New York (September 23, 2014) — In response to several important agreements signed today among heads of state, business leaders, and civil society at the UN Climate Summit, WWF released the following statements:

On the Role of Business and Climate Change
Statement from Samantha Smith, leader of WWF’s global climate and energy initiative:

“In Copenhagen, businesses were left waiting at the altar for governments to solve the climate change problem. Companies then moved on with their own climate action plans – and you’re seeing some first results of those efforts today.

“Strong corporate action is critical – from company actions to sector-busting coalitions – on issues like deforestation and 100% renewable energy. It’s equally important that these leaders raise the bar for emissions reductions, setting ambitious goals on not only what they can achieve, but also what the science tells us is needed.

“But some powerful parts of the private sector are still actively standing in the way of policy decisions that could lead to more renewable investments and a clean energy future. That kind of backward-thinking and obstructionism must stop.

“We agree with the business leaders at the Summit today – they are moving and it’s now governments’ turn to raise ambition and lead.”

On the Role of Cities and Climate Change
Statement from Samantha Smith, leader of WWF’s global climate and energy initiative:

“The world’s urban citizens and their city leaders really are on the front lines of climate change, and they don’t have the luxury of pretending it isn’t happening. When there’s a flash flood or a heat wave, citizens look to the mayor for answers. Regardless of what end of the political spectrum they fall on, these city officials have to deal with reality and find ways to keep their residents safe.

“Today’s cities announcements tell our urban leaders two things: First, we recognize the work they are doing – in many cases far and above what national governments are doing – and through the new reporting framework we can make sure the rest of the world knows, too. Second, we’ve got their back. Those of us who are backing the Climate Finance Leadership Alliance are making sure that when these cities are forced to respond to climate change, they are able to do so at the scale and speed that’s needed.”

On the New York Forests Declaration

“Our planet is losing forests at a rate of eight football fields every ten seconds,” said Carter Roberts, President and CEO of World Wildlife Fund (WWF). “Protecting them is critical to solving the climate crisis. If we work collaboratively to implement these actions, we can address climate change head on while also reducing poverty, enhancing food security, securing the rights of indigenous peoples, and protecting the world’s biodiversity.”

On the Peru—Germany—Norway Forest and Climate Agreement

“We recognize the vital role that Peruvian forests can play in mitigating global greenhouse gas emissions as well as supporting local livelihoods, biodiversity and numerous other social and environmental benefits. We applaud this important commitment from Norway and Peru to tackle deforestation and forest degradation,” said Yolanda Kakabadse, President of WWF-International. “I hope this inspires other commitments and pledges so that protection of forests can be scaled up.”

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Editor’s Note: WWF will also release a closing statement at the conclusion of the Summit.

About WWF
For more than 50 years, WWF has been protecting the future of nature. The world’s leading conservation organization, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.1 million members in the United States and more than 5 million supporters globally. WWF’s unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature. Visit to learn more.

Mandy Woods, WWF-International,; +27 72 393 0027
Christopher Conner, WWF-US,; 703-304-0857
En Español: Monica Echeverria, WWF-US,; 202-378-3396

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