Laurence Tubiana, CEO, European Climate Foundation, was one of the architects of the successful Paris climate summit in 2015. Here, she calls on Britain to deliver a similar breakthrough next year

Reducing carbon emissions and protecting biodiversity makes companies more resilient to shocks, more relevant to society and more valuable to investors

The year 2020 has been defined by the COVID-19 pandemic that has disrupted lives and livelihoods everywhere around the world. The way we work has been interrupted and altered. This is true for those working to advance and manage international environmental projects and programs – it is also true for the professionals working to evaluate for effectiveness and impact of those initiatives. At the GEF Independent Evaluation Office (IEO), the body I lead, we have had to innovate in our data collection and analysis to counter the travel and other limitations posed by the situation.

Public development banks will be critical to global efforts to build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout. To realize their potential, they should complement their climate investments by setting explicit nature-based goals and targets.

Investments that protect and restore nature can deliver good economic returns and employment benefits

National leaders are increasingly promising a green industrial revolution to drive their economies' post-COVID recovery. They are right in believing we cannot go back to our bad old ways. But expensive investments in technologies such as offshore wind turbines and carbon capture and storage risk overlooking our greatest ally in building a healthier, wealthier, more resilient economy: nature itself. 

Cities are at the heart of the pandemic impact and response, and city leaders managing through the COVID-19 crisis have demonstrated commitment to integration, innovation, and partnership. GEF Cities Lead Aloke Barnwal makes the case that this approach will be critical to the future sustainability of cities, and argues for city-level recovery strategies that address the root causes of environmental degradation.

Protecting the global commons is not only the right thing to do – it improves the bottom line as well

On October 16 every year, we celebrate World Food Day to highlight the enduring vision of a world free from hunger and malnutrition. This year, we face the unprecedented crisis of COVID-19, which threatens food security and human health and may push another 130 million people into hunger by the end of the year. The COVID-19 pandemic spotlights the fragility of our food systems caused, in part, by the fractures in the environmental systems underlying them, including biodiversity loss, deforestation, land and water degradation, and climate change.

The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the warning bells about our broken food system. As farmers and consumers grapple with disruptions in the global food supply chain, we are witnessing an exacerbation of threats to the natural environment. Since start of the pandemic, increases in deforestation and forest degradation, illegal wildlife exploitation, plastic pollution, and urban waste have been recorded in different parts of the planet, further exposing inherent inefficiencies, fragilities, and vulnerabilities of the food system at all levels.

There is everything to play for through reducing carbon emissions as the world emerges from the COVID-19 recession