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What happened at COP15? Here's 5 things you should know

The UN's Convention on Biodiversity wrapped up in Montreal this week. Nations and businesses established funding and global targets.

Tree with lots of roots

COP 15 or Biodiversity COP ended with 23 global targets for nature. Image by Jesse Klein/GreenBiz.

The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, better known as COP15 or biodiversity COP, rounds down in Montreal this week. Companies, countries and non-profits used the two week affair as a platform to launch notable initiatives, funds and reports to protect nature. Here are five significant announcements that came out of the negotiations and meetings. 

1. Nations agree on a Paris agreement for biodiversity 

The Kunming-Montreal Global biodiversity framework was finalized in the early hours of Monday. The big win was 195 nations agreeing to protect and restore at least 30 percent of land and water by 2030 along with $200 billion invested annually to achieve that goal. The 23 targets in the framework include language to bring the loss of high biodiversity areas to "close to zero" by 2030 and that 30 percent of degraded terrestrial and coastal and marine ecosystems are under restoration or conservation by the same decade. Other goals such as preventing species extinction were pushed off until 2050. A new fund set up by the Global Environment Facility will help facilitate $30 billion from rich nations to poor ones for biodiversity initiatives. 

2. Investors launch of Nature Action 100

This initiative seeks to encourage investors and corporations to tackle nature loss. The announcement came from 12 institutional investors including AXA Investment Managers, BNP, Robeco, Vancity Investment Management,  Federated Hermes Limited among others who will urge companies and investors to investigate their nature-related risks and dependencies. Ceres and the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) are the environmental expert groups that will help the steering committee identify priorities and action plans. Right now, some of the initiative's goals include identifying 100 companies for investor support and corporate actions needed to restore nature, tracking the progress and helping companies support relevant policy on nature. 

3. Canada funds indigenous-led conservation

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau outlined $800 million in funding over seven years to support four conservation areas — the Northernshelf Bioregion in British Columbia; Qikiqtani Region in Nunavut; Ontario’s Hudson Bay Lowlands; and the coastline of Western Hudson Bay and southwestern James Bay. These initiatives will be led by indigenous groups. This $800 million builds on the $118 million in 2018 and the $454 million in 2021 that was also invested in indigenous-led conservation initiatives as part of an ongoing reconciliation with the indigenous peoples of Canada to protect 25 percent of lands and waters by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030. 

4. A mandate appears for private investment to avoid deforestation 

The Deforestation, Conversion and Abuse-Free (DCAF) Investment Mandate from the non-profit Global Canopy, comes after the announcement of the "How to achieve deforestation-free pensions" guide earlier this year. The mandate is also a how-to to help private and family wealth cultivate investment portfolios that don’t fund deforestation and associated human rights issues including labor issues and indigenous peoples rights. The goal is for portfolios to eliminate deforestation from their assets in four years. The best practices are outlined for asset managers to identify and mitigate investments that have deforestation risks. 

5. Kering and L’OCCITANE Group partner on the Climate Fund for Nature 

The luxury fashion and beauty space is upping its ambition to protect nature with a target to invest about $300 million, starting with $140 million. The fund will support high-quality nature restoration projects and support farmer transitions to regenerative agriculture practices with carbon credits. The targeted projects will also have co-benefits of women empowerment and focus on regions where the companies source ingredients for their products.

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