Now is the time to raise the ambition for climate action

By Peter Paul van de Wijs, GRI’s Chief External Affairs Officer

But what does this mean for one of the most enduring and universal challenges we face — that of climate change? The delay of COP26 until 2021 does not mean that efforts by countries to meet their climate change commitments have to be on hold. Far from it.

As with coronavirus, climate change is a significant cause of reduced outcomes for health and wealth around the world. We know that the consequences of climate change continue to escalate, disproportionately impacting communities that have contributed the least to the problem of carbon emissions, with devastating effects on the environment and global biodiversity.

Indeed, if countries are to fulfill the promises made in the Paris Agreement we need levels of ambition to grow. Even as countries strive to contain and mitigate the COVID-19 crisis, we cannot lose sight of this.

That’s why climate action needs to be kept in the mainstream of political discussions — and even consider how the recovery phase of the pandemic, when it comes, can be implemented in a way that supports a green transition.

GRI is the independent international organization that helps businesses and other organizations communicate and understand their sustainability impacts.