Club of Rome launches Climate Emergency Plan

On 24 November 2018, We Don’t Have Time in Sweden broadcasted a webinar where Anders Wijkman, honorary chairman of the Club of Rome, presented a keynote about the Club of Rome’s Climate Emergency Plan, which calls for immediate emergency action by policymakers and stakeholders worldwide. Watch it here:

Global broadcast of ‘no-fly seminar’ about the Club of Rome’s Climate Emergency Plan

Wijkman’s keynote speech was the point of departure for a solutions-oriented webinar that aimed to “advance the conversation on how to demand and create real change.”

“Climate change is now reaching an end-game scenario, where very soon humanity must choose between taking unprecedented action, or accepting that it has been left too late and bear the consequences.”
~ Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, professor and leading climate scientist, director emeritus Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and a Club of Rome member

Club of Rome’s call to action

“The Club of Rome and its Partners call on all stakeholders – governments, civil society, scientific institutions, business – to adopt the following emergency action plan, based on the Carbon Law Initiative approach to halve global GHG emissions every decade till 2050, and the industrialized countries’ Paris commitment to provide a minimum of US$100 billion dollars annually to low-income countries in support of low-carbon technology development and adaptation.

Transform Energy Systems

1. Halt fossil fuel expansion and fossil fuel subsidies by 2020:
• No new investments in coal, oil and gas exploration and development after 2020
• Phase out indirect and direct fossil fuel subsidies by 2020–2025 in developed countries and by 2030 in developing countries, and redirect funds to support investments in renewables and energy efficiency
• Minimise fugitive emissions from fossil fuel operations
• Total phase-out of the existing fossil fuel industry by 2050

2. Continue the doubling of wind and solar capacity every four years, and triple annual investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency and low carbon technologies for high emitting sectors before 2025.
• Give priority to developing countries to avoid locked-into-carbon economies
• Adopt sustainable finance taxonomies, finance sector and corporate disclosure, and transformational benchmark requirements for public and private finance
• Shift public funding and public procurement programmes to cost-efficient low carbon energy infrastructure and products
• For the developed world (developing world targets structured to local priorities):

    • Tighten CO2 emission standards for all new light and heavy-duty vehicles to target at least a 50% reduction by 2030 and an 80% reduction by 2040
    • Prohibit new internal combustion engine sales by 2030
    • Reach zero carbon in new buildings by 2030 and in building retrofits by 2030
    • Achieve zero-carbon electricity grids and the manufacturing of energy intensive materials by 2040.

• Call on development banks, development cooperation agencies and the Green Climate Fund (under the UNFCCC) to give priority to de-risking clean energy investments in developing countries.

Rethinking Pricing & Growth Indications

3. Introduce realistic pricing and taxation to reflect the true cost of fossil fuel use and embedded carbon by 2020:
• Introduce carbon floor prices
• Tax embedded carbon through targeted consumption taxes. Direct tax revenues to research, development and innovation for low-carbon solutions, cutting taxes or propping up the welfare state
• Converge carbon markets and instruments into a worldwide structure, particularly covering energy and energy-intensive sectors

4. Replace GDP growth as the main objective for societal progress:
• Adopt new indicators – such as the Genuine Progress Indicator – that accurately measure human progress, welfare and wellbeing, rather than production growth
• Make sure market prices reflect the true costs of production, i.e. integrating social, environmental and ecosystem decline costs in market pricing.

Scale-up Transformational Technologies

5. Improve refrigerant management by 2020
• Meet the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol mandating a phase down of HFCs by more than 80% over the next 30yrs.
• Adopt ambitious standards and policies to control leakages of refrigerants from existing appliances, through better management practices that also include recovery, recycling, and destruction of refrigerants at the end of life.

6. Encourage exponential technology development by 2020
• Create an International Task Force to explore technology disruption and the optimisation of exponential technology for GHG emissions reduction by aligning digitalisation, exponential technologies (such as Artificial Intelligence), and business models with Agenda 2030, the Paris Agreement along with each country’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC’s) to the UNFCCC process.

7. Ensure greater materials efficiency and circularity by 2025
• Substantially reduce the impact of basic materials, e.g. steel, cement, aluminium and plastics, from a rate of almost 20% of carbon emissions globally today, to close to net zero.
• Promote innovation, material substitution, energy efficiency, renewable energy supply and circular material flows to more than halve GHG emissions.

Accelerate Low Carbon Land Use, Mitigation & Adaptation tools:

8. Accelerate regenerative land use policies
• Adopt the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ (FAO) recommendations for 100% climate smart agriculture (CSA)
• Protect and maintain healthy forests and estuarine wetlands to minimise dangerous climate change, provide resilience against climate related disasters, and ensure their essential contribution to the well-being of the planet and humanity.
• Triple annual investments in large-scale REDD+ reforestation and estuarine wetland initiatives in developing countries.
• Scale up soil carbon, forestry and estuarine wetland sequestration, incentivising farmers as proposed in the “4 par mille” initiative of the French government.
• Strongly support efforts to restore degraded lands through restoration methods such as Ecosystem Restoration Camps.
• Implement adaptive risk management procedures in every state, industry, city or community. This would entail undertaking a risk assessment, developing an adaptation plan at the appropriate scale, changing planning procedures and reviewing laws and regulations to permit or prescribe more robust systems to ensure resilience to climate change impacts.

Guarantee the Human Dimension

9. Ensure that population growth is kept under control by giving priority to education and health services for girls and women; promote reproductive health and rights, including family planning programmes.
• Scale up all commitments to achieve the ambitions set by Family Planning 2020 in order to provide 120 million more women and girls access to contraceptives by 2020.
• Ensure the roll-out by 2025 of UNESCO’s International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education in all countries, to ensure that girls and boys have access to the highest quality, evidence-based education packages that will enable them to make healthy choices about all aspects of their reproductive and sexual lives.
• Ensure the right to gender transformative education to give every girl the right to a safe, formal, quality education and access to lifelong learning.
• Empower women to make choices about reproduction, family size and timing.

10. Provide for a just transition in all affected communities.
• Recognise that the degree of social change needed to make a successful transformation to a sustainable future will extend throughout society, requiring fundamental shifts in behaviour and rethinking of national and community support and care systems.
• Establish clear funding and re-training programmes for displaced workers and communities.
• Provide government assistance to enable higher carbon industries to diversify to lower carbon production, through tax breaks and incentives or other economic measures
• Reframe business models and roles for declining high-carbon industries such as oil, gas and coal.
• Support citizen action and litigation against countries not fulfilling their climate targets.
• Support the Citizens Climate Pledge, which calls for the world’s wealthiest citizens, particularly the top 10% of earners causing 50% of all GHG emissions, to cut their emissions in half by 2030.

The manner and priority in which these issues are addressed will obviously vary from country to country, but the overall objective of rapid carbon emission reduction is their common goal.

Clearly there are many other systemic issues which need attention if humanity is to live in harmony with the planet. New economic, social and political frameworks will need to be put in place to ensure adequate wealth distribution and a proper notion of care. However, unless climate change is addressed as an emergency, those debates will become academic, as the opportunity for constructive human development will no longer exist.

Once the challenge of addressing climate change becomes reality, these frameworks become critically important to the emergence of our sustainable future and a societal renaissance.

The Club of Rome is seeking partners to support this nascent Action Plan, and to help ensure methods of implementation and accountability.”

The Club of Rome hosts a formal launch event on 4 December 2018 at the European Parliament, attended by MEPs, European Commission officials, NGOs and businesses.


The Facebook Live event in Sweden was organised by We Don’t Have Time together with the thinktank Global Utmaning and the Club of Rome, featuring:

• Anders Wijkman (The Club of Rome)
• Jamie Margolin (This is Zero Hour)
• Stuart Scott (Transition University)
• Cathy Orlando (Citizens’ Climate Lobby),
• Per-Espen Stokenes (Green economics, ecology and economic psychology)
• Tomer Shalit (Map Launcher)
• Maja Rosén (We are Staying on the Ground)
• CJ Palmér (Sustainable Impact)
• Jonas Allerup (Swedish Environmental Protection Agency)
• Ingmar Rentzhog (We Don’t Have Time)
• Tove Ahlström (Global Utmaning)

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