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COP27: Progress or standstill on nature?

The ultimate assertion from COP27 in Egypt acknowledged the pressing want to deal with the interlinked crises of local weather change and biodiversity loss.

This echoes the widespread recognition that the world can’t obtain obligatory greenhouse gasoline emissions reductions to guard in opposition to local weather breakdown with out stopping the destruction and degradation of worldwide forests, wetlands, grasslands and oceans.

However did COP27 obtain progress in defending nature?

The excellent news is that quite a lot of notable bulletins have been made associated to nature. The unhealthy information is that the heavy lifting on truly halting and reversing nature loss is being left to the Nature COP in Montreal subsequent month. 

First, the US’ dedicated to take a position $25 Billion in nature-based options. Nonetheless, little element was offered on how these funds will probably be spent and what nature-based options will probably be prioritized. Extra typically, concern expressed at COP27, by indigenous folks and others, that the dearth of clear definition of nature-based options leaves them prone to being co-opted by firms in wealthy international locations to “offset” business-as-usual local weather air pollution, whereas inflicting hurt to land rights of Indigenous folks and different front-line communities within the South. Sturdy social and environmental safeguards are wanted to make sure that nature-based options deliver local weather, biodiversity and human advantages. 

Second, Canada and 25 different international locations formally launched the Forests and Local weather Leaders’ Partnership, asserting that greater than half of the $12 billion dedicated at COP26 to guard and restore forests has been spent or dedicated. Nonetheless, no new funding was introduced, and the extent of funds nonetheless falls far quick of what’s required to guard forests (solely about 24% of what’s wanted has been dedicated in line with the Worldwide Institute for Sustainable Improvement). There may be additionally concern that the Partnership is focussing on deforestation within the South, whereas permitting degradation from industrial logging in northern international locations to proceed. Certainly, over 100 scientists launched a letter on November 15 calling for signatories of the Glasgow Declaration on Forests to acknowledge – and halt – the degradation prompted in main forests by clear-cut logging in industrialized international locations. Canada, particularly, must do higher in recognizing and addressing the local weather harms brought on by logging: Nature Canada and over 70 well being and setting teams just lately known as on Canada to extra clearly reporting GHG emission from logging – one of many highest emitting sectors of the Canadian financial system – and to behave to cut back these emissions.

Third, President Lula of Brazil garnered vital consideration with a dedication to halt forest loss from logging by 2030, stating that if logging firms need timber “they’ve to purchase a chunk of land and develop a brand new tree. A 200- or 300-year-old outdated tree isn’t obligatory.”  Right here’s hoping that this can leverage stronger commitments to guard main and old-growth forests in Canada!

On the local weather aspect, the important thing achievement of COP27 was clearly the win by Southern international locations and international local weather activists of a loss and injury fund paid into by industrialized international locations whose emissions have pushed climate-caused hurt and destruction.

And whereas there have been some “nuggets” of recent commitments to cut back emissions, there was nonetheless no breakthrough on language on the required part out fossil fuels, one thing that was pushed for by the EU and the US, however which Canada very disappointingly opposed.

Because of this, 1.5C appears to be slipping out of attain. 

All of which makes the safety and restoration of important ecosystems – and success in reaching a brand new settlement to halt and reverse nature loss globally – all of the extra important.

COP15 will probably be a key second.

Nature Canada has joined with 15 different nationwide organizations to advocate for Canada to ship key commitments at COP, together with its intention for an formidable nationwide motion plan to halt and reverse nature loss at house; new Indigenous-led protected areas, motion to advance nature-based options, and extra worldwide funding for biodiversity motion.

With COP in Montreal – now’s the time for Canada to steer.  Discover out how one can assist leverage this as soon as and a decade second for motion to guard nature – at house and world wide. Be a part of hundreds of Canadians by sending a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau on the NatureBus excursions that will probably be accumulating messages from folks throughout the nation – together with very probably a metropolis close to you!



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