Ecosystems across the globe are vulnerable to the effects of climate change, as are the communities that depend on them. However, ecosystems can also protect people from climate change impacts. As the evidence base strengthens, nature-based solutions (NbS) are increasingly prominent in climate change policy, especially in developing nations. Yet intentions rarely translate into measurable, evidence-based targets. As Paris Agreement signatories revise their Nationally Determined Contributions, we argue that NbS are key to meeting global goals for climate and biodiversity, and we urge researchers to work more closely with policy-makers to identify targets that benefit both people and ecosystems.