Stockholm (NordSIP) – The World will finally get down to the urgent business of building a framework for restoring biodiversity and the natural environment this December in Canada. Original plans for a 2020 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) to match the scale and impact of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement were scuppered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an effort to keep things moving, a first session of COP15 was conducted virtually through online meetings during October 2021. The plan was then to reconvene in face-to-face meetings at the original venue of Kunming, China later this year. Unfortunately, a resurgence of the virus in China led to strict lockdowns being reimposed, and the conference date being repeatedly shifted forwards. The decision has now been made for China to remain as chair of COP15, but to move the event to Montreal, Canada. It will take place between December 5 and 17, 2022, and will also be streamed online on CBD-Live.
NordSIP explored the economic significance of biodiversity and natural capital in a recent series of articles. Despite nature’s crucial role in climate change mitigation and adaptation, there has been considerable frustration at the slow pace of international efforts to build a solid framework for encouraging and financing nature positive activities. Many institutional investors are already taking the initiative to use existing analytical tools to measure the biodiversity footprint of their investment portfolio and begin to take remedial action. Nevertheless, there remains a monumental overall funding gap, with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) calling for investments in nature-based solutions to be at least tripled by 2030 and quadrupled by 2050.
It is therefore very welcome to have a firm date for COP15. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Open-ended Working Group on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework has been building on their sessions during COP15 part 1 in October 2021. They held meetings in Geneva during March this year, and will reconvene in Nairobi, Kenya between June 21 and 26. According to UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen, the mobilisation of private capital towards a nature-focused economy can generate USD 10 trillion in business value and create 395 million jobs by 2030. With that ambitious goal in mind, NordSIP will keep a close eye on developments in Montreal later this year.