How should they work with other parts of society to create and implement their strategy?
Measuring impacts and dependencies from economic activities on biodiversity is extremely complex. And, because it is such a complex issue, we need a multi-stakeholder approach to develop solutions.
Across the globe different organizations are trying to identify solutions. Service providers are helping companies to develop business strategies that consider not only climate-associated risks but also nature-associated risks.
Companies of all sizes and sectors are re-thinking their operations and integrating biodiversity considerations into their business models. NGOs have been working with the private sector to develop tools and mechanisms that can help in this transition. And financial institutions are looking into their portfolios and re-designing financial flows toward positive models for nature and biodiversity.
We need to scale up these partnerships and collaborations and create an environment that is both enabling and positive for nature.
How will you work with other ESG standard-setting organizations to reflect nature and biodiversity in their approach?
Some of the leading standard-setting organizations are already working on biodiversity considerations. We see a clear and positive trend under way that we hope will support the upcoming post-2020 global biodiversity framework, due to be adopted in spring 2022. To that end, the CBD Secretariat has been liaising with different standard-setting organizations to explore and strengthen synergies.
What are the biggest adjustments you think companies are going to need to make?
Businesses have an opportunity to act by changing the way they manage and use natural resources. Those that act quickly across their value chains to ensure a more sustainable and less impactful business model will gain a competitive advantage.
Businesses can assess their impacts and dependencies on nature to ensure they are committing and acting on the most material ones. They will also need to come to the realization that their efforts to combat climate change must be coupled with efforts to curb biodiversity loss. These are two sides of the same problem and need to be addressed together.
How much do you estimate this is going to cost?
The first draft of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework calls for an increase in financial resources from all sources to at least $200 billion per year. This includes new, additional and effective financial resources. This is in addition to the calls on governments to redirect, repurpose, reform or eliminate incentives harmful for biodiversity, reducing them by at least $500 billion per year.
What are the most likely arguments that will be raised against moving forward with the spirit and the implementation of TNFD, and how would you answer those?
Nature is extremely complex to measure. Not only due to the variety of life on Earth, but also as it relates to its specificity, location, the services it provides and its cultural value. These are not necessarily arguments against TNFD, but they are considerations that need to be factored into the work.
We are also aware of the data sensitivities. There is a lot of available data, but it is not as accessible or as fit for purpose for finance-based decision-making as we would hope. But this can be overcome by bringing all experts together to identify a solution that can help us move forward.
Nick Rice is a Director in Brunswick’s New York office, where he advises on financial services and sustainability. He is a former award-winning journalist with the Financial Times.
Photograph: Chen Yehua/Xinhua/Alamy Live News