Resolution 110 - Establishing a Climate Change Commission

Latest version in this language: Version adopted by the Plenary (corrected) | Published on: 14 Oct 2021

RECOGNISING that the world is at a crossroads with the convergence of several crises: catastrophic climate change, the sixth mass biodiversity extinction event, the modification of geological processes, loss of geological heritage and natural resources such as soils and water, generalised degradation of nature of our planet, massive land and ocean degradation, growing food insecurity and increasing economic inequality;

FURTHER RECOGNISING that transformative change for a system-wide reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is necessary; that current government mitigation contributions alone are insufficient to limit global warming to a level that avoids irreversible harmful impacts to humans and ecosystems; that IUCN has a global reputation for the integrity of its work and the capacity to provide global leadership; and that IUCN, exercising its unique convening powers, mobilising its membership, and implementing a step change in its communications, can fast-track the necessary transition to a green economy;

STRESSING that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the impacts of Global Warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways points out that there is a gap between the Nationally Determined Contributions submitted by Parties in the context of the Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the emission reductions needed to stay well below 2°C and to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, as agreed in Paris;

FURTHER STRESSING that this generates an existential threat to the survival of current and future generations;

NOTING the latest IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC), which indicates that some shallow marine ecosystems will experience a moderate to high risk, and very high in the case of coral reefs, as a consequence of climate changes;

NOTING the essential contribution of biodiversity protection and ecosystem integrity in achieving the targets adopted by the Paris Agreement to prevent global warming from exceeding 1.5°C;

FURTHER NOTING that enhanced action on climate change adaptation, mitigation and resilience is necessary to protect communities from the irreversible impacts of climate change;

RECOGNISING the importance of the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement as the main legal instruments to deal with climate change in the multilateral framework; and

TAKING NOTE that the situation demands a new and powerful structural response by IUCN that will: accelerate all components of the Union to help prevent global warming higher than 1.5°C; represent a profound focus for all Members, the younger generation, indigenous people, Island Nations, and other willing nations and partners; and allow the younger generations the chance to participate in a vanguard organisation with unremitting commitment to contribute to a solid and global response to achieving carbon neutrality and climate resilience with a view to avoid the consequences of global warming higher than 1.5°C;

The IUCN World Conservation Congress, at its session in Marseille, France:

1. CALLS ON IUCN Members to agree on establishing a new Commission with the working title of ‘The Climate Crisis Commission’ with the aim of mobilising and coordinating the Union and engaging with Regional and National IUCN Committees and broader civil society efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change based on the best available science coming from the IPCC and taking into account the actions and initiatives that are developed in the UNFCCC through the Global Climate Action Agenda;

2. REQUESTS Council to provide guidance on the process to establish an interim Commission Chair and Steering Committee;

3. DIRECTS the Steering Committee to submit a proposal to Council presenting recommendations for the new Commission’s Terms of Reference (avoiding duplication with regard to existing bodies), mode of operation, membership and leadership; and

4. DECIDES that the new Commission shall be funded by extra-budgetary resources.

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