Nature-Based Solutions and the Green Economy – British Academy COP26 briefing
The briefing by Dr Leslie Mabon, Lecturer in Environmental Systems at the Open University, explores the ways in which nature-based solutions (NbS) may contribute to a green economy, and also identifies some of the challenges and contestations when it comes to enacting a green economy through nature-based approaches.There is significant and growing interest in the role NbS can play in a net-zero and climate-resilient society, alongside interest in a ‘green economy’ that improves human wellbeing and builds social equity whilst reducing environmental degradation.
A series of web-based workshops convened by the British Academy over summer and autumn 2021 were used to inform the evidence synthesis, which brought together researchers, policy stakeholders and third sector organisations to discuss the place of nature-based solutions in a future society across different geographical regions of the world.
The briefing concludes by summarising the main points in relation to four critical aspects of COP26 and subsequent implementation of global climate action: mitigation, adaptation, financing, and cooperation. Lastly, the document highlights that whilst there is a tendency to celebrate success in the use of NbS in support of a green economy, it should also not be forgotten that much can be learned by sharing and learning from policy and practice failures. It is hence vital that any so-called success stories are viewed in context and not adopted uncritically, and to acknowledge that ‘what works’ in one place may not necessarily work somewhere else.