World Biodiversity Summit 2023, New York - Nature Is Everybody’s Business

Unlocking Ambition, Alliances and Investment Pathways for a Nature-Positive World

With a pressing need to mainstream biodiversity across business, finance, government and civil society, a large and highly motivated crowd gathered at World Biodiversity Summit 2023 on 21 September in New York during Climate Week NYC and the UN General Assembly. The crowd was full of new faces interested in acting, addressing and facing the challenge of biodiversity loss. Returning after last year’s successful three-part series, the Summit solidified itself as the main cross-sector event on biodiversity and nature in the world. Nature and biodiversity have a new crowd with a different lens. 
 
© World Climate Foundation
Last year, we had the Paris moment for nature in Montreal at the UNCBD COP15. And by now, we all know that we need to work across sectors to foster innovation, investments and policy reform. World Biodiversity Summit brought together a very motivated group of people from various sectors to bridge the gap in global collaboration and to unpack it, action area by action area, to find out what needs to happen next to implement the Global Biodiversity Framework.  

"I've been working internationally in nature for 40 years; I recognise only two of you in the room. And that's a fantastic thing."
– Dr. Harvey Locke, Vice Chair for Nature Positive, IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas ans Y2Y 

Key Conclusions 
Business Action for Nature – A Growing Imperative: The interdependence of business on nature was underscored throughout the sessions of the day, highlighting nature conservation as an emergent priority for the business sector. As articulated by H.E. Razan Al Mubarak, the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28, the economic implications of biodiversity loss are stark and a nature-positive economy has the potential to create 400 million jobs.

Leading up to COP28, the Climate Champions team is calling to non-state actors to put nature at the heart of climate action by committing to five key principles: 
  • Commit to science-based targets for both climate and nature.
  • Integrate nature into climate transition plans.
  • Assess the impacts and dependencies through the recommendations of both the Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and the Taskforce on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD).
  • Eliminate commodity-driven deforestation.
  • Instead of just extracting value from nature, invest in nature-based solutions.
"As we gear up to COP28, let us work together for a significant nature outcome, focusing on conserving what we have, restoring what we have degraded, and have the ambition and courage to alter our food systems that have significant impact on our nature and greenhouse gas emissions."
– H. E. Razan Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28 

Recognising & Financing the Invaluable Value of Nature: The Summit highlighted the need for a shared understanding and common language on biodiversity across government, finance and science sectors for effective collaboration and decision-making. Martin Præstegaard, the CEO of ATP, emphasised biodiversity as a significant risk to the financial sector and stressed the integration of biodiversity into financial disclosure. The need to accelerate information flow on the benefits of financing nature and accurately price proxies, reflecting both climate change and biodiversity, is more critical than ever for advancing nature markets. 

 "If we scale up these investments significantly together, then a successful implementation of the Global Biodiversity Framework is within our grasp."
– Alvaro Lario, President of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
 
Bridging Climate & Nature: Prof. Dr. Johan Rockström, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, emphasised nature's incredible ability to maintain climate balance by absorbing CO2 as a stress response to warming. Climate change proves that we have disrupted this fragile balance by burning fossil fuels and destroying ecosystems. Our foremost priority now must be to help nature recover to continue sequestering greenhouse gases. It is as clear as it gets: without healthy biodiversity, we will not achieve our decarbonisation goals.   

 "There is no safe landing for climate without protecting our biodiversity."
– Prof. Johan Rockström, Director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
 
Accelerating Change Through Incentivising Framework & Policy: The Summit highlighted the urgent need for transparent, robust policies and standardised frameworks as catalysts to incentivise the private sector and expedite our progress in safeguarding biodiversity. Current government efforts have fallen short of creating an enabling environment for businesses alone. In discussing renewable energy, Rasmus Skov, the Head of Global External Affairs and Positioning at Ørsted stressed the imperative of integrating the biodiversity agenda into policy frameworks to facilitate its mainstream adoption.

Shared Responsibility & Benefits for Water Stewardship, Regenerative Forestry & Agriculture: Rethinking land and water management is crucial for environmental and human health and climate regulation affecting every sector. The private sector must adopt a more integrated nature-people-climate-positive approach that incorporates the expertise and knowledge of various stakeholders while providing incentives for all, including indigenous communities and farmers. 

Amplifying Indigenous Insights for a Nature-Positive Future: Inclusion and diversity in voices, especially indigenous knowledge was a cornerstone of our discussions. Indigenous communities hold a reservoir of wisdom on nature cultivated over generations. This inherent knowledge can aid biodiversity preservation, land and water management when integrated with technologies and embedded in modelling methods, business and national plans and more. 
 
Key Announcements
From the World Biodiversity Network
 
Launching Nature-Positive Initiatives at COP28
We are excited to be preparing a unique announcement at COP28 in Dubai to launch the Nature Investment Coalition alongside other meaningful initiatives and building on our success of the Climate Investment Coalition.

Highlights from our speakers and partners
  • Ørsted’s newly released report Uniting action on climate and biodiversity highlights biodiversity's crucial role in renewable energy expansion and equips policymakers, the energy industry and environmental NGOs with guidelines for a nature-positive energy transition.  
  • Capgemini released a set of recommendations in their report Preserving the fabric of life: Why biodiversity loss is as urgent as climate change for the corporate sector on how to tackle biodiversity loss and take nature-positive action. 
  • The TNFD calls for businesses to disclose and assess their impacts on nature. In their latest report Recommendations of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures released this week, the TNFD offers practical recommendations for businesses to proactively address their impact on nature. 
  • Pollination announcement of their inaugural Nature Finance Focus report. The report highlights a set of risks and opportunities derived from the financial sector and assesses how well-prepared private businesses are to invest in nature. 
  • Renewables Grid Initiative is gearing up to introduce a service offering technical support to energy companies seeking to transition to nature-positive and decarbonised practices, to be launched at COP28. 
 "There is no easy way, no silver bullet. We need to start reflecting on how we change the way we live, because replacing fossil fuels means changing the way we live, not only changing the technology."
– María Susana Muhamad González, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Government of Colombia 

Thank You & Next Steps
On behalf of the World Climate Foundation, we would like to extend a big thank you to everybody involved in World Biodiversity Summit for your valued contribution. 

Continuing this year, we are working towards integrating and solidifying the biodiversity targets into broader climate negotiations, with COP28 in Dubai serving as a pivotal moment in the work to reach climate and biodiversity targets altogether. The key lessons and takeaways of the day will help drive the agenda and focus forward and further the implementation of the Global Biodiversity Framework, towards COP28 this year and COP16 next year. 

"World Biodiversity Summit 2023 is not the end but the beginning – a launchpad for the collaborative, nature-positive future we all aspire to. We have the roadmaps, the coalitions, and most importantly, the collective will. Now it's time to roll up our sleeves, set high ambitions, and turn our shared visions into lived realities. Let's seize this unparalleled opportunity to make a lasting impact on our planet."
– Jan Nielsen, CEO and Founder, World Climate Foundation
 

Kontakt: World Climate Foundation | info@worldclimatefoundation.org | www.worldclimatefoundation.org


Umwelt | Klima, 26.09.2023

     
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