Climate, biodiversity and land degradation goals will be out of reach unless investments into nature-based solutions reaches about 384 billion dollar/year by 2025, more than double of the present 154 billion dollar/year.
In the second edition of the State of Finance for Nature, UNEP said that nature was under-financed even as the world heads towards negotiations on the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework,
Noting that Nature-based solutions (NbS) provide an opportunity to tackle a range of challenges in an integrated manner, the report mentioned that finance flows to NbS are currently only 154 billion dollar/year, which is less than half of the 384 billion dollar/year investment in NbS needed by 2025 and only a third of investment needed by 2030 (USD 484 billion/year).
The report comes a week before governments from across the world are set to gather for the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP 15) in Montreal, Canada, where they will adopt a landmark agreement to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030.
In the forward, UNEP Executive Director Inger Anderson said “following COP 27 on climate change and ahead of COP 15 on biodiversity to be held in December, the State of Finance for Nature report highlights the need to significantly increase finance and investment in nature-based solutions. Finance will undoubtedly be a sticking point, but something that will have to be dealt with head on given the nexus of multifaced crises.”
“Heads of State together with business and finance leaders have an obligation to both the present and future generations to increase investment into nature-based solutions. We must collectively and urgently redirect and scale capital to nature, climate and restoration-positive activities that bring us back on track towards a stable and nature abundant planet that we can all equitably benefit from,” she said.
In the report, the UNEP stresses that delayed action was no longer an option in the face of the devastating effects of climate change, the extinction crisis and severe land degradation globally. It called upon politicians, business and finance leaders and citizens to transform their relationship with nature to work with it rather than against it.
The UNEP expressed hope that biodiversity loss could be halted if finance flows to NbS is increased.
It also mentioned cumulative (2022-50) investment in NbS required to achieve the 1.5°C target in line with the Paris Agreement is at least US$11 trillion.
The report also said that private sector investment in NbS must increase by several orders of magnitude in the coming years from the current US$26 billion per year, which represents only 17 per cent of total NbS investment.
It also said that investment in marine NbS constitutes only 9 per cent of total investment in NbS, which is very low given the role of the oceans in climate mitigation and supporting adaptation, food security and biodiversity conservation. Current annual investment in marine protected areas is US$980 million, whereas terrestrial protected areas receive almost US$23 billion.
The report also calls for align policies, regulation, economic activity and financial flows with biodiversity values and with the Paris Agreement.
- Financing green — increase direct finance flows to NbS through public domestic expenditure, nature-focused Official Development Assistance (ODA), ensuring that multilateral development banks (MDBs) and development finance institutions (DFIs) prioritise green finance, and providing regulation and incentives for private sector investment, particularly in nature markets and sustainable supply chains.
- Greening finance – companies in the real economy and financial institutions need to
transition to “net zero, net positive” and equitable business models in a time-bound manner with short-term targets.
- Increase inclusion in financial systems for a just transition. Public and private sector efforts to scale up NbS investments need to integrate just transition principles, safeguarding human rights.