China pledges 200 million euros for a new fund

Published on : 12/10/2021 – 16:26

Discussions continue on Tuesday in Kunming, China, which hosts the 15th COP dedicated to the fight against species disappearance. Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the launch of a fund endowed by Beijing with 200 million euros to support the protection of biodiversity in developing countries.

On the occasion of COP15 biodiversity, China announced Tuesday, October 12, the creation of a new fund of 200 million euros to protect biodiversity in developing countries.

“China will take the initiative to establish the Kunming Biodiversity Fund with a contribution of 1.5 billion yuan (200 million euros) to support the conservation of biodiversity in developing countries”, Chinese President Xi Jinping said at the summit in Kunming, southwest China. “China calls on (…) all parties to contribute to the fund,” he continued.

The announcement made by China “is a welcome first step”, commented Georgina Chandler, of the NGO Royal Society for protection of birds, but the sum of 200 million euros is “far from sufficient to fill the gap. ‘financial gap necessary for biodiversity “.

A new framework to protect nature not before 2030

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the COP15 biodiversity was organized online this year, with pre-recorded interventions by Russian presidents Vladimir Poutine, French presidents Emmanuel Macron, Costa Rican Carlos Alvarado or even Turkish Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose country will host the COP16 biodiversity.

A second conference included in this edition of COP15 biodiversity must physically bring together the delegations of the 196 members of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in April-May 2022 in China to close the negotiations. An intermediate negotiating session will take place in Geneva in January.

These discussions focus on establishing a new framework to protect nature, which has been damaged by human activities. However, the deadlines set are very long, this framework would apply to 2050, with a stage in 2030.

“We are losing our suicidal war against nature,” warned UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, warning that “the collapse of ecosystems could cost almost $ 3 trillion per year by 2030”, impacting before all poor countries. “The COP15 is our chance to call for a ceasefire, with the COP26 on the climate” which will be held in November in Glasgow, he continued.

France called on to honor its commitments

The issue of funding is one of the main sticking points, with developing countries asking developed countries to pay for their transition.

The text under negotiation at COP15 notably provides for reorienting and eliminating environmentally harmful subsidies “of at least $ 500 billion per year”, and “to increase financial resources, from all sources, for bring it to at least $ 200 billion a year “.

For some countries, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) is the appropriate tool to finance actions in favor of biodiversity. “All sources, especially those from existing funds, such as the Global Environment Fund but also climate funds, must therefore be mobilized to protect, sustainably manage and restore biodiversity”, pleaded French President Emmanuel Macron.

France, for its part, has pledged to “dedicate 30% of its international climate finance to biodiversity”, recalled the Head of State, calling on other countries to do the same. But according to Pierre Cannet, of WWF France, “the financial commitments made by France almost a year ago (…) have not yet materialized anywhere”. Paris is therefore called upon to act at most by the NGO.

In September, philanthropic organizations, including those of Jeff Bezos and Mike Bloomberg, pledged $ 5 billion to protect nature.

With AFP

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