is everyone’s business

Businesses impact the health of the planet, but they also depend on the Earth for them to operate properly, says Eva Zabey from Business for Nature. "They really have a crucial role to play."

"Nature is at a tipping point," says Eva Zabey executive director at Business for Nature, a global coalition that brings together businesses, conservation organizations and forward-thinking companies to demonstrate and amplify a credible business voice on nature. "We’re seeing unprecedented rates of species extinction, forest loss, land degradation, and ocean pollution. And as if those alone weren’t enough to sound the alarm, they are exacerbating climate change, social inequalities and health crisis. They are systemic risks to our global economy, but also opportunities worth trillions of dollars."

"Reversing nature loss in this decade is a moral, social, and economic imperative," she continues. "To do that, we must transform our economic and financial systems, which means making sure we truly embed the value of nature in all decision-making. Businesses have a crucial role to play. Businesses impact the health of the planet, but they also depend on the Earth for them to operate properly." In this context, Business for Nature was founded two years ago. Eva goes on: "We work with around 70 international and national partners and bring together 1000+ diverse businesses from all sectors, sizes and geographies, calling for governments to adopt policies now to reverse nature loss this decade."

“We must transform our economic and financial systems, which means making sure we truly embed the value of nature in all decision-making.”
If a company is willing to make a change and become more sustainable and nature-positive, what would be the first thing they should change?

"We call on companies to take the following steps in their nature-positive journey: first, to assess what their impacts and dependencies are on nature to ensure they are committing and acting on the most material ones. Next, we ask them to commit. Make meaningful, informed and public commitments through credible platforms and set measurable targets across priority locations for how much the company will contribute to restoring ecosystems. And finally, they must act. Prevent negative impact from happening in the first place or eliminate the negative impact entirely; actively work – in partnership with others – to restore ecosystems; and invest in nature-based, inclusive and holistic solutions. Ultimately, a transformation is required to become nature-positive across the value chain aiming to 'give back more than you take'.

"We also call upon companies to advocate, to speak up for ambitious public policies that will scale and speed up positive business action for nature. There are several things a business can do to get involved, such as joining 'Nature is Everyone’s Business' Call to Action for example."

“Speak up for ambitious public policies that will scale and speed up positive business action for nature.”
How can development financial institutions (DFIs) or other investors support Business for Nature?

"Financial institutions have a critical role in accelerating the journey towards a nature-positive economy. Failure to do so would create an array of mounting risks – not only to investors but to the real economy – and fundamentally impact our ability to remain within our planet’s boundaries. In addition to the steps detailed above, financial institutions can draw inspiration from the five steps of the Finance for Biodiversity Pledge to get started with biodiversity."

What is the biggest hurdle for Business for Nature to reach their goals?

"To build a nature-positive, net-zero and equitable world, businesses cannot act in isolation, and voluntary actions are not enough. However, companies are currently operating in a distorted market that values short-term profits over long-term value creation. The over-exploitation of nature is too often unintentionally rewarded by the market, while positive and circular actions can lead to extra short-term costs to companies." "To accelerate business action and enable them to become nature-positive, we need to transform the economic and financial systems, including by redirecting or eliminating all environmentally harmful subsidies, requiring businesses to assess and disclose their impact and dependencies on nature, and ultimately keep the environmental footprint of consumption and production within planetary boundaries. It is essential for governments to create a level playing field for all businesses to compete sustainably and align business models with a nature-positive economy. This would unlock new business opportunities and help create a stable operating environment for business globally." "This is why businesses call for political ambition to support their existing actions and commitments. At the opening of COP15, CEOs called for more ambition in an open letter and 1,000 companies signed the 'Nature is Everyone’s Business' Call to Action, calling for policies now to reverse nature loss by 2030."

Join Eva at FMO’s Biodiversity Event

On 10 December 2021, FMO will organize a live event, broadcasted from the Naturalis Biodiversity Center. Check the website for more information and to register for online attendance.

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How about COP26?

For COP26, we expected governments to come forward with ambitious 2030 emissions reductions targets (NDCs) that secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach. We particularly called for alignment and integration of climate and nature policies, to ensure nature sits at the heart of climate mitigation, adaptation and finance.

Together with the We Mean Business coalition, we have asked governments at COP26 to:

1.


Deliver policies now to reverse nature loss and degradation and turn forests and other land uses into a net carbon sink globally by 2030.

2.


Eliminate commodity-driven deforestation by 2025 through trade policies developed in collaboration between producer and demand-side countries, aligned with the Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade (FACT) dialogue.

3.


Repurpose more than US$700 billion of annual public subsidies for agriculture by integrating climate and biodiversity objectives, and eliminate subsidies that drive harmful land-use change and ecosystem degradation.

4.


Ensure that by 2025 the share of international climate finance that is channeled to high quality nature-based solutions better reflects its 30% abatement potential, while catalyzing private sector investments through Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

5.


Align climate policy with the Convention on Biological Diversity by establishing ambitious and mutually beneficial targets, including halting and reversing nature loss by 2030 to achieve an equitable, net-zero and nature-positive world.

What expectations do you have of COP15?

At the CBD COP15 taking place in Kunming, China in April/May 2022, we expect governments to adopt an ambitious and effective Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework to accelerate the transformation of our economic and financial systems. It has been great to finally see the progress made given how COVID-19 has stalled the discussions.

In the negotiations on the way to COP15, due to take place 17-22 January 2022, we ask governments to:

1.


Deliver policies now to reverse nature loss and degradation and turn forests and other land uses into a net carbon sink globally by 2030.

2.


Value and embed nature into all decision-making: the targets must ensure that governments support and require businesses and financial institutions to measure and disclose their impacts and dependencies on nature.

3.


Eliminate or redirect all subsidies and incentives that are harmful for biodiversity: the Framework must include a clearer, more ambitious target to close the USD 700+ billion biodiversity financing gap and create a level playing field for businesses to operate.

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