COP15 - the global biodiversity conference (think COP27 but for nature) - kicks off in Montreal today. We break down what it is, what to expect and whether it’ll succeed...
What is COP15?: it’s an annual conference on biodiversity with negotiations focused on an agreement to reverse nature loss by 2030 and one that’s been 2 years in the making. Often referred to as the “Paris Agreement for Nature”, getting a deal would be a much-needed breakthrough towards reversing biodiversity loss, with WWF’s recent Living Planet Report showing just how bad a place we’re in.
What they'll all be talking about:’30x30’ and ‘Nature Positive’ are set to be hot topics at COP15, but what do they mean? 30x30 is a target that would see 30% of the World’s land and sea designated as a protected area by the end of the decade. Nature Positive is a relatively new term that means reversing the decline in biodiversity to a point where nature is being actively restored (handily we’ve got an explainer vid here...). Expect to hear a lot more of both over the next few months.
Why it might fail: If you haven't noticed already, the biodiversity COP is not quite as popular as the climate change COP (COP27 this year). In fact, very few political leaders are likely to attend, which risks a repeat of the 2009 Copenhagen climate summit where talks fell apart. This is why MPs are urging Rishi Sunak to attend the biodiversity summit in Canada, in the hope that the government will start to take the collapse of biodiversity seriously. If you want to know just how hard it is to agree on deals like this, check out this guide to what every country wants.