*[Enwl-eng] here is the latest news from the High-level Climate Champions!

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UN Climate Change
Global Climate Action
7 June 2021
High Level Climate Champions
Newsletter
Blueing the Ocean
In a resilient, zero-emissions economy in the 2040s, the ocean will look much like it does today: still covering about 70 percent of the earth’s surface, absorbing a quarter of CO2 emissions that would otherwise remain in the atmosphere, and housing an abundance of marine life that supports the diets of billions of people.

If we continue with business as usual, however, the coming decades will bring more ocean warming, acidification, deoxygenation and biodiversity loss. Pollution and climate change are already destroying the ecosystems that sequester and store more carbon per unit area than land forests, and safeguard coastal communities. That includes salt marshes, mangroves and seagrasses. Some 40 percent of the population is at risk from rising sea levels, eroding coastlines, salinization inland and changing fishing supplies. 

There is time to course-correct, but it needs to start in 2021. Businesses, investors, cities, region and national governments are already placing the race to zero emissions and resilience at the heart of their health and economic recoveries from Covid-19. Ocean recovery and regeneration need to play a key role in those near- and long-term climate strategies. 

Danish energy company Ørsted set an example last week, with a first-of-its-kind commitment to ensure that the impact of its renewable energy projects on biodiversity is net-positive by 2030. The company will now work to identify the kinds of projects that will benefit natural ecosystems, habitats and species. 

To drive this kind of bigger, bolder and faster action for the ocean, the UN High-Level Champions for Climate Action are calling on at least 20 percent of the ocean sector’s largest companies to commit this year to reversing blue carbon ecosystems loss by 2030 and to publicly report their progress. This includes fishing, aquaculture, container shipping, cruise lines and ports companies, and is based on the Champions’ new Climate Action Pathway report for the ocean sector. 

The shift to zero-emissions maritime transport, offshore wind energy, the restoration and protection of ocean ecosystems, and sustainable, low-carbon seafood will simultaneously advance the Covid-19 recovery, emissions reductions and resilience. Accounting for the ocean and coastal ecosystems in the first global stocktake on the implementation of the Paris Agreement, held between 2021 and 2023, and taking action across policy, research, civil society and finance, will provide a further boost, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.  

The UN Global Compact and the Champions, will delve further into what national and local governments and the private sector can do to accelerate ocean-based climate solutions during a virtual event today: Catalyzing the Ocean-Climate Ambition Loop Towards COP26. The event features global ocean leaders including John Kerry, US special climate envoy, and Thomas Thune Andersen, chairman of Ørsted and Lloyd’s Register. This will set the scene for World Ocean Day on Tuesday, under the theme ‘one ocean, one climate, one future - together’.
One Year into the Race to Zero: Leaders Summit
The past year has seen an unprecedented rise in the number of companies, investors, cities, regions and national governments committing to reach net-zero emissions in the 2040s - many under the UN Race to Zero campaign. 

A year after it launched, the Race to Zero now includes more than 2,300 companies, 700 cities, 160 investors and 24 cities, and is running in parallel with its new sibling UN campaign, the Race to Resilience. Both are helping to drive a 50 percent reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions between 2020 and 2030 - while restoring nature and building resilience for the 4 billion people most at risk from the climate crisis now. 

But the private sector and local governments also need to join UN Secretary-General António Guterres and the High-Level Climate Champions in calling on governments to strengthen their climate policies. The UN Global Compact Leaders Summit on 15-16 June will look at the transformational shifts already underway and what is needed to accelerate them. Breakout sessions will focus on cities, transport, bridging the gap between mitigation and adaptation and engaging the youth, among other issues. Complementary registration available here
In Case You Missed It
  • The Race to Resilience welcomed the University of Chile’s Center for Climate and Resilience Research as the Technical Secretariat for the global campaign. (CR)2 join the Executive Team of R2R with an open call to join the Expert Review Group now open. 
 
  • The UN Food and Agriculture Organization and UN Environment Programme warned in a report last week that humans are already using 1.6 times the resources that nature can provide sustainably. To address food security risks, they said at least 1 billion degraded hectares of land should be reinstated by 2030, and called for similar commitments for the ocean. 
 
  • More than 50 UN experts last week called on countries to recognize and implement the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment as a vital response to the current multi-faceted environmental crisis, the Office of the UN Human Rights Commissioner announced. They pointed to the climate emergency, pervasive toxic pollution, dramatic loss of biodiversity, and a surge in emerging infectious diseases of zoonotic origin, such as Covid-19. 
 
  • 23 governments joined together to launch plans to drive global investment in clean energy research, development and demonstrations this decade, in the second phase of the Mission Innovation initiative launched in 2015. Mission Innovation 2.0’s members are responsible for more than 90 percent of global public investment in clean energy innovation. 
 
  • There is a 40 percent chance that the annual average global temperature rise will temporarily reach 1.5°C in at least one of the next five years, the World Meteorological Organization warned. There’s a 90 percent chance that at least one of the next five years will become the warmest on record, surpassing 2016.
 
  • 37 percent of heat-related deaths worldwide can be attributed to climate change, with deaths increasing on every continent, according to a report in Nature Climate Change. The findings support the need for greater mitigation and adaptation work, it added.
 
  • Leading athletes have warned that climate-boosted heat and humidity at the Tokyo Olympics next month could create a “danger zone”, with a heightened risk of heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat stroke, in a report released by the British Association for Sustainable Sport.
 
  • National governments can and should localize their Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Agreement, by following the example set by work on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, according to a policy brief by Collaborative Climate Action. Steps include incorporating efforts from local governments, improving coordination between different levels of government and addressing links between sustainable development goals and Paris climate commitments. 
 
  • The chairs of the UNFCCC’s subsidiary bodies have started developing a living guideline for organizing the first global stocktake on the implementation of the Paris Agreement, being held between 2021 and 2023. 
 
  • Developing high-impact climate technology innovation requires public-private cooperation, strong ambition and consistent project management across different stages of innovation, participants agreed at the UNFCCC Technology Executive Committee’s recent event with Future Cleantech Architects. Find a summary and recordings here
 
Enjoyed this round-up? Keep up to date with daily news from the Race to Zero, Race to Resilience and our partners on racetozero.unfccc.int!

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Subject: Vladimir, here is the latest news from the High-level Climate Champions!


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