As the UN Biodiversity COP15 officially opens, more than 1,000 businesses with revenues of $4.7 trillion USD, operating in 65 countries and employing more than 11.2 million people are urging governments to adopt policies now to reverse nature loss this decade. This is coupled with an open letter to Heads of State signed by the CEOs of leading companies featured in this Guardian article. CEOs from companies including FirstRand, H&M, Holcim, Mahindra Holidays & Resorts, Natura &Co, Rabobank, Sintesa Group, Suzano, Unilever, Wipro and Yara International recognize their responsibility to reject a “business as usual” mindset and to transform their business models to operate within planetary boundaries.
As well as taking decisive action within their own businesses to reverse nature loss by 2030, these CEOs call on governments to use the political momentum from the G7 Nature Communique and the Leaders Pledge for Nature to adopt at COP15 a Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework that is meaningful and actionable by everyone.
At COP 15, they call on governments to:
This call follows recent and widespread calls from NGOs, faith groups, local and regional governments, Indigenous Peoples, academics, youth, business coalitions and artist for a more ambitious agreement at COP15 and an announcement last week from a group of philanthropists who pledged a record US$5 billion to nature conservation and restoration.
We welcome the Kunming Declaration as a strong political signal, but the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework must be strengthened, improved and refined to ensure we transform our economic and financial systems and reverse nature loss by 2030. Business for Nature has developed a set of specific suggestions for negotiators to include in the Framework.
At the CBD COP15 opening high-Level Segment, Roberto Marques, Executive Chairman and CEO of Natura &Co, addressed Heads of State and ministers asking them “to build together an agreement on nature, analogous to the Paris Agreement on climate change, to ensure nature is properly valued.”
Jean-Jacques Barbéris, executive committee member of Amundi speaking on behalf of the Finance for Biodiversity foundation added: “Yes, we are actually calling for more regulation. We strongly believe that the Global Biodiversity Framework should include an explicit expectation for businesses and private and public financial institutions to align activities and financial flows to the global biodiversity goals and targets, supported by appropriate regulatory measures and financial incentives.”
Putting nature on the map at COP 26
Nature must be placed firmly on the agenda at COP26 in November. Governments, businesses and financial institutions increasingly recognize we must reverse nature loss by 2030, whilst also halving emissions this decade to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
We need to embrace high-quality nature-based solutions that benefit people’s livelihoods, health, biodiversity as well as tackling climate change.
Governments need to put nature and climate at the heart of policymaking and by doing so support businesses to deliver a swift transition to an equitable, nature-positive and net-zero future.