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COP27 Daily Insights: Day 10 - Biodiversity Day

By Tim Le Couilliard
16 November 2022
Green & Good (ESG and Impact)

Today marked Biodiversity Day at COP27 – a topic so important that next month there is a whole COP dedicated to the subject (COP15). Several key announcements have been made in Sharm El-Sheikh, but the world will no doubt be hoping that greater progress and commitments are made in Montreal, where COP15 is being held. Integral to achieving the promise of the Paris Agreement made in 2015, taking urgent action to halt and reverse the loss of nature this decade is essential.

Since COP26, when several agreements on nature restoration and conservation were reached, c.$11 billion has been committed to nature. The message from delegates and campaigners attending COP27 is that its “trillions not millions” that are needed to finance nature-positive investments in the developing world. 

Today, the COP27 Presidency launched the Enhancing Nature-based Solutions (NbS) for Climate Transformation (ENACT). To date, the fledgling NbS sector has not been governed by an international policy framework and therefore ENACT will serve as a hub to foster collaboration between public and private investors and make nature-based solutions more appealing to would-be investors.

The UK Government used today to announce £30m of seed funding to the newly launched Big Nature Impact Fund. The public-private fund will seek to unlock “significant” private investment into nature projects in the UK, such as new tree planting or restoring peatlands. From 16th November, the fund, managed by Federated Hermes and Finance Earth, will start to engage with private investors to help fund green projects around the country. 

Other announcements today included:

  • The launch of the High-Quality Blue Carbon Principles and Guidance on how to create high-quality blue carbon projects and credits.
  • The Launch of Beat the Heat: Nature for Cool Cities Challenge where cities in developing countries pledge to increase Nature-based Solutions in their urban areas by 2030.
  • Nine countries, including the UK and the US, joined the Global Offshore Wind Alliance (GOWA), an organisation dedicated to increasing the uptake of offshore wind.

Discussions at COP27 have begun to move onto carbon removal. Much of the discussion has underscored that carbon removal is now essential, required in large volumes, and needed quicker than previously thought. One of the biggest ongoing contentious issues is who pays for the loss and damage funding, particularly for countries that cannot avoid or adapt to the climate crisis. There have been increasing calls over the past few years for climate reparations to be integrated into the solution in the climate emergency fight.

Lula, the President-Elect of Brazil, addressed today’s summit to underline his contrasting approach to his predecessor Jair Bolsonaro to nature preservation and biodiversity. His visit is a bid to restore Brazil’s climate credibility, and COP27 is his first international occasion since being elected on 31st October. Speaking to cheering crowds Lula’s simple message was that “Brazil is back on the world’s stage”.

Lula made sweeping promises to ramp up environmental law enforcement and create green jobs which do not come at the expense of the destruction of the rainforest. Already at this COP, the Brazil delegation has formed a jungle conservation alliance between Brazil, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the three largest rainforest nations.

With just weeks before the COP15 summit begins, the draft of a hoped-for biodiversity deal (dubbed “the Paris Agreement for Nature”) has yet to be finalised.

Campaigners and delegates had hoped that there would be a strong statement on biodiversity at COP27 before they head to the Montreal conference next month. Although that hasn’t happened, there have been encouraging signs of progress on nature and biodiversity issues at Biodiversity Day COP27.