It feels like a lifetime ago that WWF and many other organizations identified 2020 as a potential ‘Super Year’ for nature and people. Big United Nations decisions under international conventions on climate change and biological diversity were to take place, complemented by negotiation of a Global Oceans treaty; and in its 75th anniversary year, the UN is to host a global summit for nature. Taking place in Kunming, Glasgow and New York respectively, these discussions were to deliver a new set of agreements that could help reverse nature loss by 2030 and lay the foundations for our long-term prosperity and delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The year is not turning out as any of us expected. But there is still every chance that historians could look back at 2020 as the year we reset our destructive relationship with the planet. It could be remembered as the year a virus stopped humanity in its tracks and inspired us to make the big changes required to repair what is broken in our societies.
Amidst the devastating pain of families losing loved ones, marriages and funerals marked by small ceremonies and absent families, and widespread job losses as small and large companies permanently close their doors, we are learning a lot. We have been reminded more starkly than ever how interconnected we are and how vulnerable our economies are to sudden shocks. And we are recognising that tackling the crisis requires global cooperation and collaboration.
We cannot afford to ignore these lessons. The economic and human suffering wrought by COVID-19 will only recur and deepen if we fail to avert the worst impacts of climate change and nature loss. We owe it to ourselves and future generations not to let that happen.
The big international decisions scheduled for this year have only been postponed to 2021. As we emerge from the current crisis it is imperative that all parts of society, including business, make it clear to our political leaders that they must deliver the necessary agreements to prevent an even worse crisis from occurring should climate change exceed 1.5’C or we continue to destroy the natural systems that underpin everything we do.
That is why WWF is supporting the Business for Nature Coalition in convening a major global leadership event on 15 June to address the vital role of nature in building a resilient future for everyone. This unique virtual event will bring together CEOs from five large multinational companies with the heads of key UN institutions in exactly the type of conversation and collaboration we need to grow in the coming months. This is an opportunity for business leaders to clearly signal they are putting nature front and center in their decision-making and are laser focused on accelerating progress toward a more sustainable future.
We’re working with more than 40 other organizations that have joined Business for Nature to make this event matter, and the invitation to participate is open to all. Join us by registering here.
With several exciting announcements planned, we believe the event will galvanize renewed leadership from forward-thinking companies who recognise that sustained recovery and future resilience are impossible while nature is disappearing and the climate is changing.