"Nature-based Solutions" (NbS) risk greenwashing the biggest polluters on Earth; particularly when used as offsets, NbS carry risks which are delaying climate change action in the Global North, reducing biodiversity and threatening the rights of indigenous peoples and communities across the world.

NbS are often completely overstated in their ability to mitigate carbon emissions. Tree planting simply cannot happen fast enough to offset current global carbon emissions.  Major oil and gas companies are using NbS to mask current emissions and offset future emissions instead of putting in place credible plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We’re at a critical point in which the urgent reduction of carbon emissions is needed to prevent catastrophic climate change.

NbS are one of the UK presidency’s priorities for COP26, however the lack of sound scientific underpinning means that NbS risk being unjust and ineffective unless present approaches are radically changed. Together with our partners, we’ve written to the COP26 Presidency and Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) calling for immediate action. We urge these bodies to apply measures which rigorously review the effectiveness of NbS, ensuring they’re not used as offsets for continued fossil fuel emissions and that all funding for nature and climate protection fully adheres to international human rights law, including full respect of the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities.

The signatories to the letter are:

AbibiNsroma Foundation
African Union of Conservationists (AUC)
Association For Promotion Sustainable Development
Centre d'Actions pour le Développement (CAD)
Centre pour l'Environnement et le Développement
Climate Justice Programme
Ecosystème et Développement
Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal
Fight Inequality Alliance, Asia
Forest Peoples Programme
Forum Ökologie & Papier
Global Witness
Minority Rights Group International
Partnership for Policy Integrity
Rainforest Foundation UK
Rettet den Regenwald e.V. / Rainforest Rescue
Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC)
Water Justice and Gender