. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions cuts all air pollutants.
The historic climate agreement reached in Paris in December 2015 commits nations to limit warming to 2°C and strive for 1.5°C. Under the agreement, every country will implement its own climate action plan, to be reviewed and updated regularly. This is not a government-only effort, however. All of us need to participate in to meet this historic challenge.
What We Do
Over the next five to 10 years, climate-related investments need to triple, to one trillion dollars a year. ~Christiana Figueres, U.N. Climate Chief, 2014
We must invest now in climate solutions for our cities, businesses and rural lands - in the order of trillions, not billions. We also must accelerate widespread conservation and restoration of nature and species – on land, and in our rivers and seas.
Through Planet Pledge, top philanthropic and investment community members are collaboratively identifying and investing in multi-benefit projects that significantly mitigate carbon emissions, and that can be scaled up for even greater benefits. Planet Pledge’s philanthropic partners also will team up to protect and restore ecosystems and species that are declining due to a rapidly changing climate.
Planet Pledge partners, particularly those taking a leadership role through the Planet Pledge Alliance, will apply lessons from initial collaborations to develop an innovative Planet Pledge Fund, a dedicated source of "evergreen" funds that will support a growing list of climate investment and conservation projects worldwide, in perpetuity. The Fund will invest exclusively in competitive, sustainable development projects that reduce carbon emissions and secure other societal and environmental benefits. It also will ensure a significant percentage of the earnings go back into protecting and restoring Earth’s most vital ecosystems.
Upcoming efforts of Planet Pledge will also offer ways for everyone to act on behalf of the planet. A Planet Pledge Campaign will highlight climate-friendly businesses and activities that the public can support, and offer new, engaging ways to measurably reduce carbon emissions where we live and work.
The solutions lie before us. It is time to work together to implement them worldwide.