Plan to reverse climate change presented in London

Thursday, 18 May, 2017

The Commonwealth’s Regenerative Development to Reverse Climate Change Conference, held in London today, was the second meeting of environmental experts who believe that there is potential to reverse the effects of climate change. They are hoping their new approach will influence the debate among world leaders when they meet at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP23, to be held in Germany this November.

Last October, more than 60 scientists, ecologists, activists, academics and funders explored cutting-edge approaches to reducing carbon emissions and addressing global warming, while boosting development and economic growth. Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland presented the experts findings at the Commonwealth Secretariat’s London headquarters today. This includes submissions from Project Drawdown — a comprehensive plan with the potential to reverse global warming.

“It is truly a historic moment for the Commonwealth as the first intergovernmental organisation to take on the bold challenge of flipping the narrative on climate change,” Scotland said. “What we are saying is that climate change is not only our biggest challenge, it is also our biggest opportunity.

“Funders, as well as leading experts in a range of areas relating to climate change, came to our headquarters last year to give us a verdict on the feasibility of making reversal rather than mitigation our goal.

“We looked at existing working examples of the regenerative development approach, which mean actions to heal the damage we have caused to the Earth and working with nature instead of against nature. For example, tapping into the power of volcanic hot springs for our electricity, geothermal power plants, regenerating coastal wetlands and constructing buildings that mimic trees in the way they dispose of carbon.

“The unanimous agreement was that if we have the political will and work together, we can drastically reduce carbon emissions and reverse the human impact of climate change while accelerating economic growth and boosting development.”

Secretary-General Scotland said the aim now is to find a strong business model for this “revolutionary approach” which can be tailored to the needs of Commonwealth member countries. The initiative will complement the Commonwealth’s Climate Finance Access Hub, which opened its doors last September and is helping countries to access millions of pledged funds for climate action.

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