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Climate change: Nature-based solutions underfunded despite anual $7trn investment – UNDP


A new report from the United Nations Environment Programme unveiled at the ongoing climate change conference in Dubai reveals that approximately $7 trillion is invested globally each year in activities directly impacting nature, originating from both public and private sector sources.

Despite this significant financial flow, the report underscores that nature-based solutions, crucial for addressing climate change, remain severely underfunded, with only $200 billion per year allocated from current public and private finance.

The study emphasizes the urgent need for a realignment of public and private nature-negative finance flows.

To meet climate, biodiversity, and restoration targets, the report suggests tripling the current finance flows into nature-based solutions by 2030 and quadrupling them by 2050.

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Private nature-negative finance flows are alarmingly high at $5 trillion annually, dwarfing the $35 billion of private investments in nature-based solutions.

“Nature-based solutions are dramatically underfunded. Annual nature-negative investments are over 30 times larger than financing for nature-based solutions that promote a stable climate, and healthy land and nature.

“To have any chance of meeting the sustainable development goals, these numbers must be flipped – with true custodians of the land, such as Indigenous Peoples, among the chief beneficiaries,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP”.

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Key industries contributing to the negative financial flows include construction, electric utilities, real estate, oil and gas, and food and tobacco.

The report calls for a reversal of these trends, with a focus on Indigenous Peoples as primary beneficiaries to achieve sustainable development goals.

Reacting to the findings, Niki Mardas, Executive Director of Global Canopy, emphasized the urgent need for a transition to sustainable business practices, citing the severe threat posed by continuing “business as usual.”

“This year’s report is a stark reminder that continuing with “business as usual” poses a severe threat to our planet, reinforcing the urgent need for a transition to sustainable business practices and to stop the financing of nature destruction.

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“The net is tightening, with increased regulatory pressure in key areas like tackling deforestation.

“It means that those companies and financial institutions still driving the problem now need to make best use of the excellent data, guidance and frameworks already available to urgently commit to a nature-positive future,” she said.

The report also highlights government spending on environmentally harmful subsidies, estimated at $1.7 trillion in 2022 across agriculture, fossil fuels, fishery, and forestry sectors.