New York, 23 September: Yesterday, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the Nature4Climate (N4C) coalition launched “Natural climate solutions: the business perspective”, a guide to natural climate solutions for the private sector.
The report, developed by WBCSD member companies and international NGOs active in this area, highlights the role that nature can play in tackling our greatest challenge: climate change. The key natural approaches described are protecting, restoring and sustainably managing forests, grasslands, agricultural land, and wetlands. Natural climate solutions: the business perspective explains the current state of these solutions, outlines the risks and opportunities for businesses, and proposes investment principles for the private sector.
“We are entering a period of transformation from where we are today to a low-carbon economy and a sustainable land sector. Nature provides a solution for both; it can capture and sequester carbon while producing food, protecting biodiversity, and sustaining life. Responsible investment and supportive policy will help us to scale up natural climate solutions, providing one-third of the emissions reductions we need to meet the Paris Agreement targets by 2030.” said María Mendiluce, Managing Director, WBCSD.
Natural climate solutions address many of the critical issues we face today by helping nature do what it’s been doing for millions of years: sequester and store carbon. Studies have shown that they could provide around 30% of the emissions reductions needed to meet the Paris Agreement targets for 2030.
The IPCC 2019 Special Report on Climate Change and Land states that agriculture, forestry, and other land use accounted for 23% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 2007 to 2016. The IPCC 2018 Special Report on 1.5°C pathways states that limiting global warming to 1.5°C requires the use of carbon dioxide removal, highlighting natural climate solutions such as afforestation and soil carbon management. Addressing emissions from the land sector is necessary, and natural climate solutions provide a viable, proven way to do so.
Importantly, natural climate solutions also present a range of co-benefits. While sequestering carbon, they can also increase climate resilience and food security, benefit biodiversity and improve rural livelihoods and economic development (among other positive impacts).
The need for these solutions is clear – but we lack the finance and policies needed to enable nature to deliver them. In fact, The Nature Conservancy estimates that only 3% of climate finance is used in this way, and only a handful of regions and countries have policies in place that direct private sector finance to natural climate solutions at scale. This, however, is changing; Natural climate solutions: the business perspective outlines the trends in both private sector engagement and policy development around the world and presents a set of investment principles that represent good practice in investing in natural climate solutions projects.
This document was prepared over the course of one year, with companies and international NGOs shaping the content throughout the process. It is a collaborative effort, built by the members of the WBCSD Natural Climate Solutions project and the NGOs of the Nature4Climate coalition.
For more information, please refer to our Natural Climate Solutions project.