Cop27 must pave the way for “a Parisian moment” for nature, according to the UN

The outcome of COP27 will be crucial not only in tackling the climate crisis, but also in helping to secure a future for nature, the UN’s biodiversity chief said, outlining plans for “a Parisian moment for biodiversity” during the Cop15 in Montreal in December.

“It is clear that the world is crying out for change, watching as governments seek to heal our relationship with nature, with the climate,” said Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, executive secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), at a a press briefing on Thursday. “Scientists have told us unequivocally… that climate change and biodiversity loss are intrinsically linked and that is why we are looking at the [Cop15] like, basically, a Parisian moment for biodiversity.

In Paris in 2015, governments agreed for the first time on legally binding targets to limit global temperature rise, pledging to keep global warming well below 2°C, with the aspiration of no not exceed 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

At the Cop15 summit in December, hosted by China but hosted in Canada, governments are expected to agree a UN deal to stop the destruction of the natural world. Senior officials have warned that the nature deal – the UN CBD – depends on strong climate commitments.

“We are seeing more and more biodiversity agendas popping up in Cop climate talks,” Mrema said. “The results of COP27 will be decisive and will greatly influence the discussions and the specific objectives within the framework.”

David Cooper, Deputy Executive Secretary of the CBD, said the climate crisis is one of the main drivers of biodiversity decline. “If we don’t achieve positive results in the climate process, we cannot contain and reverse the loss of biodiversity…we depend on the success of the climate conference, but they also depend on the success of the climate conference. biodiversity,” he said.

Heads of state or government should not attend COP15, Mrema said. This confirms reports from last month that China did not invite world leaders, with suggestions Beijing was downplaying the crucial meeting so as not to embarrass Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is not expected to attend. the conference.

Many fear the absence of world leaders will diminish the importance of COP15, which already clashes with the World Cup. But Mrema said: “I think we have to be optimistic. I’m not worried at all. The leaders have made their commitments. We need them to really guide and educate their negotiators so that they come to Montreal with an open mind, ready to come to a consensus.

Twenty-one targets are being negotiated, including protecting 30% of land and seas by 2030, halving the rate of introduction of invasive species, reducing pesticides by two-thirds and disposal of plastic waste.

Other draft goals are to get businesses to consider and report on their impacts on biodiversity and to create a framework to reduce those impacts. There are also plans to increase funding for biodiversity protection – from all public and private sources – to at least $200 billion a year, and to redirect environmentally harmful agricultural subsidies.

The world negotiates biodiversity targets once a decade and governments will agree them for the 2020s at COP15 in December after more than two years of pandemic-related delays.

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