COP26 hangs in the balance: ZSL reaction to draft texts

by ZSL on

Eliminate all fossil fuels, scale up financing for an equitable energy transition and ensure that nature-based solutions are at the heart of  efforts to reach the 1.5 degree goal. 

Commitment to a rapid and equitable transition towards a low carbon future is fundamental to a successful outcome at COP26. This requires countries to step up ambitions to deliver drastic reductions in emissions and agreed financial commitments to support least developed countries in climate change adaptation and mitigation. We are making progress but not fast enough.

Nature has been a prominent feature of this year’s COP and the inclusion of nature recovery, which has been recognised for the first time in the draft agreement, is long overdue as part of an integrated approach to the climate crisis.

But, as COP26 enters its final hours, there remains a gulf between the negotiations inside the formal climate process and the worsening conditions experienced by communities living on the frontline of the climate crisis. This divide must be bridged in the remaining hours in order to restore the faith of all those watching the negotiations around the world.

Therefore, ZSL calls upon all UNFCCC Parties to make the necessary commitments to immediately and drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, phase out fossil fuels and end harmful subsidies and at the same time support and enable the restoration of the natural environment. 
The large-scale recovery of terrestrial, freshwater and ocean ecosystems is fundamental to sequestering and storing carbon, improving resilience and supporting communities in adapting to climate change. We particularly call for greater investment in ocean restoration and welcome the inclusion of ocean language in the Glasgow Declaration.


Putting nature at the heart of decision-making is not, and must not be used as, an alternative to the rapid phase out of fossil fuels. They must happen hand in hand, to deliver a more sustainable future. We believe that there is a strong consensus among communities, global leaders and businesses for restoration of a rich and diverse living world.

At ZSL we will push forward the science and practice of equitable nature-based solutions on the ground; providing approaches that can be replicated at scale. 

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Our people are our greatest asset and we realise our vision for a world where wildlife thrives through their ideas, skills and passion. An inspired, informed and empowered community of people work, study and volunteer together at ZSL.

Nature at the heart of global decision making

At ZSL, a key area of our work is the employment of Nature-based Solutions – an approach which both adapt to and mitigates the impacts of climate change. These Solutions, which include habitat protection and restoration, are low-cost yet high-impact, and provide multiple benefits to people and wildlife. We ensure that biodiversity recovery is at the heart of nature-based solutions. 

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