Even elephants cannot escape climate change. More dry periods might further shrink their living space leading to more conflict with humans over scarce resources. Wildlife and ecosystems are facing potential disaster from global warming, say environmentalists.
Several travelled on board the Climate Express train from Brussels to Copenhagen. Jim Leape of the World Wide Fund for Nature said:
“There is no question that wildlife like humans face a dire threat if the climate continues to change in the way it has been in recent decades. And if the world fails to act we can see huge declines in wildlife populations around the world. Perhaps one third of all species will go extinct in the next several decades.”
The WWF has drawn up a ten-point plan it wants governments to implement.
Jim Leape said the summit needed heads of state especially from industrialised countries to make bold commitments to sharply reduce emissions over the coming decades:
“We also need commitments from emerging economies to find a way to move onto a low carbon development path, so that their emissions grow more slowly than their economies grow.”
There are also calls for commitments to end deforestation. The WWF says tree felling destroys the equivalent of 36 football pitches of forest every minute, causing 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions. It wants these emissions to be reduced by 75% by 2020.