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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

7 December - Joint actions from governments, business, and finance are urgently needed to reset our relationship with nature, and the United Nation’s COP15 conference in Montreal is a pivotal opportunity to set a bold pathway. In its new COP15 Briefing, CISL presents three recommendations for driving nature-positive transformation. The briefing also highlights 15 practical steps that governments, business, and finance should take in this transformation journey.

CISL’s COP15 briefing

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COP15 challenges & opportunities

We are experiencing an unprecedented decline in nature, and humans are causing it. One million out of an estimated 8 million species of plants and animals are threatened with extinction (IPES). WWF’s recent Living Planet Report also revealed that global wildlife populations have seen average declines of nearly 70% in just 50 years. 

Biodiversity encompasses the full variety of life. Billions of people depend on, appreciate and love nature. It is imperative to reverse the escalating biodiversity collapse and end what UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called a “senseless, suicidal war against nature”.

COP15 needs to deliver an ambitious framework for re-alignment for a sustainable future. Some of the key ambitions for the biodiversity summit include:

  • Turning 30% of the Earth's lands and seas into protected areas by 2030.
  • Ensuring that, by 2050, a "shared vision of living in harmony with nature is fulfilled".
  • Eliminating billions of dollars of environmentally-damaging government subsidies and restoring degraded ecosystems.

However, COP15 faces several challenges to success, from the absence of world leaders, low resource mobilisation, and knock-on impacts of a disappointing COP27 to more fundamental barriers.


The time for new vision and leadership is now. Leading businesses and financial institutions are starting to embed nature across their practices and urgently need a supportive policy framework. More broadly, all countries - whatever the level of their economic development - need to grow with nature and not against nature. Putting nature and climate at the heart of policy across nations will require greater trust between countries and sectors, something in increasingly short supply.

CISL’s COP15 Briefing seeks to show the imperative for business, finance and government to tackle the nature crisis collaboratively and holistically, and presents three recommendations for driving nature-positive transformation of our society and economy:

  1. Tackle the nature and climate crises as one: We must set the bar high for meaningful action to achieve net zero while protecting and restoring nature. We must integrate nature loss risks into existing assessments of climate change risk, and avoid unintended impacts of climate solutions upon nature.
  2. Put nature at the heart of all policy and regulation: Governments must integrate nature into decision-making at all levels and be highly ambitious. This includes creating an enabling environment for business and finance to drive activities aligned with nature restoration and regeneration and acting to end the overexploitation of nature, particularly through the provision of harmful subsidies.
  3. Embed nature in decision-making across business and finance: Economic and financial systems need to transform how they view and value nature. Businesses must seek to adopt a regenerative model for nature. At the same time, financial institutions should integrate nature into financial decision making to embed the logic of regeneration and support the transformation of the real economy.

Find out more about CISL at COP15

CISL's reaction to COP15 agreements

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Nature-Positive Hub

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Decision-making in a nature positive world

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Integrating Nature: The case for action on nature-related financial risks

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