Climate Action edition: 2021

Released for COP26, this edition brings together a wide array of global leaders from business, academia, politics, and civil society. This collection of powerful articles sets out a roadmap for action, with a particular focus on breaking the inertia.

  1. Today is the day

    A global consensus on the scale of the climate crisis is emerging. Governments are starting to make the right noises. But we lack and need action, now

    Amina J. Mohammed
  2. Knowledge can set us free

    The world economy is unjust and selfish. Its flaws are stifling effective climate action. We must empower the next generation to shape the future, unencumbered by the distorted priorities that currently prevail

    Jeffrey D. Sachs

Breaking the inertia

  1. Accelerating change for 1.5°C

    Leaders across government, civil society, and the private sector must support the rapid, exponential growth of low and zero-emissions technologies if the world is to achieve the Paris goals

    Sophie Boehm, Joel Jaeger, Hanna Fekete, Ryan Wilson, Katie Lebling, Kelly Levin
  2. On the brink of the abyss

    As the UN Secretary-General warns, humanity is facing a cascade of crises. COP26 will be the moment of truth for climate and all countries must step up

    Miguel Ruiz Cabañas Izquierdo
  3. Getting everyone to act on climate change

    The reasons for climate inaction are many and varied. We need a range of strategies to ensure that everyone – from the concerned to the skeptical – takes the action our planet needs to survive

    Jiaying Zhao, Rumi Naito, Yu Luo, Nigel Deans
  4. Breaking the inertia: further articles

    Nature-based solutions are increasingly recognized as a critical part of climate action. Bineta Diop makes the case for empowering women for nature-based climate action.

    Olli-Pekka Heinonen writes about the role of education in developing the climate citizens of tomorrow.

    Could a reimagined UN Trusteeship Council  – a body that already exists – take on the role of protecting the global commons, asks Ramu Damodaran.

Climate solutions

  1. Supporting all countries in the Paris Agreement

    All countries need to work towards the Paris Agreement, but for developing countries this can present technological and logistical challenges. How can international partnerships help all countries contribute to and benefit from this common cause?

    Robert Bradley
  2. Intelligent soil management can slash agricultural emissions

    It is frequently claimed that the growing human population can not be fed without destroying the climate. This is a fallacy. Applying sustainable soil management techniques has the potential to reduce current agricultural emissions by a third

    Eduardo Mansur, Ronald Vargas
  3. Healthy land for a healthy planet

    A worldwide movement to protect, manage and restore the land will have fast and wide-ranging benefits. It must be the centerpiece of our global redesign

    Ibrahim Thiaw
  4. Climate solutions: further articles

    Removing atmospheric CO2 is essential to achieving the 1.5°C goal formulated in Paris and will be required on a massive scale. Michael Gerrard on the need to urgently explore new avenues.

    Tom L. Richard calls for a more creative use of photosynthesis, a ready-made technology for carbon removal.

    Labode Popoola explains how Osun State University is educating its students to be climate citizens and making a local contribution to Nigeria’s national climate plans.


  1. Less is more: plugging the climate financing gap

    Funding for polluting projects remains alarmingly high. We need to urgently switch this finance toward sustainable projects. The relatively cheap cost of action now compared with the economic disaster of inaction is a math “no brainer” – and the time to act is now

    Vanessa Fajans-Turner
  2. Finance: further articles

    John Thwaites and Liam Walsh on how Australia might develop financial instruments to invest in its natural capital.

    The financial system must raise its game if it is going to fulfil its role in the transition to a sustainable economy – Bella Tonkonogy.


  1. Remaking capitalism for a sustainable future

    Capitalism and sustainability are on a collision course, one that threatens to destroy both the market system and the planet. To head off the impending crash, we must end environmental externalities and make polluters pay for the harm they cause. Standardizing corporate ESG reporting offers a path toward clarity on the environmental harms that need to be addressed

    Daniel C. Esty
  2. Aligning corporate ambition with the SDGs

    While companies have embraced the aims of the SDGs, embedding them into their business operations is another matter entirely. The optional nature of the SDGs is one key challenge, but the greatest hurdle is understanding how to apply SDG indicators to day-to-day business operations

    Martha McPherson
  3. Business: further articles

    Bogus “green” solutions are undermining global efforts to halt climate change. Rajat Panwar proposes ways to end corporate environmental hypocrisy.

    A growing number of businesses are calling on their governments to set clear, ambitious policies and regulation that will protect the 1.5ºC climate goal. Maria Mendiluce on why it’s down to governments to unlock business action on climate.

    How businesses can set effective greenhouse gas reduction targets by Pankaj Bhatia, David Burns & David Rich


  1. Unlocking the power of knowledge for climate action

    We are fortunate to possess an abundance of data that alerts us to the nature and potential impact of climate threats and that can also guide our response. We are not effectively using this knowledge. The human barriers slowing progress must be removed

    Claire Melamed

    SDGs: 13