‘Embrace history’: UN environment chief calls for immediate action on Cop15 deal | police15
The UN environment chief has urged citizens, businesses and governments “not to pause for a second” in implementing the new once in a decade deal stop the destruction of nature, demanding changes in consumption habits and attitudes.
“[With the new agreement] we are recognizing that protecting the natural world represents a sum of linear efforts by governments, companies and us, each of us as individuals and consumers,” said Inger Andersen, executive director of the UN environment programme.
“We need to change the relationship between people and nature. And if we’re being honest, time is not on our side. We’ve cornered nature and it’s time to ease the pressure. We also know that it is something remarkable and that nature is very forgiving. If we give it half a chance, it will recover.
“Let’s not stop for a second. Embrace the story we’ve made in Montreal and let’s get to work delivering the framework.”
Andersen made the remarks at the closing press conference for police15 together with the Minister of the Environment of Canada, Steven Guilbeault; the president of the summit, Huang Runqiu; and UN deputy chief for biodiversity David Cooper, who were in an upbeat mood after the conference came to a close.
Huang paid tribute to his Canadian counterpart and their efforts to work together on the agreement during negotiations in recent weeks, despite tensions between the two countries.
“The first days of Cop15, the weather was not good. It was cloudy. My heart was heavy. I felt a lot of pressure about what kind of deal we could do. I have to thank Steven Guilbeault for his efforts,” Huang said, pausing to shake the Canadian’s hand.
“There is a Chinese saying that snow brings good luck. In the second week, she snowed. During the early hours of yesterday we celebrated, applauded and cheered. At the conference, we achieved historic success. A shared future for all life on Earth,” the Cop15 chair said, adding that he would ensure countries implement the final agreement while China holds the presidency for the next two years.
Yesterday, Huang shook hands with Ève Bazaiba, Minister of the Environment of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in plenary: drawing applause from the delegates – after a dispute over the way the deal was rushed was resolved.
“I am very pleased to share that we have achieved a ‘Montreal moment’ for nature,” Guilbeault said. “For Canada, as well as many environmental organizations, we could only dream of reaching the level of ambition reflected in the text of the framework. Even just a week ago, who would have thought that we would have a global commitment to protect 30% of the land and oceans?
Nearly 200 countries signed the Kunming–Montreal Agreement on biodiversity, which was praised by many.
Alok Sharma, Cop26 Chairman, tweeted: “A historic result in #police15 – The key, as always, will be the implementation of the commitments assumed by the countries”.
Tony Juniper, Chairman of Natural England, said: “The agreement reached in Montreal today is a real breakthrough, as it presents a new opportunity for humanity over the course of this decade to reverse nature’s historic declines towards recovery.”
However, some were cautious about the result. Professor Ian Boyd, former Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said: “The agreement reached at Cop15 in Montreal on protecting a third of the planet for nature by 2030 has been well received. Many of my scientific colleagues thought it was a step forward. But… setting high goals does not force them to be achieved. Nothing has really changed since 2010 except a growing urgency for action, so what makes everyone think these new goals are going to work this time? he said, referring to the Aichi biodiversity targets set in 2010, none of which have been fully fulfilled.
the final deal it was negotiated over two weeks and includes targets to protect 30% of the planet for nature by the end of the decade, reform $500bn (£410bn) of environmentally damaging subsidies and restore 30% of the earth’s water degraded continental and coastal areas of the planet. and marine ecosystems.
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