Land use-related activities such as food produce, unsustainable forest management and infrastructure development are a major driver of global climate change, but according to the 30X30 coalition, they account for a “paltry amount” of climate funding.

Businesses, cities, regions and citizens have therefore been urged to take the necessary action to conserve and restore land.

“To curb climate change, we must address the second-greatest source of emissions: our use of land,” said Manuel Pulgar Vidal, head of WWF’s global climate and energy practice.

“By taking concrete action, businesses and local leaders can also encourage national governments to more aggressively reduce carbon emissions using every resource available, including trees, grasses and soil.”

Responsibility and opportunity

The coalition states that key stakeholders can tackle the challenge by helping to halve food loss and waste by 2030. Action must also be taken to sequester one gigatones of carbon per year in forests and enable better production of food and fibre by unlocking finance, the group insists.

“Climate change is already disrupting and destabilising our global food and agricultural systems,” said Unilever’s chief executive Paul Polman.

“By eliminating habitat loss and degradation from our supply chains, we can prevent the emission of billions of tonnes of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Businesses like ours have a responsibility and an opportunity to help the nations of the world meet and exceed the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

The call comes ahead of the Global Climate Action Summit in September which will bring business leaders and policymakers together to make stronger commitments to climate change. The event will be co-chaired by California Governor Jerry Brown, who last week challenged the likes of Amazon, Facebook and Caterpillar to measure their climate impact.

George Ogleby

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