06/12/2023 News News

Plans to develop first science-based targets for cities announced at COP28

Today at COP28 in the UAE, we announced plans to develop science-based targets for nature that include cities for the first time, alongside companies. The new program initially aims to create a holistic, science-based target indicators framework that covers the impact of cities on both climate and other natural systems. 

Cities are the largest driver of environmental impact globally, and science-based targets for cities are essential for guiding efforts in line with the Safe and Just Earth System Boundaries, released by the Earth Commission in May this year. 

Patrick Frick, founder of the Global Commons Alliance, of which SBTN is a part, said: “This initiative comes as a crucial addition to ongoing efforts in understanding the intricate relationship between cities, climate goals, and the burgeoning realm of nature-related objectives. It builds on the existing work of SBTN and will help equip cities to do their part to halt and reverse nature loss.”

Recognizing the vital role of local and subnational governments, along with other stakeholders, in adopting and implementing nature-positive policies, the Cities Science Based Targets for Nature program seeks to accelerate progress towards net-zero emissions, enhanced biodiversity, and climate resilience.

Nature Positive Cities

The program was showcased as one of the most important climate and nature initiatives for municipalities, during a COP28 Presidency event on December 6. 

The session “Local Ecosystem Restoration for Nature Positive Cities & Regions” brought together mayors, decision-makers, and business leaders, shining a spotlight on the pivotal role that cities and regions play in championing nature-based solutions. 

The Cities’ Science Based Targets for Nature program is set to unfold over the next 18 months until spring 2025 at which point initial guidance for cities will be available. It is a collaborative effort with some of the world’s leading cities networks, research institutions, and advisory organizations focused on cities: CDP, WWF, WRI, C40, ICLEI, Durham University, TNC, and Arup. At the heart of the consortium, Metabolic and Urban Biodiversity Hub will act as core delivery partners.