The 2021 edition of the One Planet Summit was organized by the Government of France in partnership with the UN and the World Bank.
Leaders highlighted job creation, heritage preservation, and climate change mitigation as benefits of protecting biodiversity.
The gathering yielded a list of "action commitments for biodiversity," including the launch of a High-Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, and momentum for the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosure.
The One Planet Summit highlighted job creation, heritage preservation, and climate change mitigation as benefits of protecting biodiversity. The gathering yielded a list of “action commitments for biodiversity,” including the launch of a High-Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, and momentum for the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosure (TNFD).
The Summit was organized by the Government of France in partnership with the UN and the World Bank. It took place on 11 January 2021, in a largely virtual format, with a focus on commitments to advance the protection nature.
President of France Emmanuel Macron said nature offers solutions that are in humans’ interest, including the creation of millions of jobs. He called for action on: protecting terrestrial and maritime ecosystems, to allow nature to regenerate; promoting agro ecology to safeguard environment, strengthen food-security and reduce inequalities; mobilizing public and private financing, which would support both climate action and protect biodiversity; and reducing deforestation, especially tropical forests, to protect species and human health.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the main goal of the UN in 2021 is to “build a truly global coalition for carbon neutrality.” This means that every country, city, and business must adopt a roadmap for achieving net zero emissions by 2050, and the world must: put a price on carbon; stop building new coal plants; end fossil fuel subsidies; shift the fiscal burden from taxpayers to polluters; align public and private financial flows with the Paris Agreement commitments and the SDGs; and integrate the goal of carbon neutrality into all economic and fiscal decisions.
David Malpass, World Bank Group President, announced during a session on the Great Green Wall that the World Bank Group will invest over USD 5 billion by 2025 to improve livelihoods and restore degraded land in several regions of Africa. The investment aims to improve livelihoods as countries “recover from COVID-19 while also dealing with the impact of both biodiversity loss and climate change on their people and economies.”
The Summit included sessions on “the road to Kunming,” where China will host the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD COP 15); protecting marine and terrestrial areas; promoting agroecology; mobilizing finance for biodiversity; and protecting tropical forests, species, and human health.
Commitments announced or launched during the Summit include:
- High-Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, launched by Costa Rica and France to “create the conditions for the adoption of an ambitious nature protection target” by the CBD COP. The Coalition has the support of 52 countries committed to the protection of 30% of terrestrial and marine spaces by 2030.
- The Great Green Wall Accelerator, announced as a multi-stakeholder initiative to catalyze financial support for the initiative launched in the 1980s to “green” the Sahel region of Africa. Partners have pledged over USD 16 billion by 2025. A secretariat attached to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has been created to follow up on the pledges.
- The Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosure (TNFD), promoted as equivalent to the TCFD for climate-related disclosures. The One Planet Summit website reports that the event “generated political momentum” for the TNFD, particularly from Canada, France, and the UK. The initiative will develop a framework for measuring the risks, impacts, and benefits of economic activities with regard to biodiversity.