WRI prides itself on making big ideas happen. For the past three decades, we’ve used rigorous research as a basis for creating positive change on the ground. The result is dozens of outcomes in cities, regions and countries around the world.
This year was no exception. Check out our Top 10 Outcomes of 2014:
1) Global Forest Watch Launch Heralds New Era of Transparency in Forest Management.
WRI in partnership with 50 organizations launched Global Forest Watch (GFW) in February 2014. The online platform uses satellite and other data to track forest cover change in near-real time. The tool has catalyzed a dramatic increase in action against unsustainable and illegal forest practices, and governments and businesses are using GFW to improve forest management transparency and accountability.
2) Global Forest Landscape Restoration Target Set, National Commitments Announced.
The New York Declaration on Forests set a global target to restore 350 million hectares of deforested and degraded forest landscapes by 2030. WRI and IUCN helped get consensus on the long-term goal, encouraged national leaders to announce country-specific contributions, and developed maps and analyses documenting restoration's benefits in some countries.
3) Business, Investment Communities Analyze Water Risk.
Bloomberg incorporated data from WRI's Aqueduct water risk platform into its mapping tool; MSCI began using Aqueduct to measure risks for utilities and oil, gas and chemical companies; and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board recommended that companies use Aqueduct to measure water stress. IKEA and GDF Suez used Aqueduct information in their in-house risk analyses.
4) Greenhouse Gas Protocol Standard Helps Cities Measure and Manage Emissions.
WRI, C40, and ICLEI created the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC). Over the last two years, more than 100 cities have used the GPC to measure and reduce their emissions. Specifically, WRI worked with partners to provide technical support to 15 Latin American cities and 12 Chinese cities.
5) Supporting UN Member States’ Understanding of Sustainable Development Goals.
The UN proposed 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to eradicate extreme poverty, placing economic transformation and environmental sustainability at the center of the agenda. WRI and 10 other institutes in the Independent Research Forum (IRF) on the Post-2015 Development Agenda organized discussions with negotiators of the UN Open Working Group on SDGs and provided recommendations.
6) New Climate Economy Report Links Climate Action to Economic Benefits.
WRI coordinated a global partnership of economic and climate research institutes to write a landmark report on the New Climate Economy. The report presented a compelling, fact-based narrative about how economic growth and climate action can—and must—be achieved together.
7) Sustainable Transport for 1.5 Million People in 3 Brazilian Mega-Cities.
EMBARQ Brasil provided technical assistance to the transportation agencies of Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Brasilia—three of Brazil’s largest and most traffic-congested cities—to design and implement bus rapid transit (BRT) systems. In 2014, 154 kilometers of high-quality BRT corridors were launched, cutting 1.5 million people’s commute times by 50 percent.
8) Multi-billion-dollar Green Climate Fund Opens for Business.
The Green Climate Fund, launched in 2014, offers an ambitious platform for contributions and investments in climate mitigation and adaptation in the developing world. WRI helped shape the Fund's structure, ensuring that ambition and rigor were built in so the Fund can deliver value and secure and distribute money to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
9) China Moves Toward Mandatory Corporate Emissions Reporting.
China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) created GHG accounting and reporting guidelines for 10 industries, using the GHG Protocol’s (GHGP) framework and methodologies created by WRI and WBCSD. In 2014, NDRC mandated GHG reporting for more than 20,000 companies and organizations, all of which will measure and manage emissions based on GHGP guidelines.
10) Better Bus Systems and Car-free Days Improve Life in India’s Cities.
WRI initiated major bus reforms to improve public transportation in Bangalore, Karnataka, Ahmedabad, Bhopal and Surat and held car-free events in five Indian cities. During these "Raahgiri Days," cities closed streets to motorized vehicles for several hours to encourage walking, cycling and outdoor recreation, showing citizens that streets are for pedestrians and cyclists, not just cars.
- LEARN MORE: Check out WRI's three decades of Top Outcomes.