The COP15 negotiators are close on deal, after four years of negotiations
A potentially game changing agreement for the environment is on the verge of being reached at Cop15 in Montreal; however, there are worries that important issues are being neglected. This agreement could improve protection for Earth's vital ecosystems like the Amazon and Congo basin rainforests and can bring significant agricultural reforms too. And also could improve the protection of indigenous territories and rights.
After two weeks of intense discussions at the UN biodiversity summit in Canada, that followed four years of negotiations. Finally, the Chinese president of Cop15 presented its suggestions for a final accord.
Prior to the text's release, world leaders like the British prime minister, Rishi Sunak, and French President Emmanuel Macron called for a bold plan to address the 1 million species that are threatened with extinction.
In a meeting on 18th December 2022, delegation heads discussed the text; a plenary is scheduled for that evening, and talks are anticipated to run into the night. Huang Runqiu, the Cop15 president and China's environment minister, stated that he wanted the final text to be adopted by next day.
A few developing nations, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Brazil, and Malaysia, voiced dissatisfaction that a new dedicated fund for biodiversity had not been included in the final text and indicated they could not yet accept the wording suggested by China.
Plans to protect 30% of Earth for nature, reform $500 billion (£410 billion) in environmentally harmful subsidies, and stop ecosystem-damaging pollution by the end of the decade are all included in the package, which includes this decade's targets to stop the destruction of the planet's life-sustaining ecosystems.
If the deal is ratified, northern countries will contribute $30 billion annually for conservation effort by the end of the decade.
The primary accord, known as the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, contains 23 targets and four goals that all strongly emphasize on protecting indigenous rights and territory.
The package put out by the Chinese presidency includes ideas for developing a new finance structure for biodiversity to assist conservation efforts, located within the UN's Global Environment Facility.
According to environmental organizations and observers, if the agreement was fully implemented and supported by financial resources, it may mark the beginning of a significant shift in how humans interact with nature. However, they issued a warning that the current draft contains gaps and that nations have not met any prior UN biodiversity targets.
A proposal for mandatory disclosures was not included in the text, and the term "nature positive," which scientists said would be the biodiversity equivalent of "net zero," did not appear. As a result, some people expressed disappointment at the weaker-than-hoped language on consumption and business action on nature.
Additionally, the fact that there is no measurable goal for stopping extinctions until 2050 worries conservation organizations.
Another point of contention was the omission of the phrase "nature-positive," which many scientists felt should have been included to indicate the level of ambition that should be accepted.
Many global leaders expressed their views and their commitment for the noble cause. Some of the most remarkable voices have been that of - Espen Barth Eide, Norway’s climate and environment minister, Noelle Kumpel, head of policy at Birdlife International, Eva Zabey, the executive director of Business for Nature, EJ Milner-Gulland, biology professor at Oxford University, Eve Bazaiba, the DRC’s environment minister.