A group of 150 financial institutions with more than $24 trillion in assets under management on Tuesday called for delegates at COP15 in Montreal to secure an ambitious Global Biodiversity Framework for the post-2020 period, with clear targets to halt and reverse nature loss.
The letter, authored by the UNEP Finance Initiative (FI), the Principles for Responsible Investment, and the Finance for Biodiversity Foundation, was presented at the conference as ministers from over 100 nations began arriving in Canada for the high-level segment of the talks.
“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,” the letter said.
“From the view point 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,” it added.
The letter, entitled “moving together on nature”, comes in addition to previous written commitments from the financial sector, including the Finance for Biodiversity Pledge, launched by 26 financial institutions in Sep. 2020, and a financial sector commitment to eliminate commodity-driven deforestation, backed by over 30 groups in November last year.
The massive increase in signatories to this letter compared to previous ones is indicative of the intense public focus on the Montreal talks, as the global biodiversity crisis is becoming increasingly urgent.
“If we are to succeed in curbing global warming and creating a more sustainable and prosperous society, it is paramount that we halt the loss of our natural environment,” Soren Lockwood, CEO of Denmark’s Danica Pension, said.
“Joint action is needed immediately, and we urge policymakers to adopt a global unified roadmap that not only sets the direction for how companies work to protect and restore biodiversity but also enables investors to foster change and utilise capital to preserve the natural environment and minimise negative environmental impacts.”
The 150 signatories come from all regions of the world, and included firms such as AXA Group, Legal and General Investment Management, Manulife, Fidelity International, Groupe La Banque Postale, Shinhan Financial Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management, and UBS Bank.
By Stian Reklev – firstname.lastname@example.org