It provides a unique opportunity for governments to agree on a framework and to realize a vision for 2050, “Living in Harmony with Nature,” which would be just as ambitious as the landmark Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Together with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the meeting will address the interlinked issues of the climate crisis and biodiversity loss. The UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) will be held 7-19 December 2022 in Montréal, Canada and is chaired by the People’s Republic of China.
Halting the loss of biodiversity deserves the same attention as climate action
Climate and nature are two sides of the same coin and both are in crisis. While climate change is a key driver of biodiversity loss, deforestation accounts for up to 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, nature remains key to solving these twin crises. Protection and restoration of forests and wetlands as well as better managed grazing lands and farmlands have the potential to provide a large part of the solutions, while at the same time building systemic resilience against the negative impacts of the climate crisis. After the UN Climate Change Conference COP27, ‘Nature-Based Solutions and ecosystem approaches’ were included in the summary outlining the main outcomes of negotiations.
The focus of COP15 will be the conclusion of the negotiations for a Global Biodiversity Framework. This should ensure the halt of biodiversity loss and its reversal by 2030 and envision a life in harmony with nature by 2050. Many public and private stakeholders have called for ambitious global targets as well as calls for the financial means and the policy frameworks to achieve these targets.
The CBD sets the framework for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and the sharing of benefits from using genetic resources.
The Convention on Biological Diversity was established in Rio in 1992 together with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). It currently counts 196 parties – 195 states and the European Union as a regional organization.
The CBD has three main objectives:
- The conservation of biological diversity.
- The sustainable use of the components of biodiversity.
- The fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources.
In addition to the strategic framework, which sets the global ambition and strategy to achieve the three convention objectives, the CBD has two supplementary agreements – called Protocols. These protocols also have an impact on business and financial activities. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety governs the cross-border movements of genetically modified organisms. The second protocol carries its purpose directly in its name: “The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising (ABS) from their Utilization”.
COP15 has the potential to be the “Paris moment” for nature.
The last two years have seen a lot of activity in the financial sector related to biodiversity and nature. Various frameworks are attempting to streamline the reporting and measurement of biodiversity dependencies and business impacts, and the Convention on Biological Diversity framework is eagerly anticipated. It will provide governments, businesses and financial institutions with a high-level guideline to agree on how we can all protect and restore nature. The UN Biodiversity Conference COP15 now has the potential to deliver the “Paris moment” for nature.
Financial institutions hold the biggest lever for biodiversity
The Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework aims to mobilize the global community to protect and restore nature. It will serve as an overarching strategy for governments at all levels, businesses, public and private finance as well as civil society, providing coherent guidance and support to conserve, restore, and sustainably use biodiversity and ecosystems. It will result in actions, policies and regulations at the regional and national levels that will have a direct impact on the operations of corporations, banks, asset managers, asset owners and insurance companies. Key elements of the agreement will impact how businesses and the financial sector operate and how they can transform their business models. The agreement has the potential to open new business opportunities and will help create a level playing field and a stable operating environment for the financial sector around the world. Like the Paris Agreement, the framework will be received by many investor associations to assess and report on impacts on biodiversity loss and nature.
What does radicant do?
radicant orients itself on the UN Agenda 2030 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Two of the SDGs, SDG 14 and SDG 15, address biodiversity and many more are impacting and impacted by biodiversity loss. Therefore, radicant has joined two important initiatives:
- COP15 Business Statement for Mandatory Assessment and Disclosure, aims to call on heads of state to adopt “mandatory requirements for large and transnational businesses and financial institutions to assess and disclose their impacts and dependencies on biodiversity, by 2030.”
- UNEP FI Financial Sector Statement on Biodiversity for COP15, states that financial institutions realize the threat of biodiversity loss and as a result “commit to contribute to the protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems through our financing activities and investments”.
For radicant, biodiversity is a key topic, which we aim to advance by further developing our own SDG Methodology. Based on our SDG Methodology, radicant enables you to invest into companies that provide solutions and contribute to the achievement of the SDGs.
- Read more about biodiversity
- More information about the radiTheme Healthy Ecosystems