2020 has been a year like no other. The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated lives, livelihoods, and communities. We are currently grappling with a crisis that is turning economies upside down, while simultaneously dealing with the increasing impacts of the climate and ecological emergency. Whilst this pandemic caught the world off guard, we have long been aware of the damage the climate crisis will wreak. As we approach this critical decade of climate action, we must not squander the time we have left. Governments must act to secure a more resilient, healthy, and sustainable future – and they must act now.
At CDP, we work with thousands of companies, investors, governments, and NGOs to drive sustainable economies. And we have seen that the momentum behind climate action is unstoppable.
We are proposing three recommendations for governments to implement as soon as possible to ensure the net-zero transition remains firmly underway:
1. Strengthen Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and long-term strategies and ensure that they are in-line with limiting warming to 1.5°C. These plans should be submitted to the UNFCCC at least 9-12 months ahead of COP26 and need to be backed up by comprehensive and aligned national and sectoral policies and plans.
2. Ensure that climate risks are transparently managed across the economy, while transitioning to net-zero. Mandate environmental disclosure from companies and financial institutions to ensure they are managing climate risks, using the Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) where appropriate . Governments that can should go further: Require an annual vote of a company’s climate transition plan at AGMs.
3. Capitalize on nature co-benefits and drive action to reduce deforestation through supply chains. Provide strong signals, consistent guidance and outline the business case for companies to incorporate Nature-based Solutions (NbS). Mainstream NbS into legislation and regulatory frameworks, improve criteria, metrics, and measurement of NbS and biodiversity. Prevent forests and other high-biodiversity areas from being converted into agricultural land by requiring due diligence on this issue from companies.