Thoughts from Sustainability Group at abrdn – three things COP15 needs to achieve

by | Dec 7, 2022

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As the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) kicks off in Canada, Ann Meoni, Senior Sustainability Analyst, abrdn shares her thoughts on the three things she hopes will be achieved:

A Global Biodiversity Framework with a set target

There has been talk of halting biodiversity loss by 2030 and reversing by 2050. Sadly, we’ve been here before with the Aichi targets, and things are worse 12 years on. People have spoken about a ‘Paris moment’ for nature. That Paris moment was when we achieved a global agreement to keep the temperature rise caused by climate change to well below 2 degrees. There are two issues with this: 

1.      That temperature constraint is looking highly unlikely, so we need more than a ‘Paris Moment’ – we need an action framework too. Biodiversity loss will be increased as global temperatures rise. 

 

2.      Nature is more complicated than climate – a single target such as the temperature target is therefore unlikely, currently there are 22 targets to be discussed and agreed on. 

Businesses & disclosure

The 15th target of those 22 targets is the one of most interest to businesses generally – and it’s around disclosure. The beta TNFD framework has been published and is gaining a lot of traction. There are a number of initiatives – including those we are signatories to (Finance for Biodiversity and Business for Nature) calling on global policy makers to make this disclosure mandatory. This feels the most likely target to get agreement. 

 

The role of Finance

Financial support from wealthier countries will be required to help develop solutions in emerging economies. We need a public policy framework that helps support both public and private finance to transition away from economic development that causes harm to nature to one that helps restore nature.  The policy framework needs to remove the current environmentally harmful subsidies given to certain economic activity (target 18). But also needs to scale up the finance for nature positive outcomes – it’s likely there will be a lot of talk about nature-based solutions and new finance mechanisms. The role of nature-based solutions was already highlighted at COP27.

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