Nature is at a tipping point right now. More than 1 million species are threatened by extinction, 75% of the world’s land and 66% of the marine environment is significantly and potentially irreversibly altered by humans. Leading companies already recognise this coming emergency, and many are making ambitious commitments and taking decisive action on nature. By doing so, they’re helping ‘bend the curve’ by slowing down and halting biodiversity loss, then restoring nature and – as a massive co-benefit – contributing to achieving net-zero emissions by mid-century through smart nature-based solutions. Businesses depend on a healthy planet to provide a stable operating environment, customers and workforces and the natural resources necessary for production, not to mention flood control, pollination, water purification and climate regulation. Losing nature means losing these services – not to mention the wild places we love to hike, bike, climb etc – creating extra costs and vulnerability for businesses.
However businesses which act now to achieve net-zero and become nature-positive across their value chains will gain competitive advantage. But businesses cannot address this global crisis on their own. To accelerate action, governments must set ambitious nature and climate policies that provide direction and momentum. According to the World Economic Forum, transitioning towards a sustainable economy could create 395 million jobs by 2030 and generate $10.1 trillion in business opportunities. With international conferences on nature (COP15) and climate (COP26) coming up this autumn, now is the perfect time to ensure that there is strong and integrated global action to secure a n equitable, nature-positive, net-zero future.
Business for Nature has launched a Call for Action, Nature is Everyone’s Business, through which more than 950 companies with combined revenues of $4.3 trillion are urging governments to adopt policies now to reverse nature loss, adopting goals and targets to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030 and put us on the path to recovery by 2050. Nature needs to be integrated into all decision making – looking beyond short term profit and GDP. Subsidies and incentive mechanisms need to be moved away from encouraging high-impact sectors to continue polluting the atmosphere and over-exploiting nature, and redirected towards sustainable use, resilience, restoration and circularity of our planet, its resources and our societies.
With EOCA’s current focus on climate and mitigating the loss of biodiversity, partnering with Business for Nature was a logical step for the association. “Humanity cannot go on as we have been,’ explained Tanya Bascombe, EOCA Joint General Manager, “We need to take drastic action for our planet and we need to take it now. EOCA is in a perfect place to help businesses be proactive in protecting nature, and we can all work together to ensure governments take this crisis seriously too”.
“We’re delighted EOCA has joined Business for Nature.” commented Eva Zabey, Executive Director, Business for Nature. “Working alongside our global network of more than 65 partners, our aim is to unify the voice of business to give policymakers the courage and comfort to make ambitious agreements on nature, while demonstrating that protecting nature is an economic imperative. We look forward to working with EOCA and its members to grow momentum on the interconnected issues we face in what is set to be a critical few months for nature, people and climate."
Ambitious climate and nature action needs to be core to a sustainable economic recovery. Public finance needs to be aligned with sustainability priorities with clear policies which draw in private sector investment. We cannot have policies which deliver on climate whilst at the same time ignoring nature. The future needs to be both net-zero and nature positive. We cannot have one without the other.
Any companies wishing to sign up to BfN’s Nature is Everyone’s Business Call to Action, please go to www.businessfornature.org/call-to-action