We’re calling on businesses, states, city and local governments, and global citizens to take action for better forest and habitat conservation, food production and consumption, and land use, working together across all sectors of the economy to deliver up to 30% of the climate solutions needed by 2030.
The way we use land for food, forestry, and other purposes contributes about 24%—or approximately 12 billion tons—of our total annual greenhouse gas emissions. That’s the second largest source of climate pollution after energy.
Plants and trees pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and keep it rooted in the ground. When we slash, burn and cut down forests, drain wetlands or mangroves, convert grasslands or till soil, the greenhouse gases that cause global climate change escape from land back into the atmosphere and heat the planet.
Food waste contributes more than 4 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year. It takes about 14 million square kilometers of land to produce all the food that’s lost and wasted, and that footprint is growing into forests, peatlands, and other vital ecosystems. At a time when millions face food insecurity and hunger across the globe, we can’t afford to be this inefficient.
We lose 7.6 million hectares of forests every year to livestock and agricultural expansion, unsustainable infrastructure, and resource extraction. That’s the equivalent of 27 football pitches every minute.
If we cut waste, reduce excess consumption, and improve efficiency in our food systems, while also conserving our natural lands, habitats, and soils, we can deliver up to 30% of the climate solutions needed by 2030 to tackle the climate crisis and help implement the Paris Climate Agreement.
To achieve the 30X30 goal we must:
A lot of this work is already in motion. Now is the time to take climate ambition to the next level and step up to meet the climate challenge head on.
If you are already working to meet one of these challenges or would like to find out how you can set an ambitious commitment, we want to hear from you! Please contact [email protected].
Farmers and ranchers, businesses, states, cities and local governments, indigenous leaders, scientists, financial institutions, artists, religious groups, NGOs and global citizens all have a critical role to play in reducing forest, food and land-based emissions to help tackle climate change.
Ahead of September’s Global Climate Action Summit the land sector is coming together to define and commit to deliver on this challenge. At the Summit we will share and celebrate what has been achieved to date and create more ambitious worldwide commitments and coalitions to accelerate action and help national governments deliver on their climate goals.
We need to unite a sector. We need to define the science. We need to drive investment. We need to deliver ambitious and innovative solutions. We need everyone’s help.
Manuel Pulgar-Vidal—Leader of the Climate and Energy Practice at WWF International and former President of COP 20—is on the Advisory Committee of the Global Climate Action Summit and leading the convening of the food, forest, and land challenge coalition. We invite all stakeholders to join us by emailing [email protected].
Our actions will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from land use directly and encourage national governments to accelerate their progress. We have no time nor land to lose.