Three Actions Needed to “Beat Back Biodiversity Apocalypse” – Guterres

In his opening speech at Montreal’s COP15, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres advised that three “concrete” actions are needed to “forge a peace pact with nature” and avoid a “biodiversity apocalypse”. The first action Guterres highlighted was for governments to “develop bold national action plans across all ministries” which re-purpose subsidies and tax breaks away from nature-destroying activities and towards green solutions such renewable energy, plastic reduction, and nature-friendly food production. Guterres said plans also need to “recognise and protect” the rights of local peoples and Indigenous communities, as well as closing the finance gap with national biodiversity finance plans. Second, the private sector must recognise that profit and protection of nature must “go hand in hand”. As firms in the agri-food industry move towards sustainable production methods, for example, it is still “in their interest to protect nature above all else”, he said. Finally, Guterres stressed that developed countries must financially support nations in the global South, as well as ensuring that multilateral development banks’ investments promote the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. Guterres said: “It is up to us to take responsibility for the damage we have caused, and to take the necessary measures to repair it. Forget the musings of some billionaires – there is no planet B. It’s up to us to fix the world we have.” 

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