Half of plant and animal species at risk from climate change

15 March 2018 | Adaptation

Up to half of plant and animal species in the world’s most naturally rich areas, such as the Amazon, the Arctic and the Galapagos - and in Europe, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea Basin - could face local extinction by the turn of the century due to climate change if carbon emissions continue to rise unchecked.

Even if the Paris Climate Agreement 2°C target is met, these places could lose 25 per cent of their species. That is according to a landmark new study by the University of East Anglia (UK), the James Cook University (Australia), and other organizations.

Published in the journal Climatic Change and just ahead of Earth Hour, the world's largest grassroots movement for the environment, researchers examined the impact of climate change on nearly 80,000 plant and animal species in 35 of the world's most diverse and naturally wildlife-rich areas.

For example, the report found that 30% of Mediterranean species like marine turtles and tuna are at risk of extinction even if we keep global warming to 2°C; this rises to 50% with no action.

The twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss are interlinked. For centuries, Europe's nature has been damaged, and climate change is adding to the pressure. Healthy ecosystems would actually help absorb and store carbon, and make our societies more resilient to the effects of climate change. T

The clear danger of climate change for people, the planet and its biodiversity is why on 24 March millions of people across the world will come together for Earth Hour. They will show their commitment to protecting biodiversity and being a part of the conversations and solutions needed to build a healthy, sustainable future – and planet – for all. The global mobilisation sparked by Earth Hour also sends a clear message to business and government that there is a global will to change this trajectory.



Source: EU Business