There are wide ambition and resilience gaps between where we are and where we need to be to ensure a liveable world for ourselves and our descendants. There is scant room for false starts, such as project implementations that won’t deliver on their promise. Or worse, projects that do more harm than good.
How can we avoid such pitfalls? The answer lies with that special ingredient, Environmental Integrity. ECO looks at the results of some early implementations and finds much room for improvement. First, implementations must not conflate the environment with just emissions reduction, but instead consider the whole dimension of biodiversity and ecosystems. Second, they must add the social dimension.
ECO thinks that considering Environmental Integrity when devising implementations would help to solve important problems. Though some might question the meaning of ‘Environmental Integrity’, ECO suggests you look no further than the concept’s context within bodies such as the Sustainable Development Goals and Green Climate Fund. Both embrace Environmental Integrity within their objectives and guiding principles.
For the Paris agreement, we recommend the perfect location: the inclusion of Environmental Integrity in Article 2.2 as an overarching principle. This article shows us a clear way forward. And why stop at Environmental Integrity? The Parties need to understand Environmental Integrity in a broader context to achieve real transformational change. This broader context includes human rights, gender equality, indigenous peoples’ rights, intergenerational equity, a just transition and decent work, food security and ecosystem integrity.