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Record Global CO2 Levels Impact the Future of Conservation

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) issued the following statement from Chief Scientist Jon Hoekstra regarding today’s news that the Earth’s atmosphere has, for the first time in human history, reached more than 400 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide, as recorded by the Earth Systems Research Laboratory in Hawaii:

“Crossing the 400 ppm threshold is more than a new data point about greenhouse gas levels in our atmosphere. It’s a sobering reminder that the planet we know today will not be the planet we know tomorrow.

“The profound change humans are causing requires us to shift the way we approach protecting and conserving nature, taking into account what our planet will look like in 50 or 100 years; not what it looked like 50 or 100 years ago. Sadly, we’re at a point where conservation must be driven more by the realities of our planet’s future, and less by an attempt to replicate what we had in the past.

“In addition to sustained commitments to reduce emissions and increase availability of renewable energy, we must also integrate climate-smart technologies and planning into our conservation work to ensure that our efforts stand up to the long-term pressures of our changing planet.”

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