Last year, a framework was agreed that responds to the challenge of biodiversity loss. Now, the G7 must lead by example to ensure its successful implementation
Biodiversity is essential for life on Earth. We need it for clean air, water, food and medicine. It plays a critical role in regulating the Earth’s climate and mitigating the effects of climate change. Yet biodiversity is being lost at unprecedented rates. World leaders are now recognising that the interrelated crises of biodiversity loss, climate change, land degradation and desertification, ocean degradation and pollution undermine our health and well-being, increase the risk of pandemics and pose an existential threat to our society, culture, prosperity and planet.
The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework agreed at the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in December 2022 responds to the challenge of biodiversity loss. It includes an ambitious set of goals and targets to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030, by addressing the direct and indirect drivers of loss and degradation. It calls for improved governance, finance and capacity building. The G7 was instrumental in garnering support for the ambitious framework during the negotiations and helped secure its adoption. Now, G7 leaders must lead by example and take the urgent actions needed to ensure its successful implementation.
A synergistic approach
The key to success is a whole-of-government approach, because this crisis must be addressed by all sectors, working synergistically towards a common goal. G7 leaders are central to ensuring that this occurs at the national level. They must lead discussions among ministers and put in place the governmental policies, accountability mechanisms and finance necessary to ensure that national targets are established and acted on. Likewise, G7 leaders need to ensure a whole-of-society approach, so action is taken cohesively and equitably with women, youth, Indigenous peoples and local communities, civil society and business, among others.
The G7 members represent some of the largest economies in the world, responsible for a significant proportion of natural resource use, global greenhouse gas emissions, pollution and other environmental impacts. They therefore have a particular responsibility to address the direct and indirect drivers of biodiversity loss. Action on land use change, overexploitation, pollution and invasive alien species is critical. At the same time, G7 leaders must take decisive measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions because climate change is also a major driver of biodiversity loss.
Businesses should disclose their dependencies and impacts on biodiversity, address biodiversity-related risk and progressively reduce their negative effects. The G7 plays a particular role in ensuring that large and transnational companies comply with these requirements.
In line with the targets agreed in the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, G7 leaders should take the lead in mobilising biodiversity-related international financial resources so that at least $20 billion per year is provided from developed to developing countries by 2025, and at least $30 billion per year by 2030. Together with domestic finance and finance from the private sector, this will help to progressively close the current global biodiversity finance gap of $700 billion per year. In parallel, G7 leaders need to lead by promptly eliminating, phasing out or reforming incentives, including subsidies, that are harmful to biodiversity.
Led by the G7
Building on these steps, G7 leaders should embark on the transformative changes needed across economies and societies to ensure sustainable and equitable development in harmony with nature. This includes promoting sustainable agriculture, forestry and fisheries, as well as sustainable consumption and production patterns across all sectors.
The well-being of all citizens, their children and all future generations in the G7 members and throughout the world depends on the actions taken this decade to implement the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.
The world needs the G7 to ensure that these actions begin now, so the targets can be achieved by 2030. The world needs the G7 to lead by example in building a shared future for life on earth.