Razan Al Mubarak calls for nature-positive economy at London Climate Action Week

ABU DHABI, 5th July, 2023 (WAM) -- Razan Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for the COP28 Presidency, has called on businesses to step up climate mitigation and adaptation efforts and to include nature-based solutions in their climate transition plans.

Al Mubarak attended London Climate Action Week recently, and the Climate Champions Team were among the organisers of a flagship event, The Race is on: Net Zero & Nature Positive for Climate Action in London.

“A nature-positive economy is a no-brainer — for biodiversity, the climate, public health, food security, and for the long-term goals and interests of businesses,” said Al Mubarak, who is also President of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

In London, Al Mubarak was engaging with business leaders, representatives of financial institutions, cities and regions, all known as non-state actors. The distinction between state and non-state actors is important because while most of the world’s governments have committed to legally-binding actions on climate under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, steps taken by private companies, regional governments and municipalities are largely voluntary. 

As a High-Level Champion, Al Mubarak has been tasked with increasing these kinds of voluntary contributions, especially as it becomes apparent that government actions alone will not be sufficient to avert dangerous changes to the climate.

She added that the Global Stocktake, an official assessment of how the world is implementing the Paris Agreement, which comes out later this year, is expected to show that countries are not doing enough to achieve the agreed limit of human-induced warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. In addition, humanity is destroying nature at an unprecedented rate, with biodiversity loss already costing the global economy ten per cent of its annual output.

“We know that there is no Paris Agreement without nature,” she said. “Nature enhances resilience. It also provides at least a third of the mitigation opportunity required to achieve 1.5°C.”

Solutions include promoting sustainable diets, minimising food loss and waste, scaling-up regenerative grazing, forestry and farming. Initiatives to rapidly restore and protect natural habitats, protect the rights of indigenous peoples and deploy urban nature at scale are also needed.

Al Mubarak outlined several steps that companies and financial institutions can take towards a nature-based economy, including joining the Race to Zero campaign which requires participants to pledge to reach net zero by 2050 (at the latest), financing nature-based solutions and closing the existing gap of US$484 billion/year required by 2030, and disclosing climate and nature-related risks and opportunities and integrating them into decision-making.

Also, setting science-based targets for climate and nature - positive actions and reporting progress regularly.

Al Mubarak also urged financial institutions to help address commodity-driven deforestation, land conversion and associated human rights abuses by following the Finance Sector Roadmap, endorsed by the Accountability Framework Initiative, and joining the Financial Sector Deforestation Action (FSDA) initiative.

“This is a deciding moment in history. The challenge is critical, and we are running out of time,” said Al Mubarak. “Nevertheless, businesses and investors have more tools now than ever before to help accelerate emission reductions, enhance adaptation and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030.”