New Delhi, Sep 18


t New York Climate Week, more than 80 leaders and experts from business, science, NGO and youth groups on Monday released an open letter that urgently calls on UN Climate Change parties to deliver on their climate and biodiversity commitments and disclose their implementation plans as part of the Global Stocktake negotiations.

The letter, titled "It's Time To Take Stock of Nature", follows on the heels of updated research launched from Nature4Climate that indicates that more than half (52 per cent) of joint global commitments tracked since 2019 related to nature-based climate action have published little to no evidence of progress in the past six months or more.

Lucy Almond, chair of Nature4Climate said "Our recent analysis of GST submissions and progress on commitments made at COPs 26 and 27 show that what is being delivered and tracked in the public domain is scant.

"This letter shows that despite the diversity of voices that compose our networks, non-state actors are united in calling for accountability for the growing destruction of our natural ecosystems. We must take immediate action to halt and reverse it."

The data is featured in the latest update of the NbS Commitment Tracker, which assesses 127 joint commitments by countries relating to nature, from the 2019 UN Secretary General summit to the present day.

The updated tracker also highlights that the evidence of progress of more than 20 per cent of commitments were downgraded from "complete, fully on track or substantial evidence of action or progress" to showing "some evidence of action or progress" in comparison to the previous year's publication.

This finding is consistent with the concerning global stocktake (GST) synthesis report released on September 8, which revealed that existing national pledges to cut emissions are insufficient to keep temperatures within the 1.5 threshold, indicating that the gap between ambition and implementation is widening.

Further research also reveals that the story is no different on the policy landscape. An updated AI evaluation of current national policies worldwide found that only 12 per cent of policies have clearly allocated budgets towards implementation of nature-based solutions (NbS).

This highlights a lack of funding for NbS, especially considering the estimated overall funding gap of up to $4.1 trillion by 2050. The newly updated NbS Policy Tracker, powered by AI, analysed 385,000 online sources and identified more than 600 new nature-enabling policies from 175 countries since its last edition in 2022.

CEOs, founders, directors and policy leads from a variety of organisations, such as Birdlife, Wetlands International, Salesforce, WBCSD, She Changes Climate, Hispanic Access Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, WWF and Conservation International are among those who have already signed the letter calling for accelerated action ahead of the ministerial meetings and workshops taking place on the Global Stocktake in December.

Razan Al Mubarak, President of the IUCN and UN Climate Change High-Level Champion, said "COP28 and the first global stocktake is a vital course-correcting moment. The science is clear that we must decarbonise, but it is also critical to ensure that we are protecting, managing and restoring nature.

"That's why business, NGO, and scientific leaders from across the world are calling for parties to put nature, and the communities stewarding the biodiversity we have left, at the heart of the global stocktake outcome."

The updated trackers show that only 11 per cent of joint global commitments focus on indigenous peoples and local communities, despite managing at least one quarter of the world's lands and 80 per cent of the world's biodiversity.

The open letter specifically calls for parties to implement ambitious regulatory safeguards for indigenous peoples and local communities as a result of the global stocktake outcome.

In addition, they are calling for these to be legally binding by the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

New York Climate Week: Civil society groups unite over inaction on nature

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