CEO Statement: ‘With everything at stake, COP28 must be more than just words’

As science suggests window to limit warming to +1.5C is narrowing, tangible progress must take precedent over politics – because every action matters

Sunrise witnessed from Attic Window, a popular scenic spot in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina
Sunrise at Attic Window Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina © © Jim Magruder

Media Contacts

In just a few days, world leaders will come together in Dubai to coordinate global climate action for the next year at UN Climate Change Conference COP28.

As we experience the increasingly unprecedented repercussions of a changing climate – from catastrophic wildfires and floods, to scorching temperatures – it’s clear that every action matters if we are to accelerate solutions and avert disaster.  

This COP has added significance because it comes on the heels of the first-ever official UN report card on the world’s climate progress – the Global Stocktakewhich laid out in stark detail the current gulf between ambition and action.

As countries work to strengthen and align their national climate action plans, The Nature Conservancy will be at the forefront of negotiations – pushing for the equitable phase-out of fossil fuels to achieve net zero by 2050 or sooner.

Commenting on the outcomes she wants to see from COP28, Jennifer Morris – CEO of The Nature Conservancy, one of the world’s largest environment non-profit organizations – said:

“It’s been eight years since the historic Paris Agreement and the first official report card on climate action, the Global Stocktake, is clear – we must increase our ambition and put an emphasis on action. COP28 is the moment we need to make a shift from words to a demonstrated will.

“The Nature Conservancy wants to see an unrelenting focus on driving down greenhouse gas emissions – and harnessing the carbon-storing power of nature – while also tripling global renewable energy capacity by 2030. Collective action means accelerating adaptation to build secure, climate-resilient communities across the world – not just in the wealthiest countries – while also steering financial flows towards outcomes that deliver for people and nature. When we put a real value on nature, everyone benefits.”

“Specifically, The Nature Conservancy is hoping to see the following actions: -

  • Embed nature in the Global Stocktake: there is no credible way to net-zero emissions without including nature as a solution.
  • Triple global renewable energy capacity by 2030 in ways that support climate, nature conservation, and communities.
  • Increase inclusivity and equity in climate policy processes: traditionally marginalized groups, like IPLCs, steward 80% of the world's cultural and biological diversity, and their involvement is crucial in shaping nature-positive solutions and climate policies.
  • Deliver major investment packages and nature-related commitments to include the Mangrove and Coral Reef Breakthroughs, the Freshwater Challenge, and the Emirates Accord.
  • Ensure nature’s role is clear in the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA): there should be clear metrics to showcase nature’s role in adaptation and how it benefits people and planet.
  • Increase financial pledge implementation, including the New Quantified Climate Finance Goal: The renewed $100 billion pledge should go further and include both private and public sector financing.
  • Dramatically increase private investment and build upon existing public funds to grow climate finance to scale and incorporate climate change into how our global economy functions.
  • Ensure increased guarantees for nature and climate financing to help countries manage debt and fund nature and climate initiatives to magnify the finance available and harness the power of large development organizations.
  • Immediate action on Loss and Damage to ensure climate-vulnerable and low-income populations are able to address impacts that disproportionately affect them.
  • Responsibly develop carbon markets: we need high integrity carbon crediting by developing Article 6 rules on risk management, improving the quality of nature-based credits, and ensuring transparent reporting.

“We must commit to policy processes that are both inclusive and equitable, ensuring that traditionally marginalized groups are involved in shaping and benefiting from nature-positive solutions and climate policies. World leaders – across government, civil society and corporate entities – must deliver major investment packages, increase pledges, execute much-needed reforms, and leverage financial tools to embed and de-risk climate action to support the global economy.

“At COP28, The Nature Conservancy calls upon the hosts, world leaders and negotiators to deliver decisive progress in Dubai. We may be at one minute to midnight, but tomorrow can still be a new day.”

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. The Nature Conservancy is working to make a lasting difference around the world in 77 countries and territories (41 by direct conservation impact and 36 through partners) through a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on X.