TIME 2030
Ideas
April 14, 2021 5:28 PM EDT

Polman is a former CEO of Unilever and chair of social venture IMAGINE

Nature and climate are inextricably linked. Nature loss drives climate change and vice versa. Right now, both are in crisis.

Repairing our natural climatereversing deforestation, for example, or conserving ecosystems to sequester and store carbon—addresses both these crises. So-called natural climate solutions are one of the most important and cost-effective ways to stay on track for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Yet they receive little attention and just 8% of public climate funding. That must change.

Well-designed natural climate solutions yield multiple co-benefits, including greater biodiversity, improved watersheds, better farm outcomes and enhanced resilience against the impacts of global warming. They also address the opportunity for more inclusive growth for the world’s poor.

By 2030, nature-positive solutions will create more than $10 trillion and 395 million jobs, which is a huge opportunity. To accelerate progress, businesses are calling on governments to work together to create a policy feedback loop to spur bolder corporate action. This must include redefining our model of growth to value natural as well as financial capital.

Reversing nature loss is a crucial part of building back better. This is not just a critical opportunity. It’s our only option.

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