THE PROPOSED CLIMATE CHANGE COMMISSION
IUCN and its diverse member organizations are uniquely positioned to devise new climate solutions and refine existing ones, especially at the intersection of nature and climate.
WHAT WOULD THE CLIMATE CHANGE COMMISSION DO?
The commission would create a rallying point from which IUCN members could shape the global response to climate change. Specifically, a commission would create a platform to:
Leverage IUCN’s collective expertise while coordinating to prevent duplication
Achieve global consensus on climate-related projects and proposals
Spread these ideas worldwide and injecting them into policy-making efforts
In short, we envision a Climate Change Commission which would, in time, implement a climate protection plan to protect the earth from warming to 1.5 degrees.
To learn more, see our draft mandate and deep dive blog post. The draft mandate is still a work in progress, and we welcome your questions, comments, and suggestions.
To achieve these goals, the Climate Change Commission would take the following actions:
Raise new funds to support itself instead of relying on IUCN’s core budget or detracting from the funding of other commissions.
Design its work plan to leverage IUCN’s collective expertise for maximum impact while avoiding duplication of the work of other commissions by:
Asking each existing commission to provide a liaison
Coordinating with other commissions to leverage their existing expertise
Create teams of experts from IUCN member organizations to study and map out the pathways for the just transition to a fossil fuel free green economy. These experts would be nominated by IUCN member organizations and then appointed to the Commission.
Disseminate climate change mitigation and adaptation advice to IUCN member organizations and the international community generally.
For more information, please see our draft mandate for the Climate Change Commission. It is still a work in progress, and we welcome your questions, comments, and suggestions.
CREATE A RALLY POINT.
As an IUCN member, it is your right to vote on the original intent of Motion 003 - Establishing a Climate Change Commission. During the IUCN motions review process, Motion 003 was amended to call for another Climate Change task force instead of the Climate Change Commission that we so desperately need. As an IUCN mechanism, a task force is a feeble alternative to a new commission composed of thousands who are united by a clear purpose. Based on our careful legal analysis, amending Motion 003 so drastically is not consistent with the IUCN’s own Statutes, Rules, and Regulations. Motions can and should be amended, but the amendments must retain the original intent of the motion.
Now that the motion review process has concluded, and the IUCN has no formal appeal process for us to share our concern with the IUCN Council, we must act during this critical time to amend the motion during the Congress in September, then vote to pass it. This is our Congress, and we have the right to
vote on the motion as originally proposed to create a climate commission. As we prepare for Council elections, we must show those in power that we will no longer maintain the status quo. Our voices are drowning.
TO REGAIN ITS ORIGINAL INTENT.
WHY MUST IUCN HAVE A CLIMATE CHANGE COMMISSION, NOT ANOTHER TASK FORCE?
NO OTHER IUCN STRUCTURE MATCHES THE SCALE OF THE PROBLEM.
IUCN will likely cease to exist within forty years when the earth heats to two degrees. The damage to life sustaining ecosystems and extreme weather events will create chaos and instability that will make impossible the attainment of IUCN’s mission to protect nature. A fourth task force on climate change will be a useless distraction from the need to take action within the next seven years to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and place us on a path to carbon neutrality within the fifty years. A climate crisis commission will organize IUCN to protect nature from the ravages of climate change.
IUCN already contributes to the global climate change discussion in many ways. Many IUCN members believe that IUCN should increase its involvement in climate change issues. The facilitator for the discussion of Motion 003 noted that, “It is clear that there is a consensus about the urgency and
importance of IUCN reinforcing its action in relation to climate change.”
During the comment period for Motion 003, IUCN members suggested several alternative organizational vehicles through which IUCN could engage with climate change. Our Drowning Voices believes that none of these alternatives provide focus and resources commensurate to the size of the problem. Some of the specific proposed alternatives included:
IUCN Secretariat: The Secretariat is too small to facilitate coordinated climate action at IUCN.
Task Force: IUCN has had three previous climate change task forces. These have repeatedly highlighted the importance of climate change, but they are too ad-hoc to take any serious action.
Specialist Groups within other commissions: Although each IUCN commission has contributions of expertise to make to climate change issues, they each have their own mandates which focus on other important conservation issues. Their specialist groups are each too focused and specific to make the necessary cross-cutting collaboration possible.
Rely on UNFCCC as the forum for an international response to climate change: Climate change is an “all hands on deck” problem. IUCN must focus and find the ways that we can contribute. For example, UNFCCC cannot bring the same expertise to the table on Nature-based Solutions that IUCN can.
We disagree with some of our fellow IUCN members who argue that a brand-new Climate Change commission is not the right vehicle for IUCN to engage with the climate issue. They claim that creating a commission would place climate change in a silo divorced from the work of the other commissions. We agree that climate change is a cross-cutting issue that requires collaboration. However, so are species survival, ecosystem management, protected areas, and economic, environmental, and social policy. Did the need for holistic solutions stop us from creating the Species Survival Commission, the Commission on Ecosystem Management, the World Commission on Protected Areas, or the Commission on Economic Environmental, and Social Policy, for example? Do we regret forming those commissions? No indeed!
because they foster focused effort on important issues? No indeed!