A radical catalyst for change

The Climate Action Accelerator (CAA) aims to mobilize a critical mass of community organizations in order to scale up climate solutions, contain global warming below 2°C and avoid the risk of dangerous runaway climate change. 

These organizations are key to reversing global warming, because their audiences, contributions to total greenhouse gas emissions, and trend-setting potentials are significant and have been largely overlooked so far.

Enabling them to work as a community, the CAA will help these organizations at least halve their own GHG emissions every decade from now on, become champions within their own ecosystems and deliver valuable transformational change.

This will then contribute to domino effect for an exponential uptake and the implementation of climate solutions across society towards the net-zero emissions.

The net-zero Pathway

2019 has concluded the warmest decade on record.

Despite scientific warnings and growing public concern, greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) continue to rise. Recent record-breaking wildfires, heatwaves, floods, droughts and storms only give us a flavor of what might lie in our future. At the current rate of greenhouse gas emissions, we will have exhausted our carbon budget for 1.5°C by 2032, or even earlier, and the world could face a global average temperature rise between 3°C and 5˚C by the end of the century.

To date, climate action has been primarily driven by a mix of top-down policy efforts on the supply side, bottom-up citizen movements and coalitions of large cities and companies. These initiatives are instrumental and move in the right direction but they are not yet fast and large enough to reverse global warming and stave off the worst climate change impacts.

Time is running out and the window of opportunity for action is now.

We must halve greenhouse gas emissions every decade from now on, in order to reach net-zero emissions before 2050, according to the Carbon Law pathway developed by the Stockholm Resilience Centre. To do so, we need to leverage on fast-spreading processes of change to achieve rapidly the scope and scale of global decarbonisation required.

 

Reversing the trend global warming is still possible for the following reasons:

Climate action is less a matter of developing solutions than of accessing, implementing and scaling them exponentially.

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There is a big untapped potential, made of community organizations (civil society, hospitals, universities,  professional networks and local governments), whose audiences and trend-setting potentials, beyond their contributions to total GHG emissions, have been largely overlooked so far.

Climate action brings multiple co-benefits, yet often underestimated and misunderstood (long-term cost-effectiveness, better health, cleaner air, protection of biodiversity, reduced waste, new jobs, safety…).

Our Vision

Leading the way towards science-based reduction targets.

In line with the Paris Climate Agreement (2015), we envision a sustainable future, with the achievement of net-zero emissions made possible by an exponential surge of organizations leading the way towards science-based reduction targets, thus creating an unstoppable momentum across society.

They will demonstrate that climate action is increasingly accessible, feasible and beneficial, influence their ecosystems, get other organizations on board, and accelerate the implementation of climate solutions towards a social tipping point.

Reaching drawdown – the point when greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere start to decline – through drastic reductions of greenhouse gas emissions and development of carbon sinks, requires a whole-of-society approach and transformative shift in scale within the next few years.

Our Mission

We want to set a trend in society by which the greatest number of organizations halve their emissions by 2030 or earlier. To do so, we will:

Empower

Empower

Empower emblematic service sector organizations to take responsibility and at least halve their emissions every decade

Champion

Champion

Transform them into champions of change within their networks

Community

Scale up

Scale up the implementation of sustainable climate solutions, through a global community of practice

Aid

Health

Research & Education

Target sectors

We will initially prioritize 3 specific service sectors.

The highest amplification potential

They have the highest amplification potential, in terms of trustfulness, reach - local, national, international - and connectedness, as they provide care, protect, generate knowledge, and prepare future generations. They rank among the five most trusted sectors in society, and are often viewed as role models, acting with integrity. Their leadership on climate action is most likely to inspire emulation by others, and throughout society. 

Each of these sectors makes sizable contributions to GHG emissions

Globally, the healthcare sector represents 5% of total emissions – the world’s fifth-largest emitter if it were a country, of which 70% are attributable to supply chains, which are a leading source of emissions for aid organizations, transporting relief items around the world. They can also reduce their carbon footprint by “building back better”. In the education sector, energy consumption and travel are a leading source of emissions. Increases in international student mobility have emerged as a major source of GHGs, contributing more than the annual emissions of many countries.

Solutions are easily transferable, with adaptations, across these three sectors

They represent major service sector organizations with missions of public interest. The service sector plays an increasing role in economies around the world and is responsible for a growing share of direct and indirect emissions, attributable to a variety of factors (buildings, food, transport, digital, supply chain, waste, land management). These are key climate action levers to curb emissions from the demand side of the equation. Based on similarities among these three sectors, the CAA will activate the same fundamental levers for climate action, allowing cross-sector fertilization, synergies and economies of scale.

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