Davos, Switzerland, 21 January 2020 -- Today at the World Economic Forum, Business for Nature - a global coalition of forward-thinking businesses and influential organisations, including IUCN - called for concrete action from governments to deliver a new deal for nature and people.
2020 provides a historic opportunity as world leaders and governments come together at several key moments to determine the planet’s future.
According to the World Economic Forum’s Nature Risk Report launched a few days ago, businesses are
more dependent on nature than previously thought. Around $44 trillion of economic value generation -
more than half of the world’s total GDP - is moderately or highly dependent on nature and is therefore
exposed to nature loss.
More than 360 companies from the Business for Nature community have already made commitments to
help reverse nature loss. By doing so, they are responding to the very real and significant risks that are
posed to economies, communities and livelihoods.
There is action, but it’s not enough. Businesses need to urgently scale and speed up efforts, and require
ambitious policies to encourage the transformative change that the world’s scientists tell us is necessary to
mitigate climate change, promote sustainable growth and halt the decline of biodiversity.
To develop these robust policy recommendations, Business for Nature engaged hundreds of companies
from 15 sectors, operating in five continents, as well as many other organizations. The five
recommendations call on governments to:
- Provide direction and ambition: adopt global targets informed by science to reverse nature loss by 2030 and recognize a planetary emergency.
- Align, integrate and enforce policies for nature, people and climate: bring greater coherence to UN governance, make nature part of mainstream government policy and ensure effective enforcement of environmental laws.
- Go beyond short-term profit and GDP: value and embed nature in decision-making and disclosure so that governments, companies and financial organizations can make better long-term decisions.
- Finance a socially fair transformation: reform subsidies and incentives to reward positive action on nature alongside innovative and circular business models and; promote financial solutions that support nature.
- Engage, enable and collaborate: join forces for nature so that the public and private sector can implement solutions and empower society to act.
These bold actions on nature - if adopted - have the potential to unleash new opportunities and support
business to do even more, which in turn leads to greater policy ambition. Businesses are pushing for
governments to adopt these policies because they understand that social and economic prosperity, and the
success of their businesses, rely on a healthy natural world. And that to resolve the climate and biodiversity
crises and reduce inequality we must protect, conserve and restore nature.
Speaking at the launch event in Davos, Eva Zabey, Executive Director of Business for Nature said, “Financial performance is irrelevant on a dead planet. Businesses are uniting behind and calling on governments to support these recommendations to create a level playing field and a stable operating environment. By demonstrating the hidden value of nature and the economic consequences of our failure to protect decision-making.”
Dr Anne Larigauderie, Executive Secretary, IPBES said, “The IPBES Global Assessment Report made it clear that properly protecting nature’s contributions to people requires a globally sustainable economy. The necessary evolution of financial and economic systems can only be achieved in partnership with responsible decision-makers, in Government but also critically, with the private sector. IPBES therefore welcomes engagement and initiatives, such as these important policy recommendations from Business for Nature, as vital contributions to the growing wave of awareness and more ambitious action for biodiversity.”
This year provides a unique opportunity to forge international agreements as leaders did for the Paris
Climate Change Agreement in 2015. A new deal for nature and people would put environmental and social
development at the heart of our economic, political, social and financial systems.
“Businesses around the world know that by investing in nature they are safeguarding their future. Today’s call makes this clear. Both business leadership and ambitious policies are essential if we are to transition to a sustainable society," said Dr Grethel Aguilar, Acting Director General of IUCN. "We must use the historic opportunities that 2020 offers us, including the IUCN World Conservation Congress in June, to make sure that our collective actions are a match for the biodiversity and climate crises the world is facing."
Businesses are uniting and appealing to world leaders and governments to adopt the policies announced by Business for Nature today - and they are ready to help. Many businesses have already made commitments to not only protect but restore nature. Business cannot solve these challenges alone; political leadership is needed to catalyze more business action.
For more information and to see additional testimonies from business leaders, visit www.businessfornature.org