Photo credit: UNFCCC 2022
Yesterday’s thematic day was all about biodiversity, just three weeks before the beginning of the biodiversity Cop15 in Montreal, Canada. The big news of the day was that the architects of the Paris agreement have urged world leaders to reach a similar deal for nature, warning world leaders that 1.5C is impossible without protecting ecosystems.
Discussions focused on the impacts of climate change on biodiversity – which is one of the big drivers of nature loss, adversely effecting oceans, endangered species and coral reefs for example. Delegates also debated sustainability of protected areas to deliver ecosystem services to humans, impacts of plastic waste on the aquatic ecosystems and species, ecosystem-based solutions and their link to climate change mitigation and adaptation. All agreed that their was a need for global action to halt biodiversity loss.
Suggested solutions and key announcements from the day include:
1. Investing in nature and natures infrastructure is key, asserted the UN Environment Programme. As well as protecting nations from high storms and providing a habitat for species, it also stores carbon ensuring nature has a key role to play in mitigation and adaption.
2. The launch of ‘Enhancing Nature-based Solutions for Climate Transformation (ENACT)’ by the COP27 Presidency. The aim of the group is to drive collection action across climate, biodiversity and desertification to help close the finance gap for nature-based solutions. Approximately $11 billion has been invested since COP26 but experts state the reality is trillions of dollars need to be invested to support and restore nature. ENACT will serve as a hub for government and non-governmental organisations to foster collaboration, accelerate action, facilitate policy dialogue and bring global coherence to activities.
3. Beat the Heat: Nature for Cool Cities Challenge. Cities in developing countries are invited to participate in the challenge by pledging to increase nature based solutions in their urban areas by 2030 and demonstrate tangible progress by 2025. Participants will be supported via funding, technical assistance, partnership opportunities, and communications support.
4. The UK joined the Global Offshore Wind Alliance (GOWA), along with Belgium, Colombia, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway and the US. The Alliance aims to be a global driving force for the uptake of offshore wind by bringing together governments, international organisations and the private sector to close the emissions gap and enhance energy security.
Meanwhile, negotiations around climate finance and a ‘loss and damage’ fund are in a precarious position at the time of writing. The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and other developing countries have stated that they are deeply concerned by the lack of progress on funding for loss and damage. Many other nations, including Ireland, and justice groups have echoed these concerns.
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