G20 urged to take joint actions to tackle global challenges
G20 urged to take joint actions to tackle global challenges. Image Source: IANS News

Geneva, Jan 28 : Investments in G20 countries in nature-based solutions (NbS) need to reach $285 billion per year by 2050 to address the interrelated climate, biodiversity, and land degradation crises, the 'State of Finance for Nature in the G20' a report has said.

The annual G20 NbS investments are way too short currently and need to increase by at least 140 per cent, it said.

"The current G20 spending is only $120 billion/year. The spending gap in non-G20 countries is larger and more difficult to bridge than in G20 countries, but only 2 per cent of the G20's $120 billion investment (using 2020 as a base year) was directed towards official development assistance (ODA)," the report said.

Similarly, private sector investments remain small, at just 11 per cent or $14 billion per year, even though the private sector contributes 60 per cent of the total national GDP in most G20 countries.

"Thus, the business and investment case for nature needs to be made stronger," the report led by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Economics of Land Degradation (ELD) Initiative hosted by the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in collaboration with Vivid Economics, said.

It builds on the 2021 report, 'State of Finance for Nature - Tripling Investments in Nature-based Solutions by 2030', which calls for closing a $4.1 trillion financing gap in nature-based solutions between 2020 and 2050, a release from the UNEP said.

World Economic Forum Director for Nature-Based Solutions, Justin Adams said: "The climate and nature crisis are two sides of the same coin, and we can't turn things around unless we transform our economic models and market systems to take nature's full value into account." The report also discloses that G20 investments represent 92 per cent of all global investments in NbS in 2020.

Furthermore, the vast majority of these G20 investments, 87 per cent or $105 billion, were distributed internally towards domestic government programmes.

These findings confirm the urgency to increase net-zero and nature-positive investments to close the biodiversity and climate finance gaps, as reflected in the Global Biodiversity Framework's Target 19 of UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) and in the Glasgow Climate Pact of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26). They also reinforce the need to accelerate land restoration around the globe, as declared by the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030.

Annual G20 NbS investments need to increase by at least 140 per cent to meet all agreed biodiversity, land restoration and climate targets by 2050, which means an additional $165 billion per year, especially in ODA and private sector spending.

To put this into perspective, more than $14.6 trillion was spent by 50 leading economies in 2020 in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, of which only $368 billion, or mere 2 per cent, was considered 'green' by a 2021 UNEP report.

At the global investment level, future investment in NbS needs to increase four-fold by 2050, equating to an annual investment of over $536 billion/year. The report stresses the necessity for G20 countries to embrace their role as influential change agents and align development and economic recovery with international nature and climate goals.

A paradigm shift by governments, corporations and finance institutions is urgently required if we are to effectively tackle the interrelated nature, climate, and land degradation crises on which much of our economies are dependent.

The report concludes that governments need to truly 'build back better' instead of building back-as-usual following the Covid-19 crisis.

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