Post 2020 Framework Adopted In UNCBD COP 15
Almost 200 countries agreed to set of goals and targets to “halt and reverse” biodiversity loss by the end of the decade. The landmark deal was reached after two weeks of often tense talks in Montreal at the UN biodiversity summit, known as COP15.
Observers hope that a strengthened mission, measurable targets and an “enhanced implementation mechanism” mean that the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), as it is formally known.
Occurring two years later than planned due to the global pandemic, COP15 was characterised by the city’s frigid winter temperatures and sometimes-frosty negotiations.
Tensions were high throughout the summit, with developed countries wanting to ratchet up the framework’s ambition, while developing countries sought assurance that developed countries would devote sufficient resources to allow them to do so.
The final deal, reached in the early hours of Monday 19 December, included the oft-repeated headline target of “30×30” – an ambition to conserve 30% of the world’s land and 30% of the ocean by 2030.
A second “30×30” goal also made it into the final package, with developed countries agreeing to mobilise $30bn for developing countries by 2030.
But tensions flared once again after COP15 president Huang Runqiu appeared to gavel through the deal despite objections from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, leaving observers to wonder whether the “consensus” deal could legally stand.
However, the issue was smoothed over in the closing plenary, although reservations about the final procedure will be noted in the final report of the meeting.
Alongside the new framework, the summit resulted in dozens of other “decision texts”, which lay out more technical aspects of the negotiations, including monitoring mechanisms, resource mobilisation and areas for future work.
These texts have garnered less political and media attention than the GBF itself, but contain some of the key details underlying the framework.
None of the components of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) – including the GBF and the decision texts – are legally binding.
However, countries have agreed to turn promises into action through a plan to report on, review and voluntarily “ratchet up” their ambitions for tackling biodiversity loss. This is similar to the plan drawn up to implement the Paris Agreement for climate change.