MONTREAL: Yesterday the Global Commons Alliance announced the launch of its Accountability Accelerator (GCAA) at COP15 to plug gaping holes in the accountability landscape for corporate commitments to protect and restore nature.
With a series of ground-breaking grants to accelerate appropriate disclosure, benchmarking and action, including by supporting local and grass roots groups in the Global South, the
GCAA has been established to ensure that companies are held accountable for their commitments towards halting and reversing nature loss by 2030.
During the event Marco Lambertini, WWF International’s Director General and Tim Christophersen, Vice President for Climate Action both spoke about the growing importance of getting accountability right.
The GCAA is mapping the entire accountability landscape to understand and then close the gaps and potential loopholes that would allow companies to say one thing and do another when it comes to nature-positive action. At the same time GCAA says it is working to make this a welcoming space for those ready to make commitments on nature and deliver on them.
“We cannot wait for action to turn the corner on the devastation currently being wrought on nature. This is not about putting a target on companies’ backs the minute they announce a new pledge. It’s about making sure those commitments are science-based, that there’s necessary support towards achieving them, and helping the groups who want to put pressure on companies do so in an informed and productive way,” said Natasha Matic, the Accountability Accelerator’s Executive Director.
Accusations of greenwashing have riddled the corporate community in recent years, especially around ‘net-zero’ goal setting. The UN Secretary General’s High Level Expert Group on net zero’s report released at COP27 made greenwashing a central focus. The response has been mixed. Campaigners have welcomed the emphasis on stringency, while some companies have said it will make things even harder to move forward. As campaigners at COP15 seek to establish ‘nature-positive’ as the biodiversity equivalent to net zero, the GCAA is positioning itself one step ahead.
For example, funding from the GCAA is helping train companies to adequately disclose their impacts and dependencies on nature, in conjunction with CDP. Close collaboration with the Global Commons Alliance Science-based Targets Network ensures the GCAA community can be ahead of the process in which companies can set science-based targets for nature, beginning with freshwater and land, due to be released in the spring of 2023.
Gerbrand Haverkamp, CEO of the World Benchmarking Alliance, a recipient of Accountability Accelerator funding and member of the GCAA Advisory Board said “We are excited to work with the Accountability Accelerator on closing the corporate accountability gap on Nature. Our first Nature benchmark will be able to identify, assess and rank how companies can and must act to contribute to a nature-positive future.”
Alice Mukashyaka, Advocacy Manager for Livelihoods and Education at Restless Development, a GCAA grantee said “Working with young activists who are campaigning for science-based targets for nature and accountability from all over the world has taught me that more than ever before, we need a movement of young people with first-hand lived experiences in this process of tackling climate change disasters. GCA Accountability Accelerator’s support is helping make this movement possible.
Anita de Horde and Anne-Marie Bor, co-founders and coordinators of the Finance for Biodiversity Foundation said: “We enthusiastically welcome the official launch of the Accountability Accelerator. It was a great honor for us to be one of the first organizations to receive support. With that support, we’ve been able to successfully set up the collaborating investor engagement initiative Nature Action 100 together with a group of leading investors. We are looking forward to building on further progress and collaborating on driving companies and financial institutions to reverse nature loss, and to fill the gaps to create a strong accountability architecture.”
All of the IPCC scenarios for limiting temperature rise to 1.5ºC require Earth’s remaining ecosystems to remain intact because they act as carbon “sinks”, drawing down excess CO2 from the atmosphere. Immediate action to halt and reverse nature loss is therefore critical as part of corporate climate action plans, and many hope to see nations agree a global goal to that effect at COP15. Securing an ambitious framework for biodiversity at COP15 will be crucial for global efforts to keep temperatures within the 1.5ºC limit.
Decades of overconsumption, bad governance and mismanagement mean that nature is currently being destroyed faster than it can regenerate. Forests, the ocean and other natural ecosystems are all losing their ability to sustain themselves, support human needs and wellbeing, buffer climate shocks and absorb excess carbon emissions. As a result, we are fast approaching irreversible climate tipping points with many communities already in crisis.
Robust corporate action to better manage, protect and restore nature requires companies to set science-based targets for climate and nature and disclose their impacts and dependencies on nature in order to be held accountable for their contributions. Together we can halt and reverse nature loss so that we have more nature in 2030 than we have now. Companies can start by taking a series of no regrets actions, and calling on their governments to adopt an ambitious global biodiversity framework in Montreal.
For more information or to arrange interview with spokespeople, please contact Zoe Tcholak-Antitch: [email protected] T: +44(0)7568 339359
Notes for editors:
About the Global Commons Alliance (GCA). The Global Commons Alliance was set up to incubate collaborative efforts among existing institutions to tackle the climate and biodiversity crises together. It is a network of organizations that collaborate, instead of competing, to deliver solutions for safeguarding the global commons. GCA’s mission is to empower citizens, cities, companies and countries to become effective stewards of the global commons. GCA is fiscally sponsored by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors with 501(c)3 status in the U.S.
About the Accountability Accelerator (GCAA). The Global Commons Accountability Accelerator is working with the Science-based Targets Network and other target and standards setters to provide the tools companies need to translate commitments into performance aligned with science. GCAA is designed to fill the gaps, enable close coordination between stakeholders (local and global), even the ones who do not naturally interact or know of potential opportunities to interact so that together these groups can work collectively to pull all available leaders that drive urgent change. The Accountability Accelerator has been established thanks to a generous grant from Porticus Foundation.