WWF reaction to new COP15 text (published 18 Dec)

Posted on December, 18 2022

Commenting on the the new draft text for the Global Biodiversity Framework, published by the COP15 Presidency morning of 18 December, Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International, said:


"WWF celebrates the inclusion of an overarching global goal of halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2030 - this is enormously important and the necessary level of ambition. It is the equivalent to 1.5C in climate and vital to catalyzing action toward a nature-positive world and holding everyone accountable. However, there still remain several loopholes, weak language, and timelines around actions that aren’t commensurate with the scale of the nature crisis we’re all witnessing, and importantly may not add up to achieve this shared global goal.

“The 30 by 30 target is ambitious, measurable, comprehensive and inclusive. WWF welcomes the inclusion of inland waters and coastal and marine areas in the target and the recognition of indigenous and traditional territories, as well as the explicit reference to respecting the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities. However, it is vital that 30% each of land, freshwater and oceans is conserved respectively. We’re also encouraged to see the reference to the elimination of harmful subsidies retained as a way to redirect investment toward sustainable practices, as well as a satisfactory resource mobilization package from all sources – yet ambition could still be raised even further to support developing nations.

“WWF sees an issue with the measurability of the restoration target, due to lack of agreement on a baseline to measure progress against. We are particularly concerned by the weak language on species which would commit countries to halting extinctions at some point before 2050, instead of 2030. In the face of past failures, and an accelerating nature crisis, this is unacceptable. We further urge governments to include numerical targets for reducing the global footprint of production and consumption - these are vital to drive a just transition of productive sectors. Regarding the implementation mechanism, the increase of action after reviews is also posed as voluntary – this ratcheting up of action should be the teeth of the agreement to hold countries accountable to their commitments. 

“Let me stress: whatever governments are discussing over the text it cannot lead to a lowering of ambition, and it cannot lead to a breakdown of negotiations.The nature crisis is accelerating - this Global Biodiversity Framework with commitments from 193 countries around the world, must reflect the level of urgency and ambition needed, and nothing less. We must start giving back to the planet, or we risk it giving up on us.”