Tracking progress towards a nature positive and net zero future

News 14.11.22


Nature is a vital resource, necessary for our health, livelihoods, and well-being. $44 trillion of economic value generation – more than half of the world’s total GDP – is moderately or highly dependent on nature and its services. We also need nature to help us reach our climate goals – nature-based solutions (NbS) can provide 30% of the mitigation required by 2030.

However, the degradation of this vital resource is happening at an alarming rate: 32% of the world’s forest area has been destroyed; more than 85% of wetlands are gone; 33% of fish stocks are overfished; 50% of coral systems have been destroyed, and since 1970 there has been a 60% population decline across vertebrates.

Momentum is growing. The very first day of COP27 saw announcements on the progress of commitments made at COP26, such as 22% of forest-related finance having been deployed from the Global Forest Finance Pledge and $2.5 billion spent on the Great Green Wall Accelerator initiative. New action-oriented organisations have been set up, like the Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership and African Carbon Markets Initiative, and the 30×30 target garnered support from Palau, Nigeria, Costa Rica, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States.

But how do we keep this momentum going How do we ensure that these commitments and targets are fulfilled? The focus has to stay on implementation. As the management guru Peter Drucker famously said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it,” and it is in the spirit of measuring the progress of these commitments, and creating more transparency and accessibility, that Nature4Climate has created our “NBS commitment tracker” – an evaluation of progress on joint action commitments that have been made on nature-based solutions from 2019 to 2022. The tracker shows some good progress across a range of commitments, but that there is much more to do. Overall it tracks 80 commitments so far and finds that 55% demonstrate substantial signs of progress or completion, while 45% show only small signs of progress or no progress at all.

There is an estimated USD 4.1 trillion financing gap needed by 2050 in nature-based solutions for the world to remain on track to meet the Paris Climate Agreement. Currently, only 3% of this is tapped – mainly by public financing – an amount which will need to at least triple by 2030.

This needs to change, and fast. We need action and we need finance to get us to nature positive and net zero by mid-century in order to secure a liveable future for humans and most mammals.

We will be keeping this tracker updated as more information becomes available. There are most likely gaps or missing information that we need your help to fill. So far, new commitments made at COP27 have not yet been added; although previous commitments made prior to COP27 and reported on in Sharm have been updated. Please reach out to us with comments and corrections and we will continue to update this tracker as a living document.

We hope it will serve not only as a database of those commitments made but also as a way to celebrate progress and also shine a light on where information or action is falling short.

View the new N4C NBS Commitment Tracker here.