tree rat
"On the trail" An endangered Tasmanian devil walks along a trail in a tea tree forest in north-west Tasmania, likely hunting for a carcass or returning to a den. © Heath Holden /TNC Photo Contest 2019

Perspectives

Two COPS – one emergency

a woman smiling.
Alison Rowe Managing Director

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The UN conferences on Climate Change (in Egypt) and on Biodiversity (in Canada) will take place within one month of each other, in a historical opportunity to address the most pressing challenges our planet is facing.

From November 6-20, 2022, negotiators from around the world will be in Egypt for the next round of United Nations climate negotiations – COP27.

Originally due to be hosted in China in 2020, UN Biodiversity Conference CBD-COP15 will now take place in December in Montreal. The focus will be on securing approval of the parties of humanity’s shared roadmap to slow and reverse the collapse of Earth’s ecosystems and move towards a nature-positive world by 2030.

Climate change and biodiversity loss are not only connected by the fortuitousness of the calendar. They are some of the most pressing and complex challenges our planet is facing. They are intertwined, and they require urgent action.

In Australia as in many parts of the world, recent years have been particularly challenging for communities. While the memories of the 2019 bushfires are still very vivid in everyone’s minds, floods have ravaged entire regions and are currently threatening people’s homes and lives in other parts of the country.

Never has the depth of our shared dependence on a healthy environment been clearer. And never has it been more vital to call for follow-through on pledges to protect our climate and address the biodiversity emergency.

Science shows that to address the dual crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, we need to commit to net zero, abandon unsustainable practices and embrace nature-positive tools and technologies.

There is one really clear reason to be optimistic: in recent international discussions on climate change, nature has definitely emerged as a key element of our collective response to the climate crisis. Communities, governments, organisations like TNC and the private sector are already on the move to support nature-based solutions like reforestation, wetland restoration, and mangrove recovery.

We have clearly established that nature is one of the most powerful tools we have to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience – now we need to move swiftly if we want to leverage the momentum offered by this year’s calendar. This includes having robust financial products and instruments in place to scale-up nature-based solutions so they can deliver 30% of the emissions reductions required by 2030 and increase our communities’ resilience to the impacts of climate change. 

Two COPs, one emergency. Now is also the time for all of us to rally as one behind nature and financially commit to the solutions that will define what the next decades will look like.

a woman smiling.

Over the last two decades Alison has dedicated herself to environmental sustainability, including global responsibility for strategy development, delivering transformation programs, commercialising new business models, community development and advocacy. 

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