Transition plans, the nature-climate connection and the role of finance – three themes from London Climate Action Week 2024

Insight / 3 Jul 2024

This London Climate Action Week marks the midway point in a year that ends with not one but two COPs – one for nature and one for climate. But the nature and climate crises are intrinsically linked – which is why the solutions that came out of LCAW2024 require joined up thinking.

Transition plans

“Transition” was the go-to word at London Climate Action Week. Organisations need to go beyond talk of commitments and urgency, and develop effective plans to address emissions, with clear, time-bound next steps. And in London, organisations showcased  collaborations aimed at making transition plans more than just paper promises. 

Climate Arc launched the beta version of TransitionArc – a corporate assessment tool bringing together the best available corporate climate analysis data into a single platform. So Global Canopy’s Forest 500 and Forest IQ data on deforestation exposure is used alongside the metrics of other Analysis Providers like CDP and the World Benchmarking Alliance. This tool enables decision makers to see where a company lies on the path to achieving essential climate goals. 

The launch of Transition Arc

The Deforestation-free Transition Pathway (DEFT) was another pioneering collaboration announced in London. Developed by leading experts and institutions working to end market-driven deforestation, the Pathway categorises companies according to their level of progress on deforestation and conversion of natural ecosystems. It then sets practical, timebound steps, helping financial institutions to more effectively target their company engagement as part of climate and nature transition frameworks.

Global Canopy Executive Director Niki Mardas talking about the Deforestation-free Transition Pathway

Finance sector action

Taking place in a global financial hub, much of London Climate Action Week focused on finance, with over 100 events addressing all aspects of climate financing.

But a clear message was the need to address the contradiction in nature finance. As Alexandria Reid from Global Witness pointed out: “There are UK financial institutions which finance deforesters and yet also fund Amazon conservation efforts.”

Vast amounts of finance are flowing to businesses linked to nature loss. The latest Forest 500 report shows over US$6 trillion a year goes to the 350 companies with the greatest links to deforestation. So any meaningful finance sector progress must prioritise tackling the nature-negative finance that currently vastly outweighs and undermines investments in protecting and restoring nature.

Nature is part of the climate solution

Nature transitions, like climate transitions, were high on the business agenda. As GIST Impact’s Mahima Sukhdev told the Reset Connect Conference, “Nature and biodiversity loss are an extremely urgent topic. The world is not going to wait for us to solve one problem at a time.”

Reset Connect conference

And in London there was more evidence of businesses and financial institutions recognising the importance of nature. The Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) announced the latest tranche of early adopters. Now over 400 organisations have committed to disclose their material nature-related issues to investors and other stakeholders based on the TNFD recommendations.

But nature is not just a metric to report on. Natural climate solutions, such as preserving and restoring forests, can provide over one-third of the solution to limit global warming. And as the world builds towards COP30 in the Amazonian city of Belém, Brazil is a key player.

“One thing that Brazil can do in the coming year, is to put climate and nature squarely in the centre of COP30. We have to keep on pushing for ambitious implementation, the plans are there” Ana Yang – the executive director of the Chatham House Sustainability Accelerator told an event run by the LSE. Speakers highlighted the potential financial, social and environmental gains from the bioeconomy of the Amazon.

“Nature isn’t just part of our economy – it is all of our economy,” Global Canopy Founder and Senior Adviser Andrew Mitchell told the Climate Investment Summit. “And it is the best technology we have to fight climate change and biodiversity loss.” Nature as part of the solution offers a tremendous opportunity. 

Share via