UN Nature & Climate COPs

The year 2020 should have been a super year for the environment. We should have had two major global environment conferences – the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP26) and the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity Conference (UN CBD COP15). Both should have been happening at the end of 2020 but did not because of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

COP26 concluded in Glasgow a day late (13 November 2021), and COP15 has been split between 11-15 October 2021 (part 1, online) and 7-19 December 2022 (part 2, which should have been in Kunming, China but is now being hosted on behalf of the Chinese Government at the CBD headquarters in Montreal, Canada). These events aim to agree action to achieve the Paris Climate Agreement, and to agree a new post-2020 global biodiversity framework, respectively.

CIEEM is engaging with the COP events. We have published our own position paper on the COP events, outlining what we would like to see from the two conferences, along with a position statement on habitat creation and restoration for tackling the climate emergency.

COP26 made some progress, but not enough. And it was disappointing that nature was watered down in the final version of the Glasgow Climate Pact. See our blog on COP26 for more.

There have been several drafts now of the proposed post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. Readers may be interested in the responses to the first draft from Conservation International and WWF. Action following the COP events is critical. The planet continues to get hotter and more extreme (wetter and wilder weather in some places, drier in others), and we continue to lose wildlife at an unprecedented pace.

In May 2021 we jointly hosted a panel webinar with the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES) and the Royal Society for Biology (RSB) on Nature-based Solutions: the Conventions on Climate & Biodiversity. The webinar is freely available in the CIEEM Resource Hub.

Following COP26, we contributed to panel discussions organised by the Environmental Policy Forum (watch them here):

  • Mon, 15 Nov 2021 – Reflecting on COP26: A Cross-Sector Discussion
  • Thu, 18 Nov 2021 – Reaching Net Zero via Science-Based Targets
  • Tue, 23 Nov 2021 – Achieving Your Climate Ambitions: How Your Professional Body Can Help

We organised two Nature COP15 webinars, which are now available to watch:

  • Wed, 24 Nov 2021 – Biodiversity COP15: Nature Conservation and Restoration – Watch
  • Thu, 2 Dec 2021 – Biodiversity COP15: Resourcing Nature Restoration – Watch

In April 2022, we responded to the UK Government’s consultation on the UK’s 2030 Strategic Framework for International Climate and Nature Action.

In September 2022, we wrote to the new UK Prime Minister and Irish Government to encourage them to show leadership on nature and to attend COP15. At the same time we also published a new position statement on COP15.

On a longer term scale we continue to work on the climate and ecological crises through the work of our Action 2030 project.