The adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) opens a new era in nature restoration and conservation for governments and public and private institutions. The agreement, signed by more than 190 countries at the United Nations’ Biodiversity Conference (COP 15) on December 19, commits the world to halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2030 — a global goal considered on par with the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
The detailed text of the Global Biodiversity Framework can be found here, but the core of the deal includes the following:
- 30 by 30: protecting 30% of the world’s land and sea by 2030. This means that governments will be doubling the land area and more than tripling the ocean territory currently under conservation
- Restoration: restoring 30% of the planet’s degraded ecosystems
- Finance: plans for wealthy nations to provide $30 billion for biodiversity by 2030
To implement the GBF, public and private financial flows have a critical role to play to help halt and reverse nature loss. The GBF framework has four long-term goals for 2050, the last of which is the most relevant for financial institutions and corporations:
- The integrity of all ecosystems is maintained and restored
- Biodiversity is sustainably used and managed
- Benefits from the use of genetic resources are shared
- Adequate means of implementation, including financial resources, capacity-building, and technical and scientific cooperation are secured to progressively close the $700 billion-per-year biodiversity finance gap
The agreement also has 23 global targets for urgent action between now and 2030. Targets 1-8 aim to reduce threats to biodiversity; targets 9-13 aim to meet people’s needs through sustainable use and benefit sharing; and targets 14-23 list the tools and solutions for implementation and mainstreaming.
Here, targets 15 and 19 are the most relevant for financial institutions and corporations. Target 15 encourages assessment, monitoring, and disclosure of biodiversity risks, impacts, and dependencies. Target 19 encourages financing for biodiversity, including from public and private resources. Calling for the mobilization of at least $200 billion per year, it will lead to a shift in the regulatory landscape. More details for both of these are in the appendix below.
Disclosure frameworks are being developed to encourage corporations and financial institutions to assess, monitor, and disclose nature-related financial information. The Taskforce for Nature Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) framework, which Oliver Wyman helped pilot in Africa, is aligned with Global Biodiversity Framework Target 15. And during COP 15 Finance Day, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) signaled its intention to draw on the TNFD’s nature-related risk management and disclosure approach in its development of a global baseline for sustainability reporting. This should send a strong signal to businesses to begin efforts to disclose nature-related financial information, or double down on their existing ones. They should start to prepare for new expectations on nature action by assessing their nature risk materiality, identifying impact and dependency hotspots in their portfolio and business, piloting the TNFD beta framework, and preparing to set targets in line with the Global Biodiversity Framework.
Appendix: details of Target 15 and Target 19 of Kunming-Montreal 2030 Global Targets
Take legal, administrative, or policy measures to encourage and ensure that large and transnational companies and financial institutions:
- Regularly monitor, assess, and transparently disclose their risks, dependencies, and impacts on biodiversity
- Provide information needed to consumers to promote sustainable consumption patterns
- Report on compliance with access and benefit-sharing regulations and measures, as applicable, in order to progressively reduce negative impacts and increase positive impacts on biodiversity, reduce biodiversity-related risks, and promote actions to ensure sustainable patterns of production
Substantially and progressively increase the level of financial resources from all sources in an effective, timely, and easily accessible manner, to implement national biodiversity strategies and action plans, mobilizing at least $200 billion per year by 2030, including by:
- Increasing total biodiversity-related international financial resources from developed countries to developing countries, to at least $20 billion per year by 2025, and to at least $30 billion per year by 2030
- Significantly increasing domestic resource mobilization, facilitated by the preparation and implementation of national biodiversity finance plans or similar instruments according to national needs, priorities, and circumstances
- Leveraging private finance, promoting blended finance, and implementing strategies for raising new and additional resources to invest in biodiversity, including through impact funds and other instruments
- Stimulating innovative schemes such as payment for ecosystem services, green bonds, biodiversity offsets and credits, and benefit-sharing mechanisms, with environmental and social safeguards
- Optimizing co-benefits and synergies of finance targeting the biodiversity and climate crises
- Enhancing the role of collective actions, Mother Earth-centric actions, and non-market-based approaches including community-based natural resource management and civil society cooperation and solidarity aimed at the conservation of biodiversity
- Enhancing the effectiveness, efficiency, and transparency of resource provision and use