New Group Plugs Holes In Accountability Landscape For Companies Hoping To Protect And Restore Nature

The Global Commons Alliance announced the launch of its Accountability Accelerator (GCAA) at COP15 to plug gaping holes in the accountability landscape for corporate commitments to protect and restore nature. 

With a series of ground-breaking grants to accelerate appropriate disclosure, benchmarking and action, including by supporting local and grassroots groups in the Global South, the GCAA has been established to ensure that companies are held accountable for their commitments towards halting and reversing nature loss by 2030.  

During the event Marco Lambertini, WWF International’s Director General and Tim Christphersen, Vice President for Climate Action both spoke about the growing importance of getting accountability right. 

The GCAA is mapping the entire accountability landscape to understand and then close the gaps and potential loopholes that would allow companies to say one thing and do another when it comes to nature-positive action. At the same time GCAA says it is working to make this a welcoming space for those ready to make commitments on nature and deliver on them. 

“We cannot wait for action to turn the corner on the devastation currently being wrought on nature. This is not about putting a target on companies’ backs the minute they announce a new pledge. It’s about making sure those commitments are science-based, that there’s necessary support towards achieving them, and helping the groups who want to put pressure on companies do so in an informed and productive way,”  said Natasha Matic, the Accountability Accelerator’s Executive Director.

Accusations of greenwashing have riddled the corporate community in recent years, especially around ‘net-zero’ goal setting. The UN Secretary General’s High Level Expert Group on net zero’s report released at COP27 made greenwashing a central focus. The response has been mixed. Campaigners have welcomed the emphasis on stringency, while some companies have said it will make things even harder to move forward. As campaigners at COP15  seek to establish ‘nature-positive’ as the biodiversity equivalent to net zero, the GCAA is positioning itself one step ahead. 

For example, funding from the GCAA is helping train companies to adequately disclose their impacts and dependencies on nature, in conjunction with CDP. Close collaboration with the Global Commons Alliance Science-based Targets Network ensures the GCAA community can be ahead of the process in which companies can set  science-based targets for nature, beginning with freshwater and land, due to be released in the spring of 2023. 

Gerbrand Haverkamp, CEO of the World Benchmarking Alliance, a recipient of Accountability Accelerator funding and member of the GCAA Advisory Board  said “We are excited to work with the Accountability Accelerator on closing the corporate accountability gap on Nature. Our first Nature benchmark will be able to identify, assess and rank how companies can and must act to contribute to a nature-positive future.”

Alice Mukashyaka, Advocacy Manager for Livelihoods and Education at Restless Development, a GCAA grantee said “Working with young activists who are campaigning for science-based targets for nature and accountability from all over the world has taught me that more than ever before, we need a movement of young people with first-hand lived experiences in this process of tackling climate change disasters. GCA Accountability Accelerator’s support is helping make this movement possible. 

Anita de Horde and Anne-Marie Bor, co-founders and coordinators of the Finance for Biodiversity Foundation said: “We enthusiastically welcome the official launch of the Accountability Accelerator. It was a great honor for us to be one of the first organizations to receive support. With that support, we’ve been able to  successfully set up the collaborating investor engagement initiative Nature Action 100 together with a group of leading investors. We are looking forward to building on further progress and collaborating on driving companies and financial institutions to reverse nature loss, and to fill the gaps to create a strong accountability architecture.” 

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