China, which leads the COP15 U.N. biodiversity talks, presented a series of compromises on Sunday to try to find an agreement on a new global framework to stop and reverse biodiversity loss worldwide by 2030.
The compromise package includes: a post-2020 global biodiversity framework setting goals and targets; a strategy on resource mobilization to finance nature conservation; monitoring and reporting frameworks to track countries’ progress; and measures to enhance capacity building.
China kept the headline target of protecting 30 percent of the planet’s lands and oceans by 2030, an idea pushed by 116 countries. It also proposed to put “at least 30 percent” of degraded habitats under effective restoration by 2030. But it didn’t keep the EU’s idea of committing to restore 3 billion hectares of degraded land and freshwater ecosystems and 3 billion hectares of ocean ecosystems. Beijing also scrapped the EU’s push to halve pesticides use and risk.
On the thorny issue of financing, China recommended that rich countries increase their international aid for biodiversity to $20 billion per year by 2025 and $30 billion annually by 2030. It also pushed for the creation of a new biodiversity fund under the existing Global Environment Facility — something that the Europeans said they were open to discuss. The new fund should be able to receive, in addition to development aid, money from the private sector, philanthropy and from the use of digital sequence information on genetic resources.
The compromise text also proposes to “eliminate, phase out or reform” environmentally harmful subsidies by at least $500 billion annually by 2030.
Beijing softened the idea of forcing businesses to disclose their impacts on biodiversity, saying it shouldn’t be mandatory but that countries should “encourage and enable” large businesses to do so.
The EU was backing a proposal to halve the world’s ecological footprint, but China considerably weakened it to state that countries should “reduce the global footprint of consumption in an equitable manner, halve global food waste, significantly reduce overconsumption and substantially reduce waste generation.”
The draft compromise will now be discussed by countries in multilateral and bilateral settings. China may then modify the text before it can be adopted by countries in plenary later tonight or Monday.