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  • Contamination of the environment with plastics is one of the most widespread and long-lasting human influences on our planet. There is an urgent need to comprehensively evaluate the environmental plastics cycle and advance understanding of key transport and fate mechanisms to minimize human exposure to plastics pollution.

    • Kevin V. Thomas
    Comment
  • In the coming months, Nature Sustainability will be publishing a series of World Views from diverse scholars to stimulate further thinking and dialogue within the community.

    Editorial
  • Water research has fallen into a ‘techno optimism’ that tries to solve all problems despite not asking fundamental questions, according to Stephanie Pincetl of the University of California, Los Angeles. She talks to Nature Sustainability about the challenges facing the field and science writ large.

    • Ryan Scarrow
    Q&A
  • Dr Shailja Vaidya Gupta is Senior Adviser at the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India. She tells Nature Sustainability about the challenges of climate negotiations from her country’s perspective, views are her own.

    • Aiora Zabala
    Q&A
  • As the climate crisis continues its deadly course, how much longer will it take for world leaders to act?

    Editorial
  • Our food system reflects and affects our values. Recognizing and understanding the power of those often unstated value systems is critical for avoiding a range of disasters.

    Editorial
  • Rain and drought have seized the world’s attention, showing the importance of water studies for society. But what if the field is not pursuing the most critical research?

    Editorial
  • Multiple policy tools are needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Åsa Persson, from the Stockholm Environment Institute and a member of the Independent Group of Scientists working on the 2023 United Nations Global Sustainable Development Report, speaks to Nature Sustainability about the complexity of research comparing the impacts of policy instruments.

    • Aiora Zabala
    Q&A
  • Nature Sustainability welcomes research comparing the performance of environmental policy instruments to better inform the choice of policies and ultimately help to bridge the science–policy gap.

    Editorial
  • Natural capital accounting will confirm what we know — without change, we are headed for environmental disaster resulting from economic growth. We propose a natural capital bank, a new institution to help maintain natural capital adequacy and chart a course to a sustainable future via accounting.

    • Michael J. Vardon
    • Heather Keith
    • David B. Lindenmayer
    Comment
  • Scientific evidence sheds light on the extent, source and type of litter in the oceans, as well as on the limited efforts to clean it up so far. As we rely on healthy oceans for our future, it’s time to act.

    Editorial
  • A Global Pact for the Environment is gathering pace to become a binding international agreement. Yann Aguila, Sciences Po, and Jorge Viñuales, University of Cambridge, talk to Nature Sustainability about its global significance and potential, and about the importance of social support to make it happen.

    • Aiora Zabala
    Q&A
  • As transitioning to a more sustainable energy system is imperative, Nature Sustainability and Tongji University launch an Expert Panel to shed light on the integrative research efforts needed to develop the next generation of batteries.

    Editorial
  • Sustainably transitioning to electric vehicles is challenging where transport and electricity systems are poorly defined due to a lack of data, such as those dominated by paratransit (informal, privately owned ‘public’ transport). We call for a more systemic approach to data collection as a key enabler for this transition.

    • Katherine A. Collett
    • Stephanie A. Hirmer
    Comment
  • Consensus on carbon accounting approaches at city-level is lacking and analytic frameworks to systematically link carbon mitigation with the Sustainable Development Goals are limited. A new accounting approach anchored upon key physical provisioning systems can help to address these knowledge gaps and facilitate urban transitions.

    • Anu Ramaswami
    • Kangkang Tong
    • Karen C. Seto
    Comment
  • Awaiting the Fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to be held in China late in 2021, Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary to the CBD, talks to Nature Sustainability about the challenges of stepping up efforts to address biodiversity decline.

    • Monica Contestabile
    Q&A
  • The delayed Tokyo Olympics were promised to be an example of how to stage an ecologically and socially responsible mega-event, but historical evidence and current trends suggest this may not be possible.

    Editorial