New Literature Review on Climate and Biodiversity Nexus Out


The INTOSAI WGEA has published a literature review on Climate – biodiversity nexus: Relationship of climate change mitigation and biodiversity policy measures that was commissioned by the National Audit Office of Finland from the Finnish Environment Institute. As the nexus between climate change and biodiversity loss depends on ecosystems, the review studies the interrelationship from the perspective of four ecosystems: boreal forests, coral reefs, deserts/semi-deserts and arid/semi-arid grasslands, and freshwater ecosystems.

Climate change and biodiversity loss are major global threats of our time. Due to their interconnectedness, it is becoming increasingly evident that they must be addressed together. Biodiversity measures support climate change mitigation, whereas climate change mitigation can either support or hamper biodiversity. Therefore, a careful assessment of the potential negative biodiversity impacts of climate change mitigation measures is needed.

Currently, many SAIs are increasingly conducting performance audits on implementation of climate policies. To avoid a too narrow analysis, it is crucial that SAIs also pay attention to the impacts on biodiversity while making assessments on the implementation of climate policies.

The literature review affirmed the presupposition that climate change mitigation measures may carry adverse biodiversity impacts. The development of renewable energy (such as solar, wind, hydro and tidal/wave power) seems to affect all of the selected ecosystem types. Whilst renewable energy development is central for the transition away from fossil-based energy, these measures may also come with adverse biodiversity impacts. However, ecosystem-based mitigation measures were found to benefit both climate and biodiversity targets.

The literature review supports the ongoing INTOSAI WGEA project on Nexus Area: Biodiversity and Climate, led by SAI Canada.