From nature’s medicine cabinet to being the inspiration for our technological designs, the natural world plays an irreplaceable part in every aspect of our daily lives.
For millions of reasons, we need to protect Earth’s natural world. Not only for its intrinsic, innate value but for the essential services it provides. And the business sector has a huge opportunity to lead the way in addressing climate and ecological breakdown.
Whether it’s the food, transport, technology or finance industry, it’s important to take action to address how the changing climate will affect the world’s economy, from the suppliers to services businesses are able to provide.
Many ecosystem services are invisible to us, from the oxygen we breathe to the carbon sequestered. But, we are increasingly seeing the effects of environmental degradation and a changing climate. A recent IPBES report highlighted the pressure and near-irreversible loss facing the natural world’s services.
Nature underpins all economies with the ‘free’ services it provides in the form of clean water, air and animal pollination required for more than 75% of global food crops. In the Americas, this totals more than $24 trillion a year. The pollination of crops globally by bees and other animals alone is worth up to $577 billion.
Estimates1 place the value of climate change-related cost to the total global stock of manageable assets at between $4.2 trillion to $43 trillion. Much of the impact of future assets will come through weaker growth and lower asset returns, across the board.
The United Nations2 warns that global delays in tackling climate change will cost the world’s biggest companies nearly £1trn. The world’s top 30,000 companies will face an extra bill of more than a trillion dollars thanks to slow progress in cutting carbon emissions.
Climate-related risks are unavoidable but can be mediated with action to reduce carbon emissions today. Climate change and environmental degradation pose both crucial new risks and opportunities for companies’ competitiveness, growth and development, turning the climate challenge into a market opportunity and force for global good.
By supporting the smartest climate action there is, working with local communities to mitigate carbon emissions from deforestation, you’re helping protect trees and change lives.
Thank you for leading the way. Sustainability isn’t a tick box exercise, instead integrating sustainable choices into your business brings manifold internal and global benefits.
And it’s not just the role of the designated sustainability monitor. It starts with every employee driving the shift to positive environmental action. Every member of the team plays a role in bringing a business to meet 2020 with a clear green vision.
– Tony Juniper, speaking in conversation with Cool Earth Director Matthew Owen.