Governments urged to support $100 billion biodiversity scheme

The COP15  biodiversity conference came to an end with a call for developed nations to fund the majority of a suggested $100 billion in global biodiversity finance.

As the event ended in Montreal, host nation Canada, announced CA $255 million in global biodiversity finance, throwing its weight behind the calls for global biodiversity finance around USD $100 billion, a figure first proposed by the Africa Group in 2020 and supported by many developing countries and China.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had opened the two-week event announcing a one-time CA $350 million commitment in new international finance for biodiversity protections. Canada then ended the event with their contribution to the global financing fund.

Environmental groups have called on the developed nations to take the lead on the financing warning many developing nations are in dire need of support to protect vital areas of biodiversity.

An Lambrechts, Greenpeace International delegation leader for COP15, said:
“It’s now up to wealthy nations to act. This position from Canada further highlights the serious biodiversity finance gap, and the EU and other Global North countries like Norway and Switzerland must step up. They’ve talked about global solidarity for two weeks now. Let’s see if they mean it. This needs to trigger a global shift towards adequate finance for biodiversity protection. There isn’t much time left at COP15.”

Reykia Fick, Greenpeace Canada Nature and Food Campaigner said: “Canada committing  to new funds to tackle the global biodiversity crisis is a positive first step and increases the pressure for other developed countries to put new, money on the table. However, considering US$100 billion annual deficit in global biodiversity funding identified by the Africa Group and like-minded countries, and an annual CA$600 million recommended by the Green Budget Coalition, this must only be a starting point towards Canada paying its fair share towards the ongoing, global effort to halt and reverse mass extinction.”

Li Shuo, Greenpeace East Asia senior policy advisor said: “Biodiversity protections will require adequate finance. Today’s announcement is a step in that direction. But more steps are necessary. For COP15 to be effective in protecting biodiversity, there must be more finance over the next two weeks and each commitment will be judged by its inclusion of direct funds for Indigenous Peoples.”

Since 2020, the African Union (a coalition of 55 CBD member states) with the support of many developing countries and China proposed a global biodiversity fund to finance protections in developing economies with at least $100 billion annually, rising to $700 billion yearly by 2030. During the first session of talks held in Kunming, China, in 2021, China pledged an initial $230 million.

Shuo, added: “What’s hindering COP15’s ambition is not a lack of willingness, but trust and solidarity. This COP is about bridging the Global North and South. So there is no more ‘them’ and ‘us’, but we all need this to work. An ambitious finance target and pledges to support immediate implementation must be the key deliverable at COP15. And it needs to start becoming visible in the next few days. The Chinese Presidency is well positioned to bring countries that can help and countries in need closer.”

Greenpeace said financial support for developing countries, Indigenous peoples, and the Global South is key. “Wealthy countries have not delivered funding to support a host of global targets, which have struggled for full support without funding attached”.

Iréne Wabiwa, Congo Basin international project leader, Greenpeace Africa said:
“Even if finance is available for governments, there can remain many hurdles for Indigenous Peoples to access direct funds. Any finance proposal here needs to set clear lines for direct funds for Indigenous Peoples. If we recognise Indigenous Peoples are the most capable and knowledgeable on biodiversity protection, then we need to directly finance their work on a global scale.”