Written by
ZSL logo


Zoological Society of London

12 November 2021

Experts at ZSL react to the draft text at COP26. 

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. 


Join the fight to save our living world at ZSL

Climate change and human activity have pushed our precious planet to its limit, causing the devastating loss of so many habitats and species. From lab to field, hands on and behind the scenes, we’re leading the future of conservation, shaping agendas and influencing change to support better life, health and living for people and wildlife.