World to gather for exponential climate action at Stockholm+50

This week world leaders and representatives from government, business, international organisations, civil society and youth will gather in Sweden for Stockholm+50, an international meeting to drive action towards a healthy planet for the prosperity of all.

The event on Thursday and Friday comes at a crucial time as the earth is in emergency mode, and urgent action is needed to address the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste.

So what exactly is Stockholm+50, and why is it important?

Co-hosted by Sweden and Kenya, Stockholm+50 will take place under the theme “a healthy planet for the prosperity of all, our responsibility, our opportunity”.

The two-day meeting will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, which marked a new era of global cooperation.

At the 1972 conference, 113 countries adopted the Stockholm Declaration and Action Plan for the Human Environment, placing environmental issues at the forefront of international concerns.

The conference also led to the creation of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and began an important dialogue between industrialised and developing countries on the links between the environment, economic growth and human well-being.

Stockholm+50 marks a milestone in the collective journey toward a healthy planet. It offers the opportunity to reflect on, celebrate and build upon 50 years of environmental action.

The meeting will be organised around plenary segments, three leadership dialogues and side events that will focus on the importance of multilateralism in tackling the triple planetary crisis.

It will also reinforce the outcomes of the fifth UN Environment Assembly, which took place earlier this year in Nairobi, Kenya.

As decision makers and business leaders meet, the Exponential Roadmap Initiative will shine a light on the game-changers in energy efficiency, green energy, travel and transport, plant-based food, regenerative agriculture, protecting and restoring nature and maximising positive impacts from digitalization.

“We need to halve global emissions by 2030 and become nature positive at the same time to tackle the climate emergency. We have the answers in our hands, we just need sharper action. The solutions to halve emissions by 2030 exist in all sectors and many are scaling exponentially. This is the moment to scale even faster and make a pull-in. The companies that realise that today are the winners of tomorrow,” says Johan Falk, founder of Exponential Roadmap Initiative.

Within the Stockholm+50 Climate Hub, the Exponential Race to Zero events, hosted by We Don’t Have Time, Exponential Roadmap Initiative, UN Race to Zero and We Mean Business Coalition, will showcase examples of leading innovative, disruptive and transformative companies taking climate action in line with science.

“We Don’t Have Time gathers leaders from around the world to share climate solutions and thereby speed our necessary transition from a fossil-to a renewable economy. We hope our daily Stockholm+50 broadcasts reaching millions will inspire leaders within all sectors to act faster while we still have time.” says Ingmar Renzhog, Founder We Don’t Have Time.

Ahead of the first international UN summit on the environment, parents, grandparents and carers from 32 countries have come together to demand a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty to give children a livable planet.

Their open letter decries that “the fossil fuel juggernaut continues on like a runaway train with our children’s futures on the track”, demanding that governments step up and phase out the primary cause of the climate crisis: fossil fuels.

The parents are from 121 climate parent groups across the world, including Warrior Moms (India), Rodzice dla Klimatu (Poland) and Parents For Future Nigeria. The parents have gained support for their call from delegates that attended the first Stockholm conference 50 years ago.

Wilhelm Kulke, a father and grandfather from Germany, who attended the first Stockholm conference in 1972 said: “Today my grandchildren should be able to breathe clean air and live in a healthy environment.

“If climate protection, energy transition and renewable energy had been on the agenda 50 years ago, we would not have to fight against the negative consequences of climate risks now.A These demands must be heard by UN member states in Stockholm today.”

Karan Singh, former union cabinet minister of India, also a father, grandfather and great grandfather who attended the first Stockholm conference in 1972, said: “I’ve been following what has been happening over the last half century and I can only say that it’s a disaster.

“The dependence on fossil fuels is still very strong. We want children to grow up in an atmosphere that is healthy, not lethal like it is now in Delhi and many parts of India. Look at the wildfires that are destroying Australia and California. We need a recommitment to saving the planet, it’s the only planet we’ve got. We have got to give top priority to developing alternative sources of energy.”

Despite this, national governments plan to continue to approve new fossil fuel production, setting the world on a path to produce more than twice the fossil fuels by 2030 than is consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5 degrees Celsius target.

In their letter, the parents, grandparents and carers say “we need a new story, a new chapter for our children. This is why we are joining a growing call on governments to urgently commence negotiations to develop and implement a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty”.

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