A Long Term Strategy for People and the Planet

The Earth is facing the interconnected crises of rapid climate change and biodiversity loss. We have years, not decades, to address these existential threats. In 2023, a new term emerged to describe interacting current and future risks with potentially catastrophic consequences: polycrisis.

Another word is about to enter our collective dictionaries: permacrisis. Will this be our fate, or will 2024 be a time for resolution, resilience, and recovery? This is a pivotal moment for global leaders attending the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, where they will develop a long-term strategy to prepare for and respond to these risks.

What we do between now and 2030 will determine whether we slow warming to 1.5° Celsius while also conserving enough land and water to halt biodiversity loss. The good news is there is much that global leaders can do now to keep the polycrisis from becoming a permacrisis.

3 Things We Must Do To Save The Planet

Solutions to climate change and biodiversity loss won’t come from any one sector: they’ll come from governments, finance, business, and civil society. We can achieve a nature-positive world by 2050 while providing affordable, secure, and inclusive access to energy, food, and water.

Here are three ways we need to upend “business as usual” and act boldly to advance conservation.

1. Produce More Food on Less Land


Today’s large-scale agriculture is the biggest source of land conversion, driving deforestation, worsening climate change, using 70% of the world’s freshwater supply, and relying on fertilizer practices that pollute our waters. As the need to feed a billion more people increases, agricultural expansion could devastate habitats, release even more carbon into the atmosphere, and dry up rivers.

Solution: Transitioning to Regenerative Food Systems

Our global food system can help us achieve our climate and biodiversity goals by producing food where it’s most likely to thrive, which will use less water and less land.

Current Actions:

We are analyzing satellite images and local yield potential to pinpoint where soy farming and cattle ranching can expand without destroying nature. This approach is especially vital in Brazil’s Cerrado region, where half of all natural habitat has already been converted to cropland and pasture. Cooperating with farmers on sustainable practices can help save what’s left of the Cerrado’s rich savanna.

2. Increase Clean Energy


Climate change is the single most serious threat facing our planet today. We must reduce carbon emissions to, or below, levels agreed to in the Paris Climate Agreement to prevent catastrophic harm. With global energy demand expected to increase by 56% over the next couple of decades, it will be impossible to meet those emissions targets if we stick primarily with traditional fossil fuels.

Solution: Shifting to Renewable Energy

We must shift 85% of the world’s energy supply to non-fossil fuel sources and invest in strategies like reforestation that capture carbon dioxide.

Current Actions:

We are championing regulations that allow former mining lands to be repurposed for solar and wind energy. Tens of thousands of acres of degraded mine sites in Nevada’s Great Basin are now available for renewable energy development. By targeting already-disturbed land, new turbines and solar panels won’t need to destroy more natural habitat.

3. Get $700 Billion to Finance Nature


Our economies depend on healthy, supportive natural systems. Around half of the gross world product is dependent on nature. Globally, we’re already spending up to $143 billion USD each year on activities that benefit nature, but we need more. We need to spend at least $722 billion (and as much as $967 billion) USD every year, putting the nature finance gap at $579-824 billion USD.

Solution: Closing the Nature Finance Gap

We need to close the funding gap—and spend at least $700 billion USD on nature every year—to reverse the decline in biodiversity by 2030. Fortunately, this number is only 1% of annual gross global product, or about what the world spends on soft drinks.

Current Actions:

Through our Nature Bonds program, we are taking a holistic approach to leverage debt refinancing for effective, durable conservation and climate action. We work with governments to help them refinance debt and generate new funding to invest in conservation and climate mitigation and adaptation measures. For example, in Barbados, we collaborated with the government, financial and conservation partners, and local communities to develop commitments for durable conservation tailored to meet the country’s specific needs.

These actions require global cooperation, strong political will, and a commitment to long-term sustainability. By producing more food on less land, increasing clean energy, and securing $700 billion annually for nature, global leaders can ensure a healthier and more sustainable future for people and the planet.

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