Approximately one million species are thought to be in danger of going extinct, primarily due to unsustainable human activities impacting environmental sustainability. The main driver of biodiversity loss is the indirect or direct results of these activities. Under current policies, one in six species is predicted to be at risk of extinction because of the climate emergency. Worldwide biodiversity loss, deeply intertwined with the climate crisis, underscores the urgency of adopting a ‘nature positive’ approach to mitigate these impacts.
Unless there is a significant and rapid reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, climate impacts will continue to threaten both species and their habitats. Transformation change is needed urgently if we are to tackle both the climate crisis and biodiversity loss. A nature-positive strategy could be key to solving the dual challenge of the environmental emergency and rapid biodiversity and nature loss.
About nature positive
In 2021, G7 leaders not only announced that our world must be net zero but that for the benefit of our people and the planet, it also needs to be nature positive. It is a disruptive idea that forces us to think differently about where we belong in the world. Nature positive is a goal for humanity that also serves as the basis for long-term stable communities with excellent governance and robust economy. It is essentially a philosophy that values our common future.
From a business lens, nature positive is a new business model based on resilience, recirculation, and regeneration rather than pollution and destruction. A nature-positive approach solves both the dual nature and climate emergency. The core objective of this strategy is to stop and reverse nature’s devastation by 2030 while fully recovering a robust ecosystem by 2050. Momentum for a nature-positive approach is building every day.
Along with the G7, 88 heads of state signed the Leaders Pledge for Nature to reverse the loss of biodiversity by 2030. This is also a goal supported by 126 Nobel Laureates in the Our Planet, Our Future statement. Over 700 businesses have called for nations to act to reverse nature loss as soon as possible. Within the finance industry, there is also the new Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures which will help direct investments toward a nature-positive future.
Ultimately, it is now a movement and one that makes perfect business sense. It is estimated that a nature-positive economy can unlock $10 trillion worth of business opportunities according to The Future of Nature and Business report by the World Economic Forum. It will do this by transforming the three economic systems that are responsible for nearly 80 percent of nature loss. These include energy, food, and infrastructure.
A nature-positive goal has to include actionable, relevant targets that capture nature’s connectivity and complexity from genes to ecosystems. A nature-positive goal complements the agreed worldwide climate target of net zero emissions by 2050. To achieve this, we have to halve emissions by 2030, but science shows this will not be enough.
Therefore, the only way to maintain temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celcius is to simultaneously cut emissions, transform agriculture and safeguard natural carbon sinks. With this in mind, a nature-positive aim is not only beneficial and necessary in its own right. Rather, it is a prerequisite for us to have any chance of meeting the goals outlined in the Paris climate agreement.
We need to act urgently to reverse the current declines in biodiversity and enhance the resilience of our planet and societies to halt and reverse nature loss. Stopping biodiversity loss and restoring nature to pre-2020 levels by 2030 will be challenging, but a nature-positive goal gives us that opportunity.