It’s critical, not controversial: Why we must double-down on nature investments

This text is sponsored by Amazon and written by the We Mean Business Coalition, a partner of The Climate Pledge.

After we take into consideration corporate climate motion, the story is frequently about firms cutting their emissions. Whether that’s from rolling out fleets of electrical vehicles, investing in recent green technology or purchasing renewable energy, firms are making progress towards net-zero emissions. Less often talked about are firms’ efforts to guard and restore nature.

Natural systems have a big impact on climate change, each by way of creating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removing them. One quarter of all human-caused GHGs come from the best way we manage land and agriculture. But at the identical time, the latest report from the United Nations’ scientific climate body, the IPCC, was clear that nature is central to keeping global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius. By protecting and restoring nature, we are able to each reduce the emissions brought on by lack of natural systems and help remove carbon dioxide already within the atmosphere.

When actions to guard and restore nature are measured, verified and accounted for, Nature-based Solutions (NbS) can complement firms’ decarbonization actions. Nevertheless, these “carbon offsets” may be controversial, with some firms only investing in offsets reasonably than eliminating GHG emissions from their very own activities. But firms must do each — aggressively decarbonize their businesses and put money into protecting and restoring nature.

We Mean Business Coalition has been working with scientists, business leaders and carbon market experts to grasp how NbS may help avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Here’s what we’ve learned:

What’s the science behind nature-based solutions?

The best and most cost-effective solution for absorbing and sequestering carbon dioxide is restoring and protecting nature. Forests, trees, mangroves, peatland, soil and countless other natural ecosystems are key to a more sustainable future.

Aerial view of a mangrove forest in the Saloum Delta National Park in Senegal.

Many industries have a direct impact on nature. 1 / 4 of net global annual greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture, forestry and other land uses. Corporations working in these sectors have a special responsibility to eliminate emissions from deforestation and transform the land system into a big carbon sink by 2050.

No matter sector, all firms need to deal with the emissions they can’t cut and compensate for remaining emissions with high-quality carbon credits. NbS allows us to compensate for emissions, while concurrently providing co-benefits, comparable to purifying water sources, enhancing biodiversity, and maintaining our well-being.

But won’t it take a protracted time for the advantages of nature investments to be realized?

Addressing emissisions from nature loss pays immediate dividends today — the truth is the science shows that NbS are among the most promising near-term climate actions, providing 30 percent of the climate solution needed in the approaching decade. Protecting ecosystems now will enable nature to offer vital advantages, comparable to filtering and cleansing our air and protecting communities from the impacts of maximum weather events. As storms, wildfires and floods develop into more frequent, motion in support of nature has never been more urgent.

Nevertheless, nature takes a long time to totally restore and plenty of NbS actions require a long-term commitment. This is the reason funding reforestation, agroforestry and other restoration actions today are obligatory to deliver on our long-term climate goals.

Can carbon markets help deliver on our climate goals? 

Yes. Voluntary carbon markets are needed to fund NbS. Here’s how: Corporations purchase a “carbon credit” representing the reduction or removal of carbon from the atmosphere. The market connects these firms with the projects that deliver emissions reductions or removals.

To take care of high integrity, buyers within the carbon market must also aggressively decarbonize their very own businesses. The voluntary carbon market has previously received backlash as not all firms adhere to those principles. Carbon credits must represent an actual reduction or removal of GHG emissions and ensure social safeguards for the communities where the project takes place.

How can firms be confident that they’re investing with high integrity?

The step-by-step guidance produced by the Voluntary Carbon Markets Initiative instructs firms on the best way to credibly engage with carbon markets. On the provision side, the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Markets has published core principles to make sure environmental integrity.

What can firms do? 

Corporations comparable to Amazon, Salesforce and GSK are already taking daring climate motion. As signatories of The Climate Pledge, they’re committed to the ambitious goal of reaching net-zero by 2040. Alongside actions comparable to switching to renewable energy, also they are significantly investing in nature. For instance, Amazon and Salesforce are amongst the various participants within the LEAF Coalition, which goals to halt deforestation by financing large-scale forest protection.

Whilst these large firms are leading the best way, businesses of each size have a job to play. Small and medium-sized businesses also can put money into a range of nature-based solutions. These solutions include direct purchases of forests or agricultural land, investment in individual projects that protect and restore ecosystems, and reducing your organization’s supply chain deforestation impact.

After all, it’s not all all the way down to businesses. Effective government policy and laws can also be obligatory. But at this moment, it’s critical for businesses to embrace nature-based solutions alongside technological ones, to make sure a reputable and impactful path to net-zero.

For more information: Nature-based solutions: crucial for a net-zero and nature-positive future – We Mean Business Coalition


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