COP27: Progress or standstill on nature?

The remaining assertion from COP27 in Egypt acknowledged the pressing want to handle the interlinked crises of local weather change and biodiversity loss.

This echoes the widespread recognition that the world can’t obtain mandatory greenhouse fuel emissions reductions to guard in opposition to local weather breakdown with out stopping the destruction and degradation of worldwide forests, wetlands, grasslands and oceans.

However did COP27 obtain progress in defending nature?

The excellent news is that quite a lot of notable bulletins have been made associated to nature. The unhealthy information is that the heavy lifting on truly halting and reversing nature loss is being left to the Nature COP in Montreal subsequent month. 

First, the USA’ dedicated to speculate $25 Billion in nature-based options. Nevertheless, little element was offered on how these funds can be spent and what nature-based options can be prioritized. Extra typically, concern expressed at COP27, by indigenous individuals and others, that the shortage of clear definition of nature-based options leaves them prone to being co-opted by firms in wealthy international locations to “offset” business-as-usual local weather air pollution, whereas inflicting hurt to land rights of Indigenous individuals and different front-line communities within the South. Robust social and environmental safeguards are wanted to make sure that nature-based options convey local weather, biodiversity and human advantages. 

Second, Canada and 25 different international locations formally launched the Forests and Local weather Leaders’ Partnership, saying that greater than half of the $12 billion dedicated at COP26 to guard and restore forests has been spent or dedicated. Nevertheless, no new funding was introduced, and the extent of funds nonetheless falls far brief of what’s required to guard forests (solely about 24% of what’s wanted has been dedicated in keeping with the Worldwide Institute for Sustainable Improvement). There’s additionally concern that the Partnership is focussing on deforestation within the South, whereas permitting degradation from industrial logging in northern international locations to proceed. Certainly, over 100 scientists launched a letter on November 15 calling for signatories of the Glasgow Declaration on Forests to acknowledge – and halt – the degradation prompted in main forests by clear-cut logging in industrialized international locations. Canada, specifically, must do higher in recognizing and addressing the local weather harms brought on by logging: Nature Canada and over 70 well being and atmosphere teams just lately referred to as on Canada to extra clearly reporting GHG emission from logging – one of many highest emitting sectors of the Canadian economic system – and to behave to scale back these emissions.

Third, President Lula of Brazil garnered important consideration with a dedication to halt forest loss from logging by 2030, stating that if logging corporations need timber “they’ve to purchase a chunk of land and develop a brand new tree. A 200- or 300-year-old previous tree will not be mandatory.”  Right here’s hoping that this can leverage stronger commitments to guard main and old-growth forests in Canada!

On the local weather facet, the important thing achievement of COP27 was clearly the win by Southern international locations and international local weather activists of a loss and harm fund paid into by industrialized international locations whose emissions have pushed climate-caused hurt and destruction.

And whereas there have been some “nuggets” of latest commitments to scale back emissions, there was nonetheless no breakthrough on language on the required part out fossil fuels, one thing that was pushed for by the EU and the US, however which Canada very disappointingly opposed.

Consequently, 1.5C appears to be slipping out of attain. 

All of which makes the safety and restoration of vital ecosystems – and success in reaching a brand new settlement to halt and reverse nature loss globally – all of the extra vital.

COP15 can be a key second.

Nature Canada has joined with 15 different nationwide organizations to advocate for Canada to ship key commitments at COP, together with its intention for an bold nationwide motion plan to halt and reverse nature loss at residence; new Indigenous-led protected areas, motion to advance nature-based options, and extra worldwide funding for biodiversity motion.

With COP in Montreal – now’s the time for Canada to steer.  Discover out how one can assist leverage this as soon as and a decade second for motion to guard nature – at residence and around the globe. Be a part of hundreds of Canadians by sending a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau on the NatureBus excursions that can be gathering messages from individuals throughout the nation – together with very seemingly a metropolis close to you!

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