WWF calls for a climate and nature-positive G20

Posted on 16 July 2021

WWF welcomes the Italian Presidency of the G20 and recognizes the fundamental role that this year’s meeting must play in resetting and re-establishing financial, social, and environmental stability globally.
This meeting will be critical to defining expectations and norms for a new era as we begin to rebuild from the global pandemic, even as we continue to fight it around the world. This is a point of inflection for the world, and G20 leaders have the power to chart a new course.

To prevent future global pandemics, to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss, and to address core inequities, we must put ourselves on a path toward an equitable, nature positive, net-zero greenhouse gas emissions world.

Our economies depend on nature (44% of global GDP is directly reliant on nature) and the simple cost of inaction is already too high - global GDP could lose USD 10 trillion by 2050 in a business as usual scenario due to reduced availability of key ecosystem services.

With 60% of global population, 78% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and an important role to play in determining the extent of nature loss we will face, G20 countries have an outsized voice in setting the terms for how we respond globally to this moment of crisis and rebuilding. Domestic action by the G20 countries - with their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), commitments and actions on nature, food, and many other issues - will certainly have a broad global impact, but so to will the global issues they tackle and systems they agree to.

Investing in a climate and nature-positive economy need not be a zero-sum game - it will create jobs and prosperity for many now and in the longer term. Concerning, the response of G20 economies to the COVID-19 crisis so far has too often been to reinforce negative and harmful investments worsening the current trends in nature and climate. Most G20 governments have chosen not to use economic stimulus to enhance nature or tackle climate change - that is, around 70% of announced stimulus is leading G20 countries away from a low- carbon, nature-positive transition.

To have a chance of meeting the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement, and to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030, we need G20 countries to lead the way. This must go from transforming energy systems based upon sustainable renewable technology, to producing food for the planet in a way that avoids deforestation, grassland conversion, mangrove loss and degradation, fisheries depletion, to setting the proper incentives and frameworks and ensure alignment of financial flows to the objectives of a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, nature positive and equitable world.

For the world to be better prepared to prevent and/or face the next pandemic as well as to ensure a sustainable development for all, WWF calls on G20 leaders to include tangible actions on climate and nature in their agreements with 4 key efforts:
  1. Promote financial instruments and risk disclosures that will lay the groundwork for an equitable, nature and climate-positive world;
  2. Secure ambitious climate commitments across the G20 and set an urgent deadline for fossil fuel subsidy phase-out;
  3. Rally support for strong and ambitious global commitments to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030; and
  4. Take specific actions to address nature and climate across all sectors of the economy, including through nature-positive food systems.
Decisions and actions at all levels, from Heads of State and Government providing the direction and mandating relevant ministries, to all sectors of society should ensure policies, actions and financing are aligned with an equitable, nature-positive, net-zero greenhouse gas emissions trajectory.
For further information, contact Mandy Jean Woods mwoods@wwfint.org
The 2021 G20 is hosted by the Italian government.
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