WBCSD Report Helps Business Accelerate Consistent and Credible Actions for Climate and Nature.

Remove the hurdles to investment in nature-based solutions by clarifying the scope and definitions of natural climate solutions and nature-based solutions, which have the potential to deliver up to 37% of solutions to achieve the Paris climate goal.
Jan 4, 2021 8:20 PM ET
Press Release

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) launched a new report on nature-based solutions to help companies accelerate consistent and credible actions that are positive for both climate and nature, titled: “Mapping nature-based solutions and natural climate solutions”.

This report aims to help remove the hurdles to nature-based solutions by clarifying definitions, while supporting the alignment of natural climate solutions (NCS) with nature-based solutions (Nbs) in order to accelerate investments at scale. In addition, the report helps business to navigate the nature and climate agenda by mapping the key initiatives, platforms and conventions for collective action.

Therefore, this report promotes the development of, and investments in, a large volume of high-quality NbS projects by providing clarity on their definition, scope, value and performance. In particular, business needs to clarify the relationship between nature-based solutions focused on climate and those delivering other societal values to maximize the potential benefit that solutions can deliver. There is a need for alignment on a simple, workable, science-based set of definitions.

NbS can help to deliver up to 37% of solutions to achieve the Paris climate goal, as well as the potential to help address other societal challenges while being good for business and people. Yet, to scale up investment in nature-based solutions, business requires clarity on its scope and requirements.

Companies involved in the work include BASF, BP, The Biodiversity Consultancy, DSM, Hancock, McKinsey, Natems, Shell, South Pole, Syngenta and Yara. Contributing stakeholders include Business for Nature, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), Harvey Locke, Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU), Systemiq, the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (UK Defra), One Planet for Business and Biodiversity (OP2B), We Mean Business, World Economic Forum.

Diane Holdorf, WBCSD, Food & Nature Managing Director: “The COVID-19 pandemic and connected economic crisis have shown governments and business the necessity to transform all systems to net-zero before 2050 and become nature positive by 2030. Driving unemployment, malnutrition and extreme poverty to soar in many countries across the world, the pandemic has given us a stark warning of the risks, vulnerabilities and inequalities of our systems – and what’s at stake if we cannot mobilize radical action to reset our systems for a carbon-neutral, nature—positive world.”

Claire O’Neill, WBCSD, Climate & Energy Managing Director: “To be on track to achieve the Paris Agreement goals, we need radical, collective climate action which slashes greenhouse gas emissions and supports the growth of natural ecosystems; and we need to harness the potential of natural ecosystems which offer a third of the emissions-reductions we need to secure a net-zero, resilient world. To that end, this report provides a greater sense of clarity and purpose to business for climate action through nature”

Eva Zabey, Business for Nature, Executive Director: “Climate change, nature loss and social inequality need to be tackled together to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.  While nature is under huge pressure, it also holds the key to effective and scalable solutions for many of our societal challenges, including climate change.  Business for Nature welcomes this report that lays out clear definitions and the scope of both nature-based solutions and natural climate solutions . Setting out a practical common framework in this way will help business scale and speed up the action and investment needed and by doing so support the transition to a nature-positive future.”

Brian J. Kernohan, Chief Sustainability Officer, Manulife Investment Management and Hancock Natural Resource Group: “The importance of nature to society and the health of our planet is clear.  This important report connects nature and climate change not only in the terminology we use, but by highlighting the need for net-positive solutions for achieving climate, nature, and biodiversity goals.”

Gerard Bos, Director, Business and Biodiversity Programme, IUCN: “Businesses can increase their sustainability contributions and achieve a Nature-based Solution when they ensure their natural climate solutions also generate biodiversity and broader societal benefits. This paper attempts to clarify the differences in approaches, and urges businesses to develop and scale-up actions that go beyond just curbing their climate emissions.”

This business guidance is part of a series of three reports aimed at “Accelerating Business Solutions for Climate and Nature”, a joint collaboration between WBCSD's Nature Action and Natural Climate Solutions teams. The next report will focus on “NCS best practice” and the final guidance document will cover sectoral guidance for nature-based solutions across the three key systems identified by WEF’s New Nature Economy Report Series: (1) food, land and ocean use; (2) infrastructure and built environment; and (3) energy and extractives.

A collective effort to unlock the potential of natural climate solutions

Convened by the World Economic Forum and WBCSD, the Natural Climate Solutions Alliance (NCS) is a multi-stakeholder group bringing actors from the private sector and civil society, with the common objective of scaling affordable natural solutions for climate change mitigation to help meet the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate and solve some of the world’s most pressing and intractable environmental and social challenges.

The NCS Alliance members’ efforts are directed at raising ambitions to expedite voluntary action, encourage compliance markets and strengthen the narrative of natural climate solutions for business and governments. Read more about WBCSD work on natural climate solution and NCS Alliance.