Global companies step up to scale investment in natural climate solutions

Published: 12 Sep 2018
Type: News

12 September 2018: Today at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) publicly launched its new project focused on mobilizing private sector investment to scale natural climate solutions. These solutions are an established means of capturing and storing carbon emissions through carbon sinks like forests and peatlands.

Recent studies show that natural climate solutions could offer up to 37% of the emissions reductions needed to limit global warming to 2°C. As such, WBCSD’s Natural Climate Solutions project aims to help business unlock this untapped potential for addressing the climate challenge. 

“In addition to mitigation efforts and low-carbon technology, we need an interim solution,” said Alema Bibi, architect and manager of the project. “Natural climate solutions are something we can implement now – they’re about better land management, healthier trees, forests and soils.”

COP21 in Paris highlighted a near universal consensus on the need to limit global warming to 2°C. However, country specific emissions reductions targets (NDCs) are not enough to meet this goal. 

“If we don’t start working with nature to draw down more carbon, we’re never going to address the climate challenge,” said Justin Adams, Managing Director of The Nature Conservancy. “We can get on with this now.”

Despite the enormous potential of natural climate solutions, they still suffer from low investment compared to renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean transport.

“To deliver natural climate solutions at scale will require significant funding at an unprecedented scale” said Bibi. “The private sector has a significant role to play in accelerating and financing NCS at large scale.” 

The project brings together cross-sectoral stakeholders including business, government and civil society to work together to enable and incentivize carbon financing for natural climate solutions to scale. WBCSD has the potential to build critical mass, unlock a diverse group of investors and stakeholders and capitalize on the momentum needed to realize the potential of natural climate solutions on this front. 

Peter Bakker, President and CEO of WBCSD, said “It’s time to get the conversation up. It’s time to put real dollars next to real solutions, and the only way you’re going to do that is to get different players from different sectors together driving towards a meaningful solution.”

Over the next few months, the project will co-publish, with Nature4Climate “the business case for NCS investment” with an eye towards elevating natural climate solutions on the international climate agenda.

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