COP15: China presents biodiversity framework for approval |

COP15: China presents biodiversity framework for approval |

Chinese Environment Minister Huang Runqiu presented the proposed text of a new global agreement that would commit to protecting at least 30% of land, water and marine areas by 2030.

The draft of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework was released this morning as delegates gather on the penultimate official day of the COP15 biodiversity conference in Montreal.

The draft framework states that 30% of lands and waters conserved should include the areas most important for biodiversity and should include recognition of Indigenous territories where appropriate.

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The proposed deal also includes a commitment to mobilize at least US$200 billion a year from public and private sources to fund nature, and to reduce nature-harming subsidies by at least US$500 billion by 2030.

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The final draft comes after nearly two weeks of negotiations between 196 countries that are part of the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity. They seek a new agreement to stop human destruction of nature and begin to restore what has already been lost.

The United Nations says that three-quarters of the world’s land has been altered by human activities and that one million species are at risk of becoming extinct this century.

As the final hours of the talks approached, a sort of contest of gazes had erupted between developed and developing countries over how best to channel new funding for conservation efforts.

The new draft agreement proposes that developed countries commit to providing developing countries with at least $20 billion per year by 2025 and $30 billion per year by 2030.

Other goals of the agreement include reducing the impacts of pollution and invasive species, and ensuring that companies monitor and disclose the impact of their activities on biodiversity.

Click to play the video: 'COP15: Guilbeault says 'Let's give nature the Parisian moment it deserves''

COP15: Guilbeault says ‘Let’s give nature the Parisian moment it deserves’

A closed plenary with environment ministers or their designated negotiators will take place early Sunday afternoon, where Huang will seek approval of what he hopes will become the final text.

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The final adoption of the agreement could take place as early as Sunday evening.

Huang and Canada’s Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault said they were confident a deal was within reach at a joint press conference on Saturday afternoon.

China is officially the president of COP15 and as such oversees the negotiations. But the meeting itself was moved to Canada due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions in China.

The new agreement will be called the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, after the host cities.

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Montreal was the site chosen largely because the secretariat of the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity is based there.

The move gave Canada more leverage in the talks and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the country was clear when it agreed to host the event that China should help Canada achieve a very ambitious goal. .

Guilbeault worked in several venues to try to bring the deal to fruition. He held bilateral meetings on Saturday with several ministers from developed and developing countries.

Many saw the Montreal nature talks as an opportunity to do for conservation what the Paris climate talks in 2015 did to spur action on climate change. Guilbeault said it’s that kind of “bold deal” that’s needed.

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Click to play the video: 'COP15 |  Maritime Stewardship Council'

COP15 | Marine Stewardship Council

“We did that in Paris, we can do that here in Montreal,” he said. “The whole world is watching. We have the power to change the course of history. Let’s give nature the Parisian moment it deserves.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on December 18, 2022.

– With files from Mia Rabson in Ottawa and Sidhartha Banerjee in Montreal.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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