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Why is WWF working on renewable energy, and why now?

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We received an important note this week in response to the launch of our global campaign, from a fan on WWF’s Facebook page, Vedran Krokar:

Vedran Krokar's question on Facebook: "WWF should not lose focus from its main goal: biodiversity conservation..."

We are working on conserving wildlife, for which – yes – the biggest immediate threats include poaching and habitat loss. The threats are recognized and our work reflects this.

Climate change is one of the biggest long-term threats to most species, threatening up to 1/3 of animal species – from marine turtles to frogs to caribou – with extinction, with marine impacts happening much faster. While the impacts of global warming are only just starting, the decisions that are influencing those impacts are being made now.

We are running this renewable energy campaign this year and on this target because recent research shows us that the energy infrastructure investments that are in place by 2017 will play a huge part in determining whether or not we can avoid catastrophic climate change impacts. Energy infrastructure investments – like power stations and distribution networks – are planned years in advance, which is why we are targeting them right now.

This campaign will also highlight the direct impacts of oil, coal & gas energy infrastructure on species with regards to habitat loss, as it can be a very real threat in places like the Great Bear region in northern British Columbia – home to humpback and orca whales, and the rare white “spirit” bear – currently at risk from a major oil export and oil pipeline proposal.

Our critical work to combat the most urgent threats to species like tigers, rhinos and elephants – such as poaching and habitat loss – will continue to be strong. Our campaign and program work is consistently science-based and works at the heart and the source of where the solutions must happen. This means we do various types of human-impact based work –  from direct conservation work (like poaching & illegal wildlife trade) to longer term impacts that threaten to undo that conservation work (like climate change). This work is done in coordination and in parallel throughout our organization’s global network. This year, it is imperative to get at the heart of one of the defining decisions influencing climate change.

Thanks, Vedran, for getting in touch with us. I hope you keep asking important questions,


WWF’s mission and principles can be found here.

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  • Emma Websdale

    I completely agree – climate change is threatening the stability of water and food supplies which can effect all species on earth – not just humans. Increase in temperatures means increased flooding, increased weather disasters, desertification – all elements which destroy and degrade crucial habitats for species. Great job WWF! Not enough organisations are relasing that tackling climate change is part of the bigger solution.

    • zoecaron

      Thanks, Emma!