'MOVING TOGETHER ON NATURE': STATEMENT FROM THE PRIVATE FINANCIAL SECTOR TO THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
This statement was drafted by the UNEP Finance Initiative
(UNEP FI), the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and the Finance for
Against the backdrop of a volatile world humanity is facing a triple planetary crisis
of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, impacting millions of
people today, especially the most vulnerable, and future generations.
Coordinated action is needed. We cannot
reach net-zero without halting and reversing nature-loss, and we cannot tackle
biodiversity loss without tackling climate change. We, the financial community, have
a role to play in this complex ecosystem.
Increasingly, the financial sector is stepping up to the
biodiversity challenge. This includes, among others, the Finance for
Biodiversity Pledge, the Financial
Sector Commitment Letter on Eliminating Commodity-Driven Deforestation, the
for Responsible Banking Signatories' target-setting on biodiversity, the
work of the Principles
for Sustainable Insurance in tackling biodiversity loss and championing
nature-positive insurance, and efforts to align debt issuance with
sustainability goals and create markets for sovereign debt that support
governments to cut emissions and protect biodiversity. Further efforts such as
the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial
Disclosures (TNFD) are driven by our core fiduciary duties and the
need to transition to a nature-positive
economy, where economic activities not only minimize impact but also
enhance ecosystems and support the resilience of our planet and our societies.
But voluntary action is not enough. We take inspiration from
the Paris Climate Agreement where Article 2.1(c) set a clear mandate for
countries to require the financial sector to align its activities with climate
goals. COP15 provides a unique chance to get a similar policy mandate in
respect of the financial sector and biodiversity.
Our Commitment as private financial institutions
We - the signatories of this statement - realize that
biodiversity loss threatens our ability and the ability of future generations
to live and thrive in a healthy, peaceful and prosperous world. As a result, we
commit to contribute to the protection and restoration of biodiversity and
ecosystems through our financing activities and investments. In support of
this, we call for the adoption of an ambitious Global Biodiversity Framework
(GBF) at the Biodiversity Conference to the UN Convention on Biological
Diversity (COP 15) held 7 - 19 December 2022 in Montréal under the presidency
of the People’s Republic of China.
The signatories of this statement are calling on governments
to, in addition to protecting and conserving nature, provide an agreement that creates the clarity
and action to align all economic actors, including finance, to halt and reverse
nature loss, and contribute to Nature-based Solutions to climate change, a fair
and just transition, and other sustainable development challenges.
From the viewpoint of the financial sector, a robust
agreement would put in place: a clear mandate in the goals of the agreement for
the alignment of financial flows; support the assessment and disclosure of
nature-related impacts and dependencies; and provide clear targets and
definitions to take action and support the development of a pipeline of
nature-positive projects and investments.
We call for coordinated action by governments to
tackle climate change and halt and reverse biodiversity loss to ensure
synergies are taken advantage of and trade-offs are better managed, including
across National Biodiversity Strategy Actions Plans (NBSAPs) and Nationally
Determined Contributions (NDCs). We also call on the support of UN entities to
align portfolio target-setting for climate and biodiversity, especially in key
sectors such as food and agriculture. We recognize that the ability to deliver
on commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement and the GBF will depend on
both public and private capital flows playing a strong and supportive role in
mobilizing finance at a scale that mirrors the challenge of halting and
reversing nature loss by 2030.
With a clear and robust GBF as a result of COP15,
signatories of this statement are committed to working as part of a wider
ecosystem of actors to ensure the framework is translated into effective
actions and provides the incentives and tools to halt and reverse nature loss.
As part of this, we will continue
to work alongside Central Banks in understanding how to effectively address
systemic nature risks and
to contribute to global financial stability.
We commit to working within our own organizations to support
the effective alignment of the vision proposed in the draft post-2020 GBF of
“Living in harmony with Nature” by 2050; for example through incorporating
nature and biodiversity into our investment decision-making processes, seeking appropriate
disclosure from investees on nature-related issues, and engaging in
collaborative initiatives to further our efforts.