A One Planet Summit on Biodiversity was held in Paris on 11 January 2021, under the leadership of President Macron, gathering an impressive number of political leaders and CEOs, pledging to reverse the destruction of nature.
The One Planet Summit(link is external), which was held virtually for the most part, was organised by France and backed by the EU, the United Nations and the World Bank.
President Ursula Von Der Leyen underlined the EU ambitious approach on biodiversity both internally and globally, highlighting the European Green Deal and the new EU Biodiversity Strategy. She underlined the importance of funding research on biodiversity to prevent diseases and of supporting the trans-African ‘Great Green Wall(link is external)’. Many other leaders showed their support such as UNSG Antonio Guterres; President of the European Council Charles Michel, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, ECB President Christine Lagarde or Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The summit highlighted that the destruction of nature increases the risk of future pandemics and that protecting biodiversity and fighting climate change are two sides of the same coin. It launched the “High Ambition Coalition for nature and people(link is external)”. Key developments of the Summit include: the participating states’ plan to protect 30% of lands and oceans; the commitment of more than US$ 14 Billion for Africa’s Great Green Wall, the announcement by France and UK to earmark 30% of their overseas public funding to nature based solutions and the launch of the PREZODE initiative, a global network of researchers to prevent the next pandemic due to zoonotic diseases.
The One Planet Summit-Biodiversity follows the UN Biodiversity Summit and the Leaders Pledge for Nature (link is external)(New York September 2020). It gives political momentum to a new and ambitious global biodiversity framework to be agreed at COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming, China and to the COP26 on Climate Change in Glasgow, both taking place at the end of 2021.
“Until now we have been destroying our planet, abusing it as if we had a spare one” – UNSG Antonio Guterres
“COP15 for nature must be like the COP 21 was for climate. And we need a Paris style agreement to go with it: ambitious, global and game changing.” – EC President Ursula Von Der Leyen