Intergovernmental Panels Join Forces to Call For Joined-up Action on Climate Emergency and Biodiversity Crisis

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have collaborated for the first time to publish a peer-reviewed workshop report, warning neither climate change or biodiversity loss will be solved unless tackled together.

The report is the product of a four-day virtual workshop between experts assembled by the IPBES and IPCC. The report finds that previous policies have largely tackled biodiversity loss and climate change independently of each other, and that addressing the synergies between mitigating biodiversity loss and climate change, while considering their social impacts, offers the opportunity to maximise benefits and meet global development goals.

The report identifies key actions that can have positive impacts in both areas, including:

  • Halting degradation and loss of carbon- and species-rich ecosystems
    on land and in the ocean, and restoring those already damaged
  • Increasing sustainable agricultural and forestry practices and eliminating subsidies that support activities harmful to biodiversity
  • Enhancing and better-targeting conservation actions, coordinated with and
    supported by strong climate adaptation and innovation

The authors also warn that narrowly-focused actions to combat climate change can directly and indirectly harm nature and vice-versa, for example, planting trees in ecosystems that have not historically been forests and reforestation with monocultures.

The report authors stress that while nature offers effective ways to help mitigate climate change, these solutions can only be effective if building on ambitious reductions in all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions through “transformative change” in society.