Business contributing to the Biodiversity COP15 Business Advocacy campaign

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On September 6, Business for Nature hosted a webinar attended by 1,000 participants aiming at driving business momentum in the final sprint towards COP15. Business for Nature shared their upcoming COP15 Advocacy Campaign #MakeItMandatory for businesses and financial institutions to unite behind: all companies are invited to sign the COP15 business statement before 18 October. By doing so they will join hundreds of companies and financial institutions from across the globe who are calling on Heads of State to adopt mandatory requirements for businesses to assess and disclose their impacts and dependencies on nature by 2030.

Business, Finance, Nature Positive, Nature-Based Solutions.

 

The highlight of this webinar was to present how companies can engage in the COP15 Business Advocacy Campaign, as well as other opportunities for them to contribute towards a successful COP15 and the adoption of an ambitious Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF).

At the opening of the Webinar, Business for Nature Director, Eva Zabey, reminded that biodiversity loss poses a systemic risk for businesses, society and the economy.

« The Nature agenda doesn’t exist in isolation. We should realize the interconnexions of the crises (…). Business must be part of the solution. » Business for Nature Director, Eva Zabey.

The goal of the webinar was to:

  • Explain why COP15 is critical for business and present the status of the negotiations;
  • Launch the COP15 Business Advocacy Campaign led by Business for Nature;
  • Present the latest plan to ensure a strong and effective business presence at COP15 in Montreal.

Why is it crucial to get business involvement? Because over half of the world’s  GDP, $44 trillion of economic value, is at moderate or severe risk due to nature loss (Source: World Economic Forum, 2020, “Nature Risk Rising: Why the Crisis Engulfing Nature Matters for Business and the Economy,” New Nature Economy series).

Transitioning to a Nature-positive economy could yield annual business opportunities worth USD 10 trillion and create 395 million jobs by 2030 (WEF 2020). If we want to stop climate change and preserve biodiversity, we must change the economics system to one that rewards and incentivises sustainable choices and behavior.

Basile van Havre, one of the OEWG Co-chair reminded the latest developments of the GBF negotiations and there is still a lot to be agreed upon to lift current brackets in the GBF before December. But he confirmed that he was confident that all elements will be ready for Ministers to gather in Montreal. He emphasized the crucial importance of the business mobilization in that process not only during the negotiations phase but also when the time of the GBF implementation will come.

“We are now looking at all aspects, for example how are we going to address other drivers of biodiversity loss including the negative impacts coming from the utilization of pesticides and nutrients». Basile Van Havre, Co-Chair OEWG, Convention on Biological Diversity.

Maëlle Pellisson, Advocacy Director at Business for Nature reminded their 3 main priorities for the GBF:

  • Target 15 that requires business and financial institutions to transform their business practices;
  • Target 18 that requires a systemic rethinking to reform environmentally harmful subsidies and incentives to prevent and mitigate the over-exploitation of biodiversity;
  • A strong 2030 mission marked by a strong leadership and engagement at the highest political level.

Rebecca Marmot, Unilever Chief Sustainability Officer, reaffirmed their support for mandatory disclosure which was also confirmed by Magali Anderson, Holcim Chief Sustainability and Innovation.

Following, Lucy Coast, Business for Nature Communications Director then presented the upcoming campaign that will call on businesses to sign the pledge for mandatory disclosure. Key messages of the campaign that will be launched late October ahead of the UNFCCC COP and the CBD COP, are the following:

“Our business. Our economies. Our societies. All depend on Nature.”

Nadine McCormick, WBCSD Nature Action Manager, continued by presenting the plans for a strong business presence at COP15 through various events including a High Level Segment and Business HUB. “A strong collective presence at CO15 will send the right signal to decision makers for an ambitious GBF.” she said.

Towards the end of the webinar, Akanksha Khatri, Head of Nature Action Agenda for the World Economic Forum (WEF), outlined also the business opportunities in addressing the biodiversity crisis and their role in also advocating at the national level for an ambitious GBF.

« So that we are acting on a NO-regret policy, we need business to: 1) Assess, 2) Commit, 3) Transform and 4) Disclose. » stated Akanksha.

To date more than 1,000 businesses around the world have signed the business pledge for nature and are calling on governments to adopt policies now to reverse nature loss in this decade. The world leaders must forge international agreements on nature to give our societies and economies a chance to become more resilient.

Over the last 3 years, our project has been actively advocating for a strong business engagement into the CBD process by supporting various events across the world.

“Decision makers listen to the business sector. By joining the Business for Nature coalition Business Advocacy Campaign, companies can show at COP15 that they are ready for transformative actions.” Hugo Rivera Mendoza, Post 2020 Biodiversity Framework – EU support.

Business for Nature is calling for business to sign-up to the COP15 business statement on mandatory assessment and disclosure and join companies from across the globe who are calling on Heads of State to ‘Make It Mandatory’ and require all large businesses and financial institutions to assess and disclose their impacts and dependencies on nature by 2030.

We encourage businesses and financial sectors to commit and join the COP15 Business Advocacy Campaign by 10 October. #MakeitMandatory

“Future generations need all of us, adults. We need to be ones showing leadership, taking responsibility and taking action for a net-zero, nature-positive world.” Business for Nature Director, Eva Zabey.

 

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