What does that look like?
Transformation in nearly all facets of our economies is necessary. And while that may sound daunting, the longer we wait to implement it, the more radical and impossible it will appear. The good news is that low-carbon energy sources are more affordable than ever. Transitioning the energy sector to clean, renewable systems is often the same price—or cheaper—than sustaining the existing carbon-intensive systems, especially when we consider the damage they are doing to the planet that will also cost billions to recover from or adapt to.
Transforming the way we feed the planet is crucial, too. Unsustainable agriculture is a primary driver of deforestation, which in turn destroys wildlife habitats, increases carbon emissions, erodes income sources for local communities, and increases our risk of pandemics. Moving agriculture to sustainable practices can benefit food security and biodiversity—all while slashing emissions. It would be a win-win for people and nature.
And we can’t ignore the value of nature-based solutions either. Restoring and expanding ecosystems like mangroves can not only help absorb and store carbon, but also provide protection from extreme weather, economically sustain communities, and preserve some of the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems.
Finally, across all sectors one of the biggest lacking pieces is finance. The report posits that investments are currently three to six times lower than they need to be by 2030 in order for climate solutions to be at scale with the magnitude of the crisis. As economies are recovering from the blow of COVID-19, governments have a prime opportunity to inject funds into transformative climate action and international cooperation for a brighter future.