COP15: historic deal to halt biodiversity loss

Dec 20, 2022

Author: Miranda García (AEIDL)

Biodiversity is not only about protecting bees and trees. It’s about saving our life support systems. Healthy biodiversity means healthy mountains. Mountains are home to about half the world’s biodiversity hotspots and they are crucial to global water and food supply. However, biodiversity is seriously endangered by human and climatic reasons to the extent that today approximately 24,000 of the 28,000 species are at risk of extinction.  

In order to halt biodiversity destruction, nearly 200 countries have signed a historic deal: the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, delivered at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference COP15 on 19 December 2022.

This framework contains global goals and targets aiming to protect and restore nature for current and future generations, ensure its sustainable use as well as spur investments for a green global economy. Together with the Paris Agreement on climate, it paves the way towards a climate-neutral, nature-positive and resilient world by 2030.

Among the ambitious actions, the Kunming-Montreal biodiversity agreement includes:

  • Tackle climate change through nature-based solutions.
  • Sustainably manage areas under agriculture, aquaculture, fisheries, and forestry and substantially increase agroecology and other biodiversity-friendly practices.
  • Restore 30% degraded ecosystems globally (on land and sea).
  • Conserve and manage 30% areas (terrestrial, inland water, and coastal and marine).
  • Reduce nutrients lost to the environment by at least 50%.
  • Reduce pollution risks and negative impacts of pollution from all sources by 2030 to levels that are not harmful to biodiversity and ecosystem functions.
  • Reduce global footprint of consumption by 2030, including through significantly reducing overconsumption and waste generation and halving food waste.

As part of the agreement, the EU subscribed to an international solidarity package called the “Global Biodiversity Framework Fund”, particularly for the most vulnerable countries and the most biodiverse. The new Global Biodiversity Framework Fund established under the Global Environment Facility will be open to financing from all sources. 

The EU will play an essential role in the delivery of the Kunming-Montreal deal. In fact, the European Green Deal and the recently adopted law on deforestation-free supply chains put Member States at the forefront of this global economic transformation. 

What’s next?

As the negotiations of the new agreement have concluded, it is time for all countries to implement the framework through actions at regional, national and international level. 

Before the next COP in 2024, all countries have to prepare updated National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans as well as National Biodiversity Finance Strategies. The next COPs will consider if the cumulative impact of the national actions is sufficient to reach the global goals and targets for 2030 and 2050.

In parallel to policy action, countries and multilateral financial institutions will now work to mobilise financing.