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Key recommendations for policymakers

This synthesis shows that climate change is not simply a concern for the future: there is already considerable evidence of negative impacts from recent climate change.

As the global average temperature continues to rise, climate change will threaten many species, disrupt ecological communities, and pose significant challenges to nature and people. However, we already know many of the solutions that are needed, and we are implementing these across the world. Policymakers have a critical role to play in scaling up these solutions, and must act now in order to safeguard the future of the earths’ ecosystems upon which we all depend. Here we highlight the key policy responses required.

Keep fossil fuels in the ground

  1. Cut greenhouse gas emissions by reducing consumption, increasing energy efficiency, and switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

  2. Reform fossil fuel subsidies and other perverse incentives which undermine efforts to address global climate change and are an inefficient use of scarce resources.

  3. Promote sustainable renewable energy deployment by establishing robust environmental regulatory frameworks and applying strategic planning, sensitivity mapping and other safeguards to minimise negative impacts on nature and people.

Help species adapt

  1. Effectively manage protected areas, extending the network to cover Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas and other large areas of intact habitat, improving connectivity, and managing the wider landscape more sustainably.

  2. Tackle existing non-climate threats to populations to increase their resilience to climate change, addressing unsustainable agriculture, logging, fisheries and hunting, and tackling invasive alien species.

  3. Implement targeted actions for those species requiring specific measures to help them adapt.

  4. Establish effective monitoring to detect climate change impacts and assess the effectiveness of adaptation solutions.

Invest in nature-based solutions

  1. Scale up investment in the conservation and restoration of natural ecosystems, which can provide an immediate, cost-effective and significant contribution to emission reductions while building the resilience of nature and people.

  2. Develop and implement local and national adaptation plans that integrate conservation, restoration and sustainable use of ecosystems to reduce disaster risk and help people adapt to climate change, as well as safeguards to avoid maladaptation.

  3. Catalyse and support multi-stakeholder collaboration between communities, civil society organisations, businesses and government, working across sectors to deliver solutions to the interlinked challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss.