150 financial institutions, managing more than $24 trillion, call on world leaders to adopt ambitious Global Biodiversity Framework at COP15 | News and press

  • Signatories call on governments to adopt a post-2020 global biodiversity framework that will ensure halting and reversing nature loss by 2030.
  • The signatories commit to work within their own organizations to support the effective alignment of the vision proposed by the Convention on Biological Diversity to “live in harmony with nature by 2050”.

Today, 150 financial institutions, representing more than $24tn in assets under management, called on world leaders to adopt an ambitious post-2020 global biodiversity framework at the UN Biodiversity Conference COP15.

Coordinated by the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), and the Finance for Biodiversity Foundation, the statement calls on governments worldwide to adopt a post-2020 global biodiversity framework. Economic actors, including financial institutions, to take action to stop and reverse the loss of nature.

The statement comes as world leaders at COP15 discuss plans to address biodiversity loss by 2030. Globally, human drivers are causing unprecedented damage to the natural environment, resulting in the extinction of more than a million animal and plant species, the first in human history.

Signatories to the statement include leading firms from across the investment industry, including: AXA Group, Legal & General Investment Management, Manulife Financial Corporation, Fidelity International, Groupe Law Bank Postal, Shinhan Financial Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management, and UBS Bank.

A 2019 report by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) emphasizes that biodiversity loss must be halted and reversed by 2030 and on a path to recovery by 2050 to ensure the future viability of our ecosystems. Such a step is essential to ensure the security of investments going on around the world. A 2020 report by the World Economic Forum indicates that more than half of the world’s total gross domestic product is moderately or heavily dependent on nature and its ecosystems. Unprecedented biodiversity loss on the scale we are currently facing poses a significant threat to global growth and economic security.

Investors are calling on governments to adopt measures within the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, which sets a clear mandate for aligning financial flows with global biodiversity conservation, such as (legally binding) Article 2.1(c) within the Paris Agreement. International Agreement on Climate Change). The ambitious post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework should also support assessment and disclosure of nature-related impacts and dependencies; and provide clear goals and definitions to take action and support the development of a pipeline of nature-positive projects and investments.

David Atkin, CEO of The Principles for Responsible Investment, said: Climate change and biodiversity loss are inextricably linked challenges that present systemic risk to investors. Through this statement, the investment community has demonstrated its commitment to support global efforts to prevent and reverse biodiversity loss. It is essential that governments adopt a global biodiversity framework so that all economic actors can move together on nature.

Eric Asher, Head of UNEP FI, ​​said: “At COP 15, we have a real opportunity to repair our broken relationship with the Earth through nature. Nature loss is a systemic problem that will take economy-wide efforts to solve. With this statement, financial institutions have shown leadership in addressing the biodiversity challenge and committed to nature and climate goals. Ambitious post-2020 Global We are pleased to see momentum building across the economic community to adopt the Biodiversity Framework and excited to see more and more leading organizations commit to halting and reversing nature loss.

Anita De Harde, Co-Founder and Financial Coordinator, Biodiversity Foundation said: We are witnessing a growing movement; Biodiversity is a concern for financial institutions of all sizes and types around the world. But voluntary action is not enough to change practices across the economic sector that protect and restore biodiversity at the necessary scale and scale. We need parties to support the alignment of financial flows with the goals and targets of the Global Biodiversity Framework. That way governments should start acting on policy and regulatory measures and create an environment that encourages the financial sector to start reversing the loss of nature this decade.

John Eric Sagested, Signatory and CEO of Storebrand Asset Management said:“The private finance sector is critical if we are to deliver the urgent action needed to halt and reverse biodiversity loss this decade. Some financial institutions are already taking important steps to address biodiversity loss, but voluntary actions alone are not sufficient to change practices across the economic sector to protect and restore biodiversity at the rate and scale required. The Global Biodiversity Framework therefore creates an impetus for governments to create an enabling environment that supports and scales actions from the economic sector to reverse biodiversity loss this decade.

Caroline Le Meux, Amundi’s Global Head of ESG Research, Engagement and Voting said: In the race to net zero, the financial sector must not forget biodiversity. We recognize the importance of biodiversity that forms the foundation of our economy. Science is clear that we only have a decade to halt and reverse biodiversity loss. We support the establishment of the ambitious and post-transition 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework and continue to work towards our own biodiversity commitments as outlined in the Biodiversity Pledge.

Notes to the editor

A full list of the 150 signatories to the statement is available here.

About the Principles of Responsible Investment:

The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) is the world’s leading proponent of responsible investment. Supported by the United Nations, it works to understand the investment impacts of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors and to support its international network of investor signatories to include these factors in their investment and ownership decisions. PRI acts in the long-term interests of its signatories, the financial markets and economies in which they operate, and ultimately the environment and society as a whole. Launched in New York in 2006, PRI has grown to more than 5,000 signatories, managing more than US$121 trillion. For more information visit www.unpri.org

About the United Nations Environment Program financing initiative:

The United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is a partnership between UNEP and the global financial sector to mobilize private sector finance for sustainable development. UNEP FI works with more than 400 members – banks, insurers and investors – and more than 100 supporting organizations – to help create a financial sector that serves people and the planet while delivering positive impacts. UNEP FI aims to inspire, inform and enable financial institutions to improve people’s quality of life without compromising future generations. By leveraging the role of the UN, UNEP FI accelerates sustainable financing. For more information visit: https://www.unepfi.org/about/

About Biodiversity Foundation Finance:

The Finance for Biodiversity Foundation—a confederation of 111 financial institutions representing 20 countries and over €16 trillion in assets—has now signed the Finance for Biodiversity Pledge, which calls on global leaders to commit to reversing nature loss and protecting and restoring biodiversity. Their financial activities and investments. The foundation runs several working groups to promote knowledge and collaborative action on biodiversity among financial institutions and is an observer to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) from 2021. Co-lead financial institutions in the Public Policy Advocates Working Group to advocate for an ambitious GBF by participating in the CBD’s open-ended working group meetings in 2021 and 2022. For more information visit www.financeforbiodiversity.org


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