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At COP15 on biodiversity, rich countries negotiate without portfolio

Tomorrow the preliminary negotiations for the COP15 on biodiversity will close

(Sustainabilityenvironment.com) – Unless there are last-minute surprises, the last round of negotiations ahead of COP15 on biodiversity will also make no significant progress. Everyone agrees on the general objectives. But as soon as we talk about money, the atmosphere in Geneva changes. In the Swiss city, the two-week discussion is closing to find an agreement in the UN framework on a global agreement for the protection of biological diversity. The deadline is tomorrow and, according to reports, the main problem remains the same as 15 days ago: who pays, and how much does he have to pay?

COP15 on biodiversity: who pays?

Resource mobilization at this meeting has become a thorny issue,” confides to AFP the Ghanaian academic Alfred Oteng-Yeboah, who has played a key role in international efforts to protect biodiversity.

It is a balancing act. At the global level money has continuously been a problem.”

The scenario is a copy of what regularly goes on stage during the climate negotiations. The richer countries are holding back on the figures and tend not to keep their promises, while the developing countries are pushing for a principle of fairness to pass and for damage to be paid in proportion. At COP26, the final agreement even struggles to name the expression “climate finance”. At the COP15 on biodiversity, there is no clarity on how much money to mobilize and in what form.

The text under discussion mentions, as a goal, “redirecting, reallocating, reforming or eliminating harmful incentives” for the environment, reducing them by at least 500 billion dollars a year. To this must be added an additional 200 billion a year (by 2030) of funds from scratch. International funding for developing countries would then have to be increased by USD 10 billion a year.

How much money do you need?

These are the proverbial crumbs compared to the amount of money needed to achieve the conservation objectives that the COP15 has set itself on biodiversity: protecting 30% of land and seas by 2030. According to an estimate published in The Nature in 2020, the amount needed exceeds 950 billion per year by 2030 – including cutting environmentally damaging subsidies (sad). And the gap in relation to the money made available today is the figure of 850 billion.

Is that even possible? In February, a B Team report estimated sad at $1.8 trillion a year (2% of global GDP), of which 80% was directed towards fossils, water, and agriculture. And he said they could easily cut $700 billion. The goal would be even more within reach if the richer countries played their part, says a coalition of environmental groups. The “Global North” should put at least 60 billion per year, they argue, largely to be allocated to developing countries. The figure reflects the negative impact on the biodiversity of the share of global trade that directly depends on wealthy countries.

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