UNFCCC COP25 – Madrid

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Discussing how nature-based solution can address climate change, conserve and restore biodiversity, and reduce poverty.

During UNFCCC COP25 held in Madrid, Post2020 Biodiversity Framework-EU Support organized a panel discussion on December 5th 2019. The side-event, "Convenient Solutions addressing both Biodiversity Loss and Climate Change: From the Climate Action Summit in New York to the CBD COP 15 in Kunming" showcased work under the CBD and recent findings on the links between climate change and biodiversity, including outputs from different fora and key events.

P2020 – December 05, 2019 Action agenda, Nature-Based Solutions, Parties, Sustainable Development Goals.

This side-event explained how ready-to-use nature-based solutions can provide climate change mitigation and adaptation benefits, such as carbon sequestration, while also delivering benefits to biodiversity and livelihoods, at comparable low cost.

The output of the side-event discussions will be on the agenda of the high-level event on ‘scaling up climate action through circular economy and nature-based solutions’ planned on December 10th at COP25 with Frans Timmerman, Vice President of the European Commission responsible for the ‘European Green Deal’, and Costa Rica’s Minister for the Environment Carlos Manuel Rodriguez.

“We need to invest in urban biodiversity corridors, promote urban nature-based solutions, and urban planning . We have to be unconventional, ambitious and uncompromised.”
Mrs Pamela Castillo Barahona, Vice Minister for the Environment, Ministry of Environment – Costa Rica

The panel discussion involved:

  • Mrs Pamela Castillo Barahona, Vice Minister for the Environment, Ministry of Environment – Costa Rica
  • Mrs Jyoti Mathur-Filipp, Director of the Implementation Support Division, CBD
  • Mrs Elena López Gunn, NAIAD project
  • Dr Philipp Behrens, Head of Division International Climate Initiative, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation & Nuclear Safety – Germany
  • Mrs Sara Rocha, Naturvation

Karin Zaunberger from the Directorate General for Environment of the European Commission moderated the discussions.

“We need a change in narrative. Securing Life on Earth is the biggest challenge faced by humanity and biodiversity stands as a solution and opportunity for climate change, sustainable economic growth, job creation. Nature is the infrastructure that supports development & well-being.”
Mrs Jyoti Mathur-Filipp, Director of the Implementation Support Division, CBD

Speakers all stated that we are facing a climate and biodiversity emergency and that these two challenges are linked and interdependent. They also agreed that nature-based solutions have the potential to deliver more than one third of the overall mitigation effort needed, but currently receive less than 3% of climate funding. The private sector is key to upscale investment in nature-based solutions and thus has to be part of the equation.

The participants stressed the urgency to be ambitious and unconventional to seize the opportunities for synergies and cooperation addressing biodiversity loss and climate change urgently and in an integrated manner. The use of nature-based solutions was praised throughout the side-event as those provide multiple benefits:

  • They are ready for use and scalable. Partnerships should be built to involve actors in cities and subnational levels, not leaving anyone behind to bring fast and deep transformative change towards a sustainable regenerative circular economy.
  • They provide business and job opportunities, and are no-regret measures bringing high insurance value.

“Involvement of the private sector is important for up-scaling ecosystem-based adaptation and is a key aspect of ensuring the sustainability and financing of ecosystem-based adaptation measures. But there is also a need of the private sector to adapt to climate change using ecosystem-based adaptation measures.”
Dr Philip Behrens, Head of Division International Climate Initiative, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation & Nuclear Safety – Germany

 The World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2020 will endeavour to further mobilize the private sector for funding and implementing nature-based solutions.

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