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Though often addressed in silos, the climate change and biodiversity crises are intertwined. The loss of biodiversity reduces the resilience of both the planet and people and narrows our response options for defeating climate change. The inconvenient truth is that climate impacts will accelerate beyond 2050, and continue to escalate beyond 2100, even if we stop global warming today.
With increasing trends of urban expansion, there is urgency to act now, using cities as catalysts to create more sustainable, resilient, and just societies. As 75% of the world’s infrastructure is yet to be built by 2050, the global urbanization trends offer a time-limited opportunity to work towards transformational adaptation and conservation of the world’s biodiversity.
Nature-based solutions (NBS) increasingly receive the attention deserved as a tool to support climate resilient development. The socio-economic and environmental co-benefits make this a particularly valuable approach. Cities around the globe have started taking to NBS for natural flood protection and water management, build community resilience through enhanced food security and sustainable livelihoods and to reduce heat stress. This brings the triple dividend of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, protecting ecological assets and biodiversity, and effectively adapting urban communities and the built environment. Yet, few cities take full advantage of the tools and emerging knowledge to address climate change.