Montreal: Around 150 financial institutions have called on the world leaders to adopt an ambitious post -2020 global biodiversity framework at the UN Biodiversity Conference COP15.
The call was made during the ongoing COP15 conference, which is underway in Montreal in Canada, where world leaders of 196 countries are gathered to agree upon a new set of goals and targets that will guide global action through 2030.
According to UN, an estimate that more than 500 species of land animals are on the brink of extinction, one in eight bird species are threatened and 40 percent of the world ‘s plant species are at risk.
Coordinated by the United Nations-backed Principal for Responsible Investment (PRI), the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEPFI), and the Finance for Biodiversity 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework for economic actors, including financial institutions, to take action to halt and reverse nature loss.
Signatories to the Statement include leading firms from across the investment industry, including, AXA Group, Legal and General Investment Management, Manulife Financial Corporation, Fidelity International, Groupe La Banque Postale, Shinhan Financial Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management, and UBS Bank.
The 2019 report by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services (IPBES) stresses that biodiversity loss must be halted and reversed by 2030 and brought on a path of recovery by 2050, to ensure future viability of our ecosystems.
A 2020 report from the World Economic Forum indicates that more than half of the world’s total gross domestic product is moderately or highly dependent on nature and its ecosystems.
“Unprecedented biodiversity loss, on the scale we currently face, would entail significant threat to global growth and financial security,” said the statement.
David Atkin, CEO of The Principles for Responsible Investment, said, “Climate change and biodiversity loss are inextricably linked challenges, which present systemic risk for investors. Through this Statement, the investment community itself has demonstrated a commitment to support global efforts to halt and reverse biodiversity loss. It is essential for governments to adopt an enabling global biodiversity framework so that all economic actors may move together on nature”
“We are delighted to see momentum building up across the financial community to call for the adoption of an ambitious post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, and are excited to see more and more leading institutions committing to halt and reverse nature loss” said Eric Usher, Head of UNEP FI.
Anita de Horde, Co-founder and Coordinator of Finance for Biodiversity Foundation, said, “We are witnessing a growing movement; biodiversity is becoming a concern for financial institutions of all sizes and types across the world. But voluntary action alone will be insufficient to change practices across the financial sector in a way that protects and restores biodiversity at the rate and scale required”.
Investors are calling on governments to adopt measures within the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework which would set a clear mandate for the alignment of financial flows with the preservation of global biodiversity, like Article 2.1(C) did within the Paris Agreement (a legally binding international treaty on climate change).
An ambitious post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework should also support the assessment and disclosure of nature-related impacts and dependencies; and provide clear targets and definitions to take action and support the development of a pipeline of nature-positive projects and investments.