Biodiversity, climate change fail at COP27

Biodiversity, climate change fail at COP27

PARIS: Experts and activists were hoping that UN climate talks would end last week with a prominent mention of biodiversity in the final text. They walked away disappointed.

delegates at the COP 27 summit missed a key opportunity to acknowledge the connection between the twin climate and nature crises, which many believe have been treated separately for too long.

Failing to address both could mean further destruction of Earth's life support systems, but also missing the key climate target of limiting warming to under 1.5 degrees Celsius, they warn.

Basile van Havre, co-chairman of the UN biodiversity negotiations, told AFP that we're doomed if we don't solve climate and we're doomed if we don't solve biodiversity.

Hundreds of countries are going to meet next month at the COP 15 UN biodiversity talks to hammer out a new framework to protect animals and plants from being destroyed by humans.

The meeting came as scientists warned that climate change and biodiversity damage could cause the world's sixth mass extinction event.

The destruction of nature also risks worsening climate change.

The oceans have absorbed most of the excess heat generated by humanity's greenhouse gas emissions and are important carbon sinks, along with forests.

Nature is up to a third of the climate solution. Brian O'Donnell, the director of Campaign for Nature, told AFP that it is a proven technology.

He said oceans are unreliable superheroes that absorb carbon and heat, at the cost of acidification and coral-killing heatwaves.

As the world warms, species and ecosystems can play a crucial role in building resilience. Mangroves, for example, can protect against sea erosion caused by rising seas linked to a warming planet.

At COP 27 Brazil's president-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who will take office in January, brought the most attention to the natural world.

He has pledged to halt the rampant deforestation of the Amazon under the incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, and announced during the climate talks plans to create a ministry for indigenous people, custodians of the rainforest.

The 30 by 30 biodiversity target got a boost when a bloc of West African nations pledged to adhere to the goal of protecting 30 per cent of the natural world by the year 2030.