We’re on track to blow past 1.5°C temperature rise – it’s time to work with nature to address the climate challenge

Published: 9 Oct 2018
Author: Communications
Type: Insight

The landmark report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirmed by leading scientists and government representatives from across the globe, shows that the world is on track to far surpass 1.5°C temperature rise as soon as 2040. The report says that even the sum of all pledges to cut carbon would still see 3°C warming by 2100.

The life-changing results of this warming will leave indelible impacts on society and the environment.

Enough is enough. It’s time to implement all possible solutions in our global arsenal to address the climate challenge. According to lead IPCC author Heleen de Conick, "The decisions we make now about whether we let 1.5, 2°C or more happen will change the world enormously.*"

The urgency couldn’t be clearer.

In addition to stopping more carbon from entering the atmosphere, we also need to start taking carbon out of the air and sequestering it. There is a solution:  nature can help us deliver over 30% of the emissions reductions needed, if implemented now.

We won’t address the climate challenge without nature.

Because of this, every IPCC pathway for 1.5°C demands the use of natural climate solutions alongside aggressive mitigation strategies.

What are natural climate solutions?

Natural climate solutions are an established way of capturing and storing carbon emissions through natural carbon sinks such as forests and peatlands - these help nature do what it’s been doing for millions and millions of years: pull carbon out of the atmosphere - and put it back into soils and forests.

Stopping deforestation, protecting natural carbon sinks and restoring damaged habitats - these are not concepts. These are solutions we can roll out today.

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 unprecedented funding and coordination. The private sector has a significant role to play in accelerating and financing these solutions.

To help achieve the necessary scale and impact, we’re excited to announce that we’re now working with key players in the business and NGO communities to mobilize investment in natural climate solutions through carbon finance.

Our new project will bring together cross-sectoral stakeholders including business, government and civil society to work together to enable and incentivize financing for natural climate solutions. Together, we have 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.

As Peter Bakker, President and CEO of WBCSD, said, “It’s time to move beyond talk. It’s time to put real money 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 meaningful action.”

By bringing all sectors together in one space we can tap into the vast potential of nature in addressing the climate challenge. Working together, we can raise ambition and ensure that nature does not become the forgotten solution.

Get in touch to learn more.

* (McGrath, 2018)

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