Multiple pathways, multiple opportunities
To that point, a core piece of natural climate solutions is about building on the multiple decades of work to reduce tropical forest destruction. If tropical deforestation were a country, it would be the world’s third largest emitter. But, avoiding deforestation is in fact one of nearly two-dozen distinct nature-based pathways across forests, agricultural and grasslands, and wetlands. The solutions represent three core strategies: protecting key ecosystems, transforming how we use working lands, and restoring ecosystems on a massive scale.
While we have experience implementing each of these interventions on limited scale, the big question now is how to motivate the global community to begin rightly viewing these solutions as they view other crucial energy policy and technology fixes.
This question was at the core of the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 (TFA2020) panel on land-use solutions at the summit in London. The event, convened by The Climate Group and We Mean Business, with support from the International Chamber of Commerce, World Economic Forum and others, brought together leaders from business, government and finance to focus on how businesses can support and benefit from the shift to a zero carbon economy.
Business leaders on the panel spoke of both the risks of ignoring nature’s role – but also the opportunities in creating a new development paradigm. Seabright pointed to Unilever’s preferential commodity sourcing pledge—from those countries and regions with ambitious climate and forestry initiatives. Emmanuelle Wargon from Danone explained how their joint-venture fund with Mars, the Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming, measures social and environmental returns alongside economic ones. Olam’s Chris Brett outlined how an innovative financial mechanism – a sale / leaseback scheme – was driving good land-use management practices in Gabon.