working rangelands in South Dakota © WWF-US/Clay Bolt

Land

The overlooked part of the climate solution.

To fight climate change, we must change the way we use land.

Forests, Food & Land Day: Meeting the 30x30 Challenge
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

As part of the Global Climate Action Summit, join us for a day of inspiration, lively discussion, discovery and entertainment that will elevate the importance of forests, food and land in the fight against climate change.

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The 30X30 Forests, Food and Land Challenge:

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.

Why land?

24%

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.

4 Billion

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.

7.6 Million

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.

30%

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.

There is no viable global solution to the climate crisis without addressing the land sector. How we use land—and the food, clothing, paper, fuel and other products that come out of it—can no longer be part of the problem. It must be part of the solution. And, with your help, it can be.

Nepalese woman standing in her vegetable field. © James Morgan/WWF-US

How can I accept this challenge?

To achieve the 30X30 goal we must:

  1. Halve food loss and waste and consume conscientiously.
    • Food Loss & Waste: Sustainable Development Goal Target 12.3 calls for halving per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reducing food losses along production and supply chains (including postharvest losses) by 2030.
    • Climate-Friendly Diets: By reducing overconsumption, making healthy and responsible choices in line with suggested dietary guidelines—while avoiding food waste—we can alleviate pressure on natural habitats and climate.
  2. Sequester 1 gigaton of carbon each year in forests, soil and other natural and working lands by:
    • Keeping Carbon in the Ground: Agriculture and forestry businesses can shrink their carbon footprint through habitat conservation and by eliminating the loss and degradation and conversion of forests, grasslands, mangroves, soils and other habitats from their supply chains.
    • Putting Carbon Back Into the Ground: We can increase the amount of carbon that is reabsorbed into the ground by reforesting lands and rehabilitating soils that have been cleared or degraded.
    • Climate-Friendly Farming: By employing climate-smart production techniques, farmers and ranchers can yield food while building up more carbon in the ground.
  3. Enable better consumption and production of food and fiber through finance, transparency, public-private collaboration and protecting local rights.
    • Finance: Through innovative financing, lenders and investors can diffuse risk and provide more financial security so farmers, ranchers, and other producers can invest in improved production practices more confidently.
    • Tech: From satellite monitoring to distributed ledgers like blockchain—new technologies can create more transparent supply chains and enable companies to verify their suppliers are producing responsibly.
    • Coordination: Businesses should collaborate with each other and coordinate more closely with state and local governments to implement climate targets in their supply chains and drive strong policies that create a level playing field for producers.
    • Protect Rights:The rights and safety of those on the front lines of habitat loss must be protected: Indigenous Peoples, conservationists on the ground, and local communities.

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 land@climatelandchallenge.org.

Who has a role to play?

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.

Old-growth boreal forest, Sweden © Staffan Widstrand / WWF

Forests, Food and Land Challenge Coalition

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 land@climatelandchallenge.org.

  • ACES
  • ADECIA
  • Agribusiness Global Allies
  • American College of Lifestyle Medicine
  • American Farmland Trust
  • American Forests
  • APG Asset Management
  • Articulação dos Povos Indígenas do Brasil (APIB)
  • Avoided Deforestation Partners
  • Beneficial State Bank
  • Berkeley CA
  • Berkeley Climate Action Coalition Land Use Committee
  • Biodiversity for a Livable Climate
  • c40
  • Cal EPA
  • California Air Resources Board
  • California Department of Food and Agriculture
  • California League of Conservation Voters
  • California Natural Resources Agency
  • California Strategic Growth Council
  • Carbon Cycle Institute
  • Carmel Tribe
  • CDP
  • Center for Good Food Purchasing
  • Chatham House
  • China Meat Association
  • City Forest Credits
  • City of Portland
  • City of San Francisco
  • CleanTech21
  • Climate Advisors
  • Climate and Land Use Alliance (CLUA)
  • Climate Change Adaptation Project
  • Climate Focus
  • Climate Reality Project
  • Climate Smart Group
  • Cloverton Group
  • Coca-Cola North America
  • Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission Portland, OR
  • Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
  • Conservation Alliance
  • Conservation International (CI)
  • Coordinadora de las Organizaciones Indígenas de la Cuenca Amazónica (COICA)
  • County of Merced
  • Danone
  • Designathon Works – SA
  • Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
  • Earth Innovation Institute (EII)
  • Earthwatch Institute
  • East Bay Regional Park District
  • EAT Forum
  • Eco Strategies
  • EcoAdvisors
  • EcoAgriculture Partners
  • EcoTrustForests
  • Environmental Defense Fund
  • Enviva
  • European Climate Foundation
  • FAIRR
  • Fahr LLC
  • Farm and Farmers Foundation, India
  • Flinders University, South Australia
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
  • Food and Land Use Coalition
  • Food Commons Fresno
  • FoodShot Global
  • Forest Trends
  • Forever Sabah
  • Fundación Natura
  • Full Belly Farms
  • Gap Inc.
  • Generation Blue
  • Global Alliances for Water and Climate
  • Global Environment Facility
  • Global Green Growth Institute
  • Global Optimism
  • Global Resilience Partnership
  • Gold Standard
  • Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
  • Government of Catalonia
  • Governors’ Forest and Climate Task Force (GCF)
  • Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda
  • Hawkesbury Institute of the Environment
  • IDH the sustainable trade network
  • Indigenous Environmental Network
  • Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN)
  • International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change
  • International Platform for Insetting
  • International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
  • ISU Bioeconomy Institute
  • James Beard Foundation
  • Land Trust Alliance
  • Landesa
  • Mapiomas
  • Mars
  • McDonald’s
  • Meridian Institute
  • MesoAmerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests (AMPB)
  • Microsoft
  • Ministry for Environment, New Zealand
  • Ministry of Agriculture
  • Ministry of Environment and Energy, Costa Rica
  • Misean Cara
  • Mission 2020
  • Molino Creek Farming Collective
  • Morris Grassfed
  • Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC)
  • New Forests US
  • NextGen Policy
  • Norway Ministry of Climate and Environment
  • Ocean Spray Cranberries
  • Organic Consumers Association
  • Organización de Pueblos Indígenas de la amazonia colombiana (OPIAC)
  • Organización Regional de los Pueblos Indígenas del Oriente
  • Oxfam
  • PepsiCo, Inc
  • Peru Ministry of Environment (MINAM)
  • Planet Labs
  • Planet Tracker
  • Point Blue Conservation Science
  • Project X Global
  • Projects For Good
  • ProVeg International
  • PWC
  • Rainforest Alliance
  • Rainforest Foundation US
  • ReGen18
  • Region of Lombardy (Italy)
  • Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI)
  • Rizoma
  • S2G Ventures
  • Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources, Mexico City
  • SERNAP Peruvian National Park Service
  • Sierra Club
  • Sodexo
  • Solutions from the Land
  • The State of Hawaii
  • State of Jalisco, Mexico
  • Sustainable Agriculture Education (SAGE)
  • Sustainable Food Lab
  • Sustainable Food Trust
  • Sustainable Harvest International
  • SYSTEMIQ
  • Terra Global
  • The Climate Group
  • The Earth Institute at Columbia University
  • The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
  • Tomkat Ranch
  • Total Land Care
  • Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA)
  • UC San Francisco
  • UK Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC)
  • UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network
  • Under2 Coalition
  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
  • Unilever
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
  • United Nations Foundation
  • University of California – Berkeley
  • Vision 2050 FBR-PACE
  • Walmart
  • WBCSD
  • Wild Heritage
  • Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
  • Woods Hole Research Center
  • World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
  • World Bank
  • World Economic Forum
  • World Resources Institute (WRI)
  • World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
  • Yaqui Tribe
  • Yucatan
  • Yurok Tribe

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.

Contact us

To join the effort, make a commitment, or find out how to get involved with the Food, Forest and Land working group please contact land@climatelandchallenge.org

For media inquiries, please email communications@wwfus.org.

Learn more about the Global Climate Action Summit and the other challenge areas.