The Global Governance of Climate Change through Nature-Based Solutions
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This Major Paper is on the global governance of climate change through nature-based solutions (NbS). It explores how nature-based solutions (NbS) support the realization of the 1.5-2°C target of the Paris Agreement on climate change, as well as the global environmental and societal goals reflected in the UN 2030 Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals and under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. To do so it first reviews the evolution of the conceptualization of the term NbS from 2008 to the present. From here it conducts a scoping review of the NbS literature, with a focus on climate change and governance. It presents the key governance opportunities, barriers and challenges, and recommendations for overcoming these challenges that the peer-reviewed literature emphasizes. The overarching takeaway inferred from this review is that due to nature’s inherent multifunctionality and cost-effectiveness, NbS can be highly effective for meeting global climate and societal goals if NbS implementation is guided by sound global principles and standards that allow for the use of a range of regionally or locally-appropriate assessment frameworks based on best practices, and if multilevel and multi-actor collaborative governance is modelled. In this event, NbS can be a powerful approach with wide-reaching effects for emissions abatement and resilient and sustainable societies. In all, this Major Paper explores how NbS can help build a holistic and more equitable society and future, alongside commonly used terms such as technical- and market-based solutions.