Nature & Land Use COP27

By Climate Champions | November 1, 2022

The Paris Agreement goals cannot be achieved without nature. As we halve emissions by 2030, we must also reverse biodiversity loss, and the delivery of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) post 2020 framework at COP15 will be fundamental.

We need to scale up initiatives that protect, manage and restore natural ecosystems to prevent further nature loss and set the world on the path to recovery. Without following the Carbon Law for Nature, climate action on the scale required to avert widespread catastrophe is nearly impossible.

There is a strong business case for tackling land conversion as a means to accelerate nature positive and net zero futures.

Cost-effective, accessible and scalable nature-based solutions are ready to be deployed in every country today. We must halt and reverse nature loss, putting Indigenous peoples and local communities at the heart of the solutions.

The opportunity is monumental. Land use (including agriculture) is responsible for 24% of global emissions and is a major force of all planetary boundaries, affecting all SDGs. Forests are also critical for our wellbeing. In 27 developing countries, high exposure to forests causes children to have at least 25% greater dietary and reduces stunting by 7.11% on average (Rasolofoson 2018, 2020).

Agriculture, land use and ecosystem management can shift from being a net emissions source of 12.5 GtCO2eq/yr to net zero by 2030. It can become a growing emissions sink, reaching 11G tCO2eq/yr of reduced emissions by 2050 delivering total emissions mitigation of 400 GtCO2eq in the period from 2021-2050.

The world’s land area is now 40% degraded and accelerating, putting the climate and biodiversity and the planet’s ability to feed its growing population at ever greater risk. In Africa, estimates suggest that 65% of land area is degraded. Actions that focus on protecting remaining natural ecosystems, restoring degraded ones and sustainably managing productive lands can help halt and even reverse some of this damage.

Nature based solutions (NbS) are the smartest investments to draw down carbon from the atmosphere as it provides one-third of the cost-effective mitigation needed for 2°C by 2030 & helps communities adapt to impacts. While NbS cannot replace or delay other decarbonization efforts, when deployed at scale, could save over 11 gigatonnes of CO2/year, equivalent to the entire emissions of the US and EU.

What COP27 means for land use

Climate impacts on nature are growing. Increasingly frequent wildfires are affecting critical ecosystems and the species that depend on them. Ocean acidification and rising temperatures are affecting the composition of ocean ecosystems and the abundance and distribution of marine wildlife.

COP27 is a critical COP for nature as it precedes the delivery of the Global Biodiversity Framework to be developed under the Convention of Biological Diversity at COP15 in Montreal Canada from the 07-19th of December.

COP27 will be an opportunity to understand Parties’ focus on NbS as they enhance NDCs and strengthen national adaptation plans. COP27 will also be an opportunity to keep pressure on delivery of key nature-related announcements made at COP26.

What’s at stake?

In this decade we must halve emissions, enhance resilience and regenerate nature as planetary boundaries are closely approaching.

Parties can seize the opportunity to enhance their NDCs with nature-based solutions whilst delivering their sustainable develop

 Asks for:

Governments

  • Enhance NDCs with NBS and strengthen land use planning and governance to manage competition and trade-offs across different users, support IPLC land tenure, and deliver national economic, social, rights, health and environmental goals that enhance long-term resilience of economies, communities, and ecosystems
  • Support development and agricultural practices that enable and accelerate the transition to resilient and sustainable food and land use, including fully valuing natural capital, repurposing agricultural subsidies

Businesses/Financial Institutions

  • Eliminate the conversion of natural ecosystems by 2025, for example by eliminating deforestation and overfishing from supply chains
  • Reverse negative impacts and help restore ecosystems across the value chain by, for example, engaging with suppliers to ensure awareness and buy-in
  • Support delivery of the TNFD and perform a nature-related risk assessment with the LEAP approach (when released). Commit to Science Based Targets for Nature by 2023
  • Advocate for nature positive enabling policy
Nature & Land Use

COP27: Day 9

Looking ahead to next month’s UN Biodiversity Conference, the message on Biodiversity Day is clear – we must do more to recognise nature’s fundamental role as part of the climate solution and catalyze concrete measures to protect and restore it. 

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