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Developing Nations Demand More Money At Crunch UN Biodiversity Talks


Developing countries demand more money at Crunch UN Biodiversity Talks

GBF is a new financial instrument sought by low-income countries to help them. (Represent)

Montreal, Canada:

The thorny issue of how much money rich countries are willing to spend to protect the world’s remaining biodiversity has been at the heart of UN negotiations in Montreal to create a ” peace treaty with nature” on Wednesday.

At stake is the future of the planet and whether humanity can reverse the habitat destruction, pollution and climate crisis that are leading to the sixth mass extinction of species. plant or not.

UN spokesman David Ainsworth said: “Negotiators worked until Tuesday night, but “the atmosphere deteriorated as the group began to discuss concepts, particularly the subject output of the Global Biodiversity Fund (GBF)”.

GBF is a new financial instrument sought by low-income countries to help them, for example, establish marine or terrestrial protected areas and implement biodiversity action plans.

A long period of technical negotiations on other issues have been resolved after China, the president, held an hour-long meeting with the delegation leaders on Wednesday, although the financial issue has not yet been resolved. be solved.

“Our territories are home to most of the world’s biodiversity,” a Brazilian statement said, adding that existing financing mechanisms are not up to the task.

Brazil, which also acts on behalf of several other developing countries, including the Africa Group, added that the new fund will provide $100 billion annually, or 1% of global GDP, through 2030. .

Global North to South financial flows for biodiversity are currently estimated at around $10 billion annually.

Wealthy nations say they want to reform existing financial mechanisms and take advantage of more funding from the private sector.

The deterioration in dialogue comes on the eve of a period of high-level negotiations involving the 196-member environment ministers at the Montreal summit, known as COP15, which begins on December 7 and is scheduled to extended until December 19.

“Last night’s strike signaled the pivotal moment in the negotiations that we needed,” Masha Kalinina of The Pew Charitable Trusts told AFP.

“This draws important attention to this negotiation, especially as leaders are coming today and tomorrow. So we are holding our breath.”

Brian O’Donnell, director of the Campaign for Nature, told reporters: “If we want to find a source of enhanced financing for biodiversity, it’s very simple: put a surprise tax on those companies that have caused biodiversity loss – mainly oil and gas companies and mining companies.”

– ‘Aren’t you ashamed?’ –

The talks have more than 20 goals, including a foundational commitment to protect 30% of the world’s land and seas by 2030, eliminate harmful fishing and agricultural subsidies, tackle invasive species and reduce pesticides.

Science shows that time is running out.

An estimated one million species are threatened with extinction, a third of the world’s land area is degraded, including the productive capacity of the land, while pollution and the climate crisis are destroying ecosystems. marine ecosystem.

Beyond the ethical implications, there is the question of self-interest: the $44 trillion in economic value creation – more than half of the world’s total GDP – depends on nature and its services.

But the summit has not garnered the same level of attention as the United Nations climate summit held in Egypt in November, which brought together more than a hundred world leaders.

The meeting is being held in Canada but is chaired by China, which has refused to host because of strict Covid-19 rules.

The only world leader in attendance was Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Speaking at a press conference organized by the nonprofit organization Avaaz, Hollywood actor and activist James Cromwell specifically criticized French President Emmanuel Macron for choosing to go to Qatar to watch the World Cup semi-final. kick instead of going to COP.

“It is tragic that an actor has to come up here to talk about issues,” he said. “Aren’t you ashamed?”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from an aggregated feed.)

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