More people than ever seem to recognize that our global climate system is in trouble, and that human actions have created this crisis. But though we may sense the infinite worth of a healthy planet, our societies have all too often struggled to build economies that reflect that value.
It's time to fund our climate goals
This November, a long-awaited global climate conference (UN COP26) will present a chance to get it right, and we can’t afford to delay any longer. Climate change is here, devastating lives and livelihoods today—it’s up to today’s global leaders to fix it. But to date, our investments in climate action have been woefully insufficient to the scale of the challenge.
This decade, our choices will determine the course of climate change for generations to come: innovation or business as usual, action or inaction, equity or inequity. And if recent years have been about setting more ambitious targets to halt and reverse the climate crisis, now is the time to spend like we mean it.
So how can we invest in the future we want?
Here’s how to increase funding for climate action
The Playbook for Climate Finance presents innovative strategies that can help fund the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as well as adaptive measures for climate-vulnerable communities around the world. A range of public, private and alternative funders have shown that the climate finance models outlined in this guide can work across different geographies and capacities to enable an effective response to one of the largest and most complex challenges we collectively face.
That will mean changing how we generate energy, produce food, build infrastructure, and transport people and products—all while contending with a greater frequency of extreme weather events and other climate-driven stressors. With science as our guide, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has been working in partnership with the public and private sectors for years to develop finance mechanisms to enable this global transformation, including:
Rich countries must step up climate leadership
While climate finance has increased in recent years, it’s far less than what’s required to achieve global targets. In fact, Oxfam recently revealed that wealthy nations are falling short of their long-standing pledge to mobilize $US100 billion in climate finance annually from 2020 to 2025. Much of this funding was meant for developing nations which, despite contributing less to the climate crisis, face outsized costs from climate-related disasters.
Too often, the opportunity cost of a sustainable way forward has been miscalculated, based on the false belief that the choice was either/or, now or later. It’s past time to see the sustainable path for what it is: our best chance to build resilient, thriving communities. A path that will require a massive financial mobilization by the public and private sectors, but one that will save lives and livelihoods.
When global leaders come together for COP26 this November in Glasgow, it’s imperative that they not only sign ambitious agreements to halt and reverse climate change, but that they develop plans to fund those agreements. This guide outlines strategies to do just that.
Time is running short, but we still have the chance to trust science to guide our solutions, to choose economies that serve our communities now and later, and to create a world where nature and people thrive together.