Non-state and sub-national actors (e.g. cities, regions and companies) are increasingly taking action to address biodiversity loss. They set up standards and commitments, provide funding, create and disseminate information, and execute projects on the ground. As part of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) decided to implement the ‘Sharm El-Sheikh to Beijing Action Agenda for Nature and People’. While there is general support for a voluntary commitment process, the question now is how the Action agenda should look like, what form voluntary commitments for biodiversity should take and if and how the action agenda could become a meaningful pillar in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. A recent study by the authors reveals the actual depth and breadth of biodiversity governance beyond the CBD. This contribution argues that lessons learned from the ongoing climate change action agenda should urgently be taken into account when further developing the biodiversity action agenda.