The UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) is taking place from 7th- 19th December 2022 in Montréal, Canada following a two-year postponement due to COVID-19. Nature and climate are two sides of the same coin. COP 27 and its biodiversity equivalent COP 15 play important roles in advancing policy responses to the climate and nature crises and providing clarity for the private sector on global goals and pathways for action. COP15 has the potential to be the ‘Paris Moment for Nature’ as it brings to a close the negotiations for a post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, that should ensure biodiversity loss is halted and reversed by 2030, and we live in harmony with nature by 2050. PRI will be attending COP15 alongside a delegation of 34 signatories to elevate the financial sector’s voice and unpack the relevant developments for investors.
Climate change and biodiversity loss are inextricably linked challenges, which present systemic risk for investors. PRI recognises the important role investors can play in addressing these twin crises and supporting a sustainable future.
David Atkin, CEO
What is COP 15 and why does it matter?
The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is one of the three Rio Conventions set up in 1992, alongside the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The CBD will be hosting the second half of its 15th conference (COP15) this December in Montréal, Canada, after a 2-year postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is organised under the Presidency of the People’s Republic of China and is nature’s equivalent to the UN climate change conferences hosted by UNFCCC.
COP15 will conclude the negotiations for a post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, that should ensure biodiversity loss is halted and reversed by 2030, with a vision of living in harmony with nature by 2050. Many parties and stakeholders (including the private sector) have been calling for an ambitious post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework that will set the necessary global targets to support future action from policymakers, corporates and investors. This includes consideration of commitments and actions to ensure alignment of public and private financial flows and policy frameworks to deliver those targets. Consequently, COP15 has the potential to be the “Paris moment for nature”.
Climate and nature are intrinsically intertwined – climate change is a key driver of biodiversity loss, while deforestation accounts for 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions . Nature also has the potential to provide one-third of the necessary solutions and further build systemic resilience to adverse climate impacts, if implemented rapidly and at scale. PRI has encouraged investors to join the dots between the COP27 (UNFCCC) and COP15 (CBD) and to adopt a holistic approach in tackling the twin challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss . Some positive progress was made at COP 27 this year with the term ‘Nature Based Solutions and ecosystems approaches’ making it into the ‘COP 27 Cover Decision’ (a short document outlining the main outcomes of negotiations that member states wish to highlight).
To gain more understanding of the CBD, COP15 and the push for an ambitious post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, access the Financial Sector Guide for the Convention on Biological Diversity, developed by PRI in collaboration with CBD, UNEP FI, Business for Nature, and Finance for Biodiversity Pledge.
PRI’s role at COP15
Participating on the ground at COP15 will allow PRI to highlight the growing importance of tackling nature and biodiversity loss to manage financial risks and enhance returns, and the private sector’s call for the need for an ambitious post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework that creates the clarity and action to align all economic actors, including finance, to halt and reverse nature loss, and contribute to Nature-based Solutions to climate change, a fair and just transition, and other sustainable development challenges.
The most relevant events for investors will take place between 9 and 14 of December:
- Business & Finance focus days in the CBD Action Zone/Place Quebec – 9-11 December (smaller-scale engagement sessions);
- Business & Biodiversity Forum – 12-13 December (high-level plenaries);
- Finance Day – 14 December (high-level plenaries)- see livestream link below.
PRI is not organising any side-events but is supporting other organisations involved in those detailed above.
To attend COP15, investors must be part of the delegation of an organisation qualified in biodiversity conservation. PRI’s delegation includes 34 signatories. Although the deadline for all COP15 delegations has now passed, there are many other ways in which investors can still participate at COP15.
- Sign the “Moving Together on Nature” statement drafted by UNEP FI, PRI and the Finance for Biodiversity Foundation to showcase the appetite of the private financial sector for an ambitious global biodiversity framework. Signatures are being collected until 9th December.
- Watch the pre-COP15 webinar explaining the relevance of the conference for the financial sector.
- Follow the main conference schedule and the live sessions at cbd.int/live. Both the Business and Biodiversity Forum (12th-13th December) and Finance Day (14th December) will be livestreamed through the above link.
- Look out for the joint PRI and UNEP FI thought-leadership piece in early 2023 on the implications of the final post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework for the financial sector, translating the outcomes of the negotiations for signatories.
More information on opportunities to engage during COP15 will be updated as they become available.
Future PRI work
PRI is currently developing a Resilient Natural Systems programme, as a continuation and broadening of its previous work on Sustainable Commodities (focused on deforestation) and Biodiversity. This will include the development of a collaborative engagement programme on Resilient Natural Systems with an initial focus on forest loss and land degradation.
Additional relevant resources can be found below. To further join the dots between climate, nature and biodiversity, you can look at the key themes from COP27.