Full report
Published: 7 September 2022

Annual Report 2021-2022

• Centre for Nature and Climate

| Gim Huay Neo, Managing Director

The Centre for Nature and Climate seeks to safeguard the global commons, by driving climate action, developing a nature positive economy, regenerating food, water and ocean systems as well as improving resource management and preventing pollution.

The Centre develops multistakeholder partnerships to accelerate action and scale solutions, and supports policy for a net-zero and nature positive transformation. It provides a trusted and vibrant platform to progress towards the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Centre adopts a three-pronged approach across industry and geographies:

– Building awareness and thought leadership

– Creating connections and catalysing change

– Incubating public-private initiatives and scaling innovation

Global context

The global commons are under severe strain, with systems at serious risks of collapse, threatening societies, economies and the planet. The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report (February 2022) states that global warming is likely to reach 1.5° C between 2030 and 2052, at its current rate of increase. This will displace millions of people, impact food and water security, disrupt supply chains, cripple the global economy, and threaten the health and livelihoods of people globally.

Environmental risks continued to dominate this year’s Global Risks Report 2022, with climate action failure, extreme weather events, biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse as the top risks identified for the immediate and long term. The World Economic Forum’s New Nature Economy Report states that $44 trillion of economic value generation – over half the world’s total GDP – is dependent on nature, calling for an immediate reverse in nature loss by adopting sustainable practices.

The need for action and global cooperation is more urgent than ever before. But crisis can be turned into opportunity; it is possible to forge a sense of collective purpose, build trust and understanding, and promote global partnerships for a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient world that will serve current and all future generations well.

Everyone must act now, act fast and act at scale to fast track adaptation and transition in energy use, resource management as well as food, water and ocean systems. Investments in climate solutions would yield massive opportunities, and a nature-positive transition could generate up to $10.1 trillion in annual business value and create 395 million jobs by 2030.


The Centre for Nature and Climate builds communities and connects corporate CEOs, heads of state, thought leaders, academics, public figures, cultural leaders and technology disruptors to champion and co-create action-based partnerships, to unify, amplify and scale its work across sectors and geographies.

Our engagement network includes over 190 Partner companies across 20 industry sectors operating in 13 regions, more than 70 government collaborators from around the world and a portfolio of over 50 international and philanthropic organizations that share our objectives and purpose. The Centre also maintains long-standing partnerships with international organizations and intergovernmental processes, such as the COP26 Presidency and the United Nations General Assembly.

The Centre’s agenda is focused on five interconnected themes:

– Accelerating climate action for net zero

– Fast-tracking towards a nature-positive economy

– Regenerating food, ocean and water systems

– Advancing resource circularity

– Enabling market mechanisms through innovative finance and technology

To help guide and steward the climate and nature agenda, the Centre convenes multiple high-level global leadership groupings, including the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, the Champions for Nature community, the Food Stewardship Board and the Friends of Ocean Action network. These Partners meet regularly to shape the strategy and direction of the agenda, share best practices and exchange ideas, and actively support activities through policy advocacy and corporate action, for example by collaborating with the UK Presidency and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on COP26.

Similar partnerships exist at the regional levels to translate global ambition into local action. These include Coalitions for the Amazon Bioeconomy to catalyse forest restoration, and National Plastic Action Partnerships (NPAP) to combat plastic pollution. Through these arrangements, the Centre supports local capability building and ownership, and pilots ideas and solutions that can be scaled and sustained as catalytic forces for change.

“In building the Climate Action Platform’s drumbeat to Glasgow, the Mission Possible Partnership (MPP) drove the conversation of net-zero ambition into action. The MPP is a critical step towards delivering real, tangible commitments to sectoral action in the net-zero industry transition.”

—Nigel Topping, UK High-Level Climate Action Champion, COP26 Climate Champions


Thanks to the continuous support and commitment of a network of Partners, donors, experts and other key communities, 2021-2022 was another high-impact year, with COP26 as a major catalytic milestone for raising ambition and driving progress for climate action.

Highlighted activities and achievements include:

Accelerating climate action for net-zero

This was a pivotal year for accelerating and scaling action on the climate. At COP26, the Forum partnered closely with the UK Presidency, the UNFCCC HighLevel Champions and other key partners to mobilize action across its communities and networks. What stood out was an unprecedented mobilization of business, citizens, academia and many others to push for bolder outcomes, and to take ownership for action. The UN’s Race to Zero Campaign, which the Forum supported, grew to over 5,000 businesses, 67 regions, over 440 financial institutions, over 1,000 educational institutions and more, all committed to halving emissions between 2020 and 2030. The full COP26 highlights were published. Some high points include:

– The Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders is now the largest CEO-led climate alliance globally. It grew its membership by 40%, comprising 119 CEOs in 27 countries and representing 9 million employees. The chief executives signed an open letter to world leaders in the lead-up to the G7 and COP26 in support of “bold and courageous commitments, policies and actions”.

– Over 35 global businesses launched the First Movers Coalition, a partnership between the World Economic Forum and the office of the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. The coalition aggregates the purchasing commitments of members as a demand driver for innovative technologies needed to decarbonize “hard-to-abate” sectors, representing more than a third of global carbon emissions, and are essential to achieving net-zero by 2050. Membership grew to over 50 at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2022.

– The Mission Possible Partnership (MPP) continued to grow and advance its work to accelerate the net-zero transition in seven hard-to-abate sectors, including the launch of its first industry-backed and open-source decarbonization Sector Transition Strategies for aviation, shipping and steel. The MPP aunched a critical set of industry roadmaps and continued to collaborate with the High-Level Champions team.

– The Alliance for Clean Air was launched at COP26 with 10 founding members: Accenture, Bloomberg, Biogen, Google, GoTo, IKEA, Maersk, Mahindra Group, Siemens and Wipro. Together, they tackle the issue of air pollution from a corporate perspective.

Fast-tracking towards a nature-positive economy

The Nature Action Agenda released two reports this year:

– The New Nature Economy Report Part 3 series, Seizing Business Opportunities in China’s Transition Towards a Nature-positive Economy, highlights that a nature-positive economy in China could generate 88 million resilient jobs by 2030.

– The BiodiverCities by 2030: Transforming Cities’ Relationship with Nature report articulates a vision for the cities of the future that places nature at the heart of decision-making and infrastructure investments.

The Tropical Forest Alliance co-chaired the multistakeholder task force for the Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade dialogue, which culminated in a joint roadmap and statement by 28 countries at COP26 to reduce commodity-driven deforestation. The alliance also brought together 12 of the world’s biggest agricultural trading and processing companies to issue a joint statement committing to a sectoral roadmap by COP27 for enhancing supply chain actions consistent with a 1.5° C pathway.

The Innovative Finance for the Amazon, Cerrado and Chaco initiative brought eight major financial institutions and agribusiness companies together that committed $3 billion to soy and cattle production that is free of deforestation and land conversion in South America.

1t.org (Trillion Trees initiative) continued to mobilize private-sector ambition and engagement for forests, bringing the total to 33 global and 44 US corporate pledges committed to conserving and restoring 5.7 billion trees. It also catalysed forest restoration in priority regions by supporting Coalitions for the Amazon Bioeconomy and the Great Green Wall in the Sahel, and engaging in partnerships in India and China. A landmark commitment was made by China at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2022 to conserve and plant 70 billion trees (supported by new 1t.org China Action).

100 Million Farmers was recognized as one of the Breakthrough Agendas for Agriculture and Innovation by 40 world leaders.

The Natural Climate Solutions Alliance, convened jointly by the World Economic Forum and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, launched the Natural Climate Solutions Investment Accelerator to mobilize private-sector investment in these solutions, with the aim of removing 1 gigaton of CO2e per year by 2025.

Regenerating food, ocean and water systems

As part of the UN Food Systems Summit in September 2021, the Forum chaired the Innovation Lever of Change, convening a diverse community of nearly 80 public-, private-and social-sector organizations to promote the adoption of a wider, more holistic view of innovation.

The Food Action Alliance identified the EU and four priority country partners, namely India, Colombia, Kenya and Viet Nam, to develop Food Innovation Hubs, under the support of the Government of the Netherlands, through public-private collaboration.

With Friends of Ocean Action, new ocean initiatives this year ranged from the Blue Food Partnership, a unique platform that is catalysing science-based actions towards healthy and sustainable aquatic food value chains, to the Ocean 100 Dialogues, a science-business platform enabling business leaders in the ocean economy to deliver cross-industry action to accelerate sustainable ocean stewardship.

The 2030 Water Resources Group, hosted at the World Bank, is the most mature and successful public-private-civil society partnership on water to date. It reached over 1,000 partners across 14 countries/ states. As an example of its impact, the Accelerator project on strengthening agriculture value chains in India is supporting livelihoods and water security across 8,000 hectares, affecting 10,000 families, conserving an estimated 80 billion litres of water and mobilizing $16 million of investment.

The 50L Home Coalition, pushing the norms of domestic urban water use to address the nexus of water security and energy through its thoughtleadership products, gained new global partners and advanced city pilot options in China, Europe and the US for 2022.

In the context of COVID-19, the Hand Hygiene Market Accelerator, in collaboration with UNICEF, accelerated the flow of critical hand hygiene products to vulnerable locations and people.

A new collaboration with HCL and UpLink was launched at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2022, with $15 million of funding for entrepreneurs who can drive innovation to tackle freshwater crisis.

Advancing resource circularity

Scale360° and the Forum Circular Economy initiative expanded its reach from two countries to 20 in 2021, applying its systemic approach to circular innovation and collaboration to cities, regions and countries around the world. It also launched the Circular Economy for the Net-Zero Industry Transition initiative, partnering with hard-to-abate materials sectors.

The Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP) extended its national partnerships to Maharashtra state, India, Nigeria and Pakistan, while the existing Viet Nam partnership was the lead collaborator in the government’s new law on environmental protection, using the GPAP’s roadmap to inform a national climate policy. The Reuse Portal, a global one-stop-shop to enable collective action for reuse, was co-developed and launched by the GPAP, the WWF and the UN Environment Programme, and the GPAP was instrumental in enabling partners in the plastics value chain to agree on cohesive next steps for a plastic pollution treaty at the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5.2).

“As we work together to seek solutions to our growing global plastic waste problem, the Global Plastic Action Partnership is effectively uniting stakeholders worldwide by creating a framework that drives change by supporting the types of financing and innovations that are needed to reduce plastic pollution in the environment and in our communities.”

—Audrey Choi, Chief Sustainability Officer, Morgan Stanley

Enabling market mechanisms through innovative finance and technology

Enabling market mechanisms through innovative finance and technology To encourage private-sector capital investment in emerging markets, the Sustainable Development Investment Partnership (SDIP) developed solutions to reduce perceived and actual risks across financial and non-financial dimensions through the launch of white paper “Reshaping Risk Mitigation: The Impact of Non-financial Levers”. In Saint Lucia, it created a Country Financing Roadmap to align capital behind development priorities to support a renewable energy pipeline of $80 million, and $12 million in investments for workforce reskilling.

The SDIP also launched the “Principles for Financing a Just and Urgent Energy Transition”, helping to generate alignment between financial institutions and civil society on accountability standards for the design of energy transition financing arrangements.

UpLink, the open innovation platform of the World Economic Forum, has been at the forefront of an entrepreneur revolution, to support positive systemic change for people and the planet. To inspire and uplift entrepreneurs who will pave the way to a net-zero, nature-positive future, UpLink launched 14 innovation challenges, focusing on nature and climate, sourcing innovations from all over the world and selecting a total of 138 new Top Innovators with highly promising solutions. In an effort to scale their work, UpLink is building around them a collaborative ecosystem of investors, experts and partners, and has been dedicated to facilitating visibility, event access and connection opportunities that can unlock their potential. The Impact Report 2021-2022 highlights how the UpLink platform enables these innovations, and showcases the individual and collective impact of Top Innovators – this collective impact is self-declared data which is reported as measured, verified and/or estimated. Over 2021-2022, Top Innovators protected or actively managed over 10 million hectares of natural habitat, restored more than 812,000 hectares, enabled the protection of over 3,000 species or returned them to their original habitats, reduced or prevented more than 2.8 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, and removed over 895,000 tonnes of waste pollution from terrestrial and aquatic habitats. In addition, Top Innovators focused on nature-based solutions reported the mobilization of $129 million in funding, which will support their expansion.

To conclude, the activities of the Centre for Nature and Climate were made possible with the joint commitment and active support of Forum Partners and many other stakeholders. Despite the COVID pandemic, the Centre hosted more than 90 events convening over 3,000 stakeholders and key champions. Additionally, the Centre launched 53 publications that provided insights and recommendations to support leaders in their strategy and action plans.

The Centre benefited from the contributions of four Hoffmann Fellows and nine Project/Platform Fellows seconded from Partners who worked on the Centre’s climate, circular economy, food, nature-based solutions, ocean, sustainable financing and technology agendas, alongside Forum staff. The Centre also partnered with 35 funders who provided CHF 24.5 million in direct funding for 15 initiatives. These additional funds enabled the Centre to increase and accelerate efforts to generate new insights, convene more meetings and events, and drive more action-based partnerships within regions and countries, as well as to catalyse innovation and test solutions towards environmental challenges. The source of funds was diverse, with 55% via governments, 33% via philanthropic organizations, 7% via academia, 4% via business and 1% via civil society/non-governmental organizations.

About Us



Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2023 World Economic Forum