The UN Science-Policy-Business Forum for the Environment (UN-SPBF) convened for a special session in parallel to the sixth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-6). The event highlighted the latest scientific research, examples of enabling policies, innovative financial instruments, and numerous illustrative cases of solutions and practices to spur more meaningful multistakeholder collaboration to tackle current and future challenges.

Meeting on 27 February 2024 in Nairobi, Kenya, the UN-SPBF’s Special Session explored how working in tandem, science, policy, and business can deliver environmental impacts while fostering social equity and intergenerational justice. The Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) summary report of the meeting notes that speakers “imagined a world” where: net-negative financial flows amounting to trillions of dollars each year are invested in nature-based solutions (NbS); generative artificial intelligence (AI) bridges global knowledge gaps by supporting contextualized solutions at the local level; and technology mimics natural processes to develop genuinely biodegradable materials.

Outlining her expectations for the meeting, UN-SPBF Executive Secretary Shereen Zorba said Forum participants “hold the knowledge, power, and influence ‘to create the impact we desire and the world we want – one where the planet thrives, the people prosper, and no one is left behind.’”

Representatives from governments, industry, finance, and civil society explored sector-wide transformations, economic and financial tools, and integrated early warning systems, sharing innovative ideas and lessons learned, to shape the discussions at UNEA-6 and beyond.

Speakers highlighted actionable strategies across sectors, including housing, mobility, energy, and food systems, with an emphasis on justice, equity, and sustainability. They emphasized the potential of sustainable consumption, circular economy, and resource efficiency to significantly reduce carbon emissions and promote environmental resilience.

On financial tools and market integrity to mobilize finance for NbS, participants called for quadrupling funding for NbS and other global environmental targets by 2050, enhancing the integrity of carbon markets, and promoting high-integrity mechanisms to support sustainable development and biodiversity conservation. They stressed the need for inclusive decision-making processes and empowering future generations to become agents of change.

Discussions further highlighted early warning systems and Early Warning for Environment as fundamental accelerators for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Forum concluded with calls for transformative actions, mindset shifts, and cooperation-based models to ensure a sustainable and equitable future for all, with speakers emphasizing the importance of personal commitment, leadership, and systemic changes to achieve environmental goals. [ENB Coverage of UN-SPBF at UNEA-6] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on UNEA-6]