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The global framework to manage climate

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Climate models almost unanimously predict that heat waves will become more intense and frequent as the planet continues to warm. Mario Tama/Getty Images/AFP MARIO TAMA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

The UN Convention on Biological Diversity has released the first draft of its new Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. It outlines action plans to protect, restore and sustainably manage nature (climate) and transform society’s relationship with the natural world. Here are some things Nigeria’s Minister for the Environment should note about the Framework.

Climate action failure, biodiversity loss, and infectious diseases counted as the top three risks in the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report. It is imperative that leaders and citizens alike adopt a systematic view for the economic and societal transformation needed today so we can build the world we want to inhabit in 2030. In 2015, world leaders came together for an ambitious commitment on fighting climate change to keep the world on a 1.5C pathway. In addition to governments that committed to the Paris Agreement, businesses aligned their plans and commitments to this vision.

Companies with a combined revenue of over $11.4 trillion (more than half of US GDP), are now pursuing net zero emissions by the end of the century or 2050.

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Have you read about three ways to work with nature to boost biodiversity? How investing in nature can help tackle the biodiversity and climate crises. A similar public-private ambition is needed as leaders come together in Kunming, China, for agreeing on the post-2020 Global Diversity Framework.

Earlier this July, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat released its first draft of the framework, inviting input and engagement from all sectors of society.

Businesses have an especially important role to play in fighting biodiversity loss and ensuring continued ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, clean water and food security. Here are five things you need to know about the Global Diversity Framework.

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One, the 2011-2020 Aichi Plan failed to achieve a single biodiversity target. Over the past two years, scientists, experts and government officials have been working on a framework to be adopted in Kunming China at the UN CBD COP15 that will set targets on how we manage nature through to 2030.

While the targets, like Paris Agreement, are not binding for businesses- they signal the government ambition and prioritization of activities to fight the crisis of biodiversity loss.

By aligning their strategy and operations to the framework, businesses secure their future as they all rely on climate and its ecosystem services. For example, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization more than three quarters of the world’s food crops rely at least partially on pollination, and global crop production, with an annual market value of between $235 billion and $577 billion, at risk.

Two, governments must stop the use of public money to harm public good. Governments around the world have provided about $530 billion per year in public subsidies and market price support for farmers, but only 15 percent of these incentives support sustainable outcomes, while the majority may spur the overuse of fertilisers, among other perverse effects. Target 18 of the Framework commits governments to redirect, repurpose, reform or eliminate incentives harmful for biodiversity in a just way by at least $500 billion per year across the sectors.

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Three, business impact and dependence on nature. Target 15 of the framework asks all business to assess and report on their dependencies and impact on biodiversity, reducing their negative impact at least by half. The G7 finance ministers have endorsed the launch of the Taskforce on the Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) which has triggered many big financial services and investor companies to strengthen the reporting on biodiversity similar to climate mandated by TNFD; which means the cost of capital for any businesses not conducting a materiality assessment against nature will significantly suffer.

Four, climate financing: Target 19 of the framework asks for increased financial resources to at least $200 billion per year, with at least $10 billion increase to developing countries. According to the State of Finance for Nature report, a total investment in nature of $8.1 trillion is required by 2050 to tackle the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature loss, and land degradation.

Currently, private finance accounts for only 14 percent of climate based solutions. There is both a need and potential to grow this by valuing natural capital just the way that we value financial, physical and human capital. Strengthening market mechanisms to help fight climate change and nature loss, China launched its national carbon emission trading scheme recently with $32 million changing hands. Another example is HSBC launch of an asset management venture with the ambition to increase the world’s largest dedicated natural capital asset management company. Unilever announced its Euro 1 billion Nature and Climate fund.

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Finally, withal is the positive ambition loop of government policies and business leadership. The framework is the first draft and there is scope to be more ambitious and create a truly transformative framework by adopting a clear and ambitious  goal for nature to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030 and create a climate positive world. This global goal is called for by many non- state actors and recognized by over 88 heads of state in the Leaders Pledge for Nature.

If adopted in the framework, it would send a strong signal to the business community that regulatory change is coming and business as usual isn’t an option anymore. Therefore, encouraging the uptake of climate-positive business models and the redirection of investments and business decision-making processes around the protection, restoration and sustainable use of nature and natural resources.

The UN CBD Secretariat is now inviting inputs from businesses and civil society organizations to ensure a cross- sectoral implementation and public-private resources. Business For Nature is joining up business across sectors and geographies to input into the first draft. Over 900 companies have signed up to the call for action “Nature is Everyone’s Business,” signaling to governments to advance ambitious policies for positive economies.

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