After years of delay due to the global pandemic, the brackets have been broken in the text of the Global Biodiversity Framework. The Kunming-Montreal Agreement has been adopted by governments at COP15 who rallied together in the final hours to set us on a path to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030.
The historic framework will catalyze action to reverse nature loss through contributions and implementation from across society. Business accountability sits at the heart of the framework and all parts of the economy are included.
The framework ensures the full integration of biodiversity and its multiple values into policies, regulations, planning and development processes, poverty eradication strategies, and environmental impact assessments, within and across all levels of government and across all sectors.
Through the adoption of Target 15 within the framework, which was backed by unprecedented support from companies around the world, a clear signal has been sent to all large and transnational businesses and financial institutions. They will be required by governments to assess and disclose their impacts and dependencies on nature by 2030. Crucially, this will apply across their operations, supply and value chains and portfolios.
Assessment and disclosure will create fair competition for businesses, increase accountability, engage investors, empower consumers, involve SMEs through supply chains and help ensure the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities.
While a numerical target for businesses to reduce negative impacts by half was not included in the text, the Capitals Coalition welcomes the final outcome on Target 15. It is a strong signal to businesses from governments that requirements on nature-related assessment and disclosure are on the horizon and that business as usual is no longer acceptable.
The framework is also guided by a clear mission to halt and reverse the loss of nature by 2030, alongside a strong target to reform environmentally harmful subsidies. Target 18 which covers these subsidies, ensures a reduction of at least US$ 500 billion per year by 2030 in public money flowing to activities that damage the natural world. Nature has never been so high on the corporate agenda.
The Coalition welcomes the recognition that business as usual destroys value across the capitals and that large scale action will be required from across society and the global economy.
While the new framework offers hope that we can reset our broken relationship with nature, it is imperative that national implementation starts today and that corresponding resources are mobilized immediately to ensure effective delivery . We commend all 196 Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity for their commitments, flexibility, collaboration and leadership.
A note on language: The use of the language in Target 15 “ensure that large business and financial institutions” and “including with requirements” creates an obligation on governments to require all large companies to assess and disclose their risks, impacts and dependencies on nature.