The COP15 deals with the Convention on Biological Diversity, one of the three conventions agreed in Rio in 1992, along with climate and desertification. The reason why this particular meeting is so important is that we are renegotiating the framework. The last set of targets, agreed in 2010 in Aichi (Japan), came to an end in 2020 and have largely been missed. So we need to agree on a new global biodiversity framework.
The stakes could not be higher. So many issues will be negotiated and the new draft framework includes 20 targets from proposals to reduce pesticide use, address invasive species, reform and eliminate subsidies that are harmful to the environment, and especially increasing financing for nature from both public and private resources.
The new framework needs to be ambitious. Otherwise, we will end up in the same situation as we were in 2020 and won’t meet those 20 targets. It's also going to be addressing five key drivers of nature loss—the changing use of sea and land, overexploitation, climate change, pollution, and invasive species. The food system is also being addressed as a central point.
To move forward, an agreement needs to be reached on finance, including how much wealthy nations are going to support developing countries to finance the implementation of the framework. This is actually the key point, and that’s where the tensions lie. It’s the big obstacle to overcome before any agreement is reached. There are about 1 800 brackets on which we need to reach a consensus among all 196 signatories. But it is vital that an agreement is reached in Montreal so that the decline to our natural world is halted.
I am not super optimistic, but one of the biggest tensions is the divergent views on how much wealthy nations should contribute. Right now, the financing “ask” from developing nations is a minimum of 100 billion dollars a year, which is in line with the 100 billion dollars for climate finance. But the amount ranges from 100 billion to 700 billion dollars a year.
There have been some commitments from the EU, the Germans, the French, and the UK to double their financing, but at the moment, with the pledges that have been made, I think we are somewhere in the order of 40 to 60 billion a year.
So hope for a Paris moment on biodiversity is shaky.