The loss of biodiversity across the globe is a major contributing factor to climate change, and the need to protect and restore it will play a pivotal role in limiting global warming to 1.5°C, as per the Paris Agreement. Once again, nature and biodiversity will firmly be on the agenda at COP28 and the need to agree to global goals in this area to help tackle climate change.
It has already been reported that Brazil plans to propose a fund to pay for the conservation of tropical forests at COP28. If this comes to fruition, it would be further significant progress following the launch of the new Global Biodiversity Framework Fund, which aims to boost investments in nature and support indigenous communities in developing, and small island countries globally, as well as the United Nations’ call for contributions to help protect 30% of land and coastal areas by 2030.
One aspect of COP28 that is focusing on biodiversity is the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and which will be hosting the ‘Unite for Nature’ pavilion in the COP28 blue zone, providing a platform to showcase the collective work that the Union is currently carrying out. There is hope that momentum can be maintained from COP27 and the UN Biodiversity Conference last year with continued progress towards ecosystem protection and restoration.
The Forest and Climate Leaders Partnership was launched at COP27 to help accelerate the commitment made at COP26 to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation. This year we will want to see funding packages established to help finance plans from countries such as Brazil, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, to stop deforestation. Nature-based solutions can contribute greatly to mitigating climate change and work with nature to regenerate and restore ecosystems.
If COP28 can reach agreements on more specific targets and measures for nature conservation and biodiversity then that will be a huge success for the summit. This is something I am optimistic for with one of the four areas COP28 is focusing on being “Centering nature, people, lives & livelihoods”. This includes helping the most vulnerable communities adapt to climate change effects that are already occurring and working with them to achieve solutions that will be sustainable for the future.
Developments at COP28 are being closely monitored by our ESG team, with some of the key topics being discussed in our latest blog posts. Read our previous post on transport to learn more about what’s happening at this year’s summit.
About the author(s)
Ben Stansfield is one the UK's leading lawyers practising planning and environmental law. Ben is based in Gowling WLG's London office and brings with him a wealth of experience advising clients on the consenting and regulation of their projects and their compliance with environmental regulations and reporting standards.