COP15: Rich countries urged to give more

Pressure is mounting on rich countries, called upon to finance efforts to protect the biodiversity of developing countries, which are demanding a fund to implement the “peace pact with nature” being negotiated in Montreal.

The “mobilization of resources”, as the participants at the 15th United Nations Conference on Biodiversity called it, is on everyone’s lips, the real red thread of a summit which must lead to an agreement ambitious enough to stop the destruction of the planet and its resources by 2030.

To achieve this, 193 countries have been debating in detail in Montreal since December 3 to agree on twenty objectives to save ecosystems: protect 30% of land and seas, reduce pesticides by half, restore 20 or 30 % of degraded land, etc.

But the consensus around the ambitions has no chance of being found if the financial needs – estimated between 200 and 1,000 billion dollars – are not met opposite.

Dozens of nations, led by Brazil, India, Indonesia and the countries of Africa are calling on the North for “financial subsidies of at least 100 billion dollars a year, or 1% of the world’s GDP until 2030”, i.e. approximately ten times the current aid amounts. And as much as those promised for the fight against global warming.

To accommodate these sums, the South wants to see the creation of a new global fund for biodiversity.

“The current context is much more favorable there”, notes the co-president of the negotiations, Basile Van Havre, after obtaining a fund in November intended to compensate for the climatic damage already suffered by poor countries.

But the idea of ​​an umpteenth fund does not appeal to rich countries, which want to favor a reform of existing financial flows.

“Creating a new fund could take years,” Canadian Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault warned on Tuesday, citing the seven years spent setting up the current Global Environment Facility (GEF).

“The countries of the North understand that ambition must be accompanied by financial resources” and “have understood the need to have access to sources of financing that are transparent, predictable and accessible”, he nevertheless assured.

But “it would be preferable to use existing funds” and to pursue the alignment of global finance, the minister suggests, however, taking up the argument also put forward by the European Union.

“It can’t just be public money”, he warned, inviting us to “look at all sources of funding”: “private, philanthropic, public” as well as “the World Bank, the IMF and other development banks.

In the end, “there is far too little money on the table, this is one of the main reasons why the conversation is difficult”, analyzes Anna Ogniewska, adviser at Greenpeace: “Getting things done requires commitments much more meaningful from the EU and European governments. »

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