Groundbreaking nature agreement at COP15

“A Christmas gift to the world’s children”

Espen Barth Eide

Photo: Javad Parsa / NTB
Espen Barth Eide  is Norway’s minister of environment.

Negotiators at COP15 in Montreal, Canada, agree on a groundbreaking nature agreement to protect the world’s land and seas until 2030.

Espen Barth Eide, the Norwegian Minister of Environment said that this agreement is a Christmas gift to the world’s children. Praise over the agreement has come from all over the world, including from the United Nations Secretary General in his end-of-year press conference in New York on Dec. 19, 2022. “Delegates at the COP15 United Nations Biodiversity Conference in Montreal agreed on a new Global Biodiversity Framework. We are finally starting to forge a peace pact with nature. This Framework is an important step for determined diplomacy, and I urge all countries to deliver.”

The negotiations have been going on for four years, and the aim of the United Nations nature summit was to draw the work to a close by finally adopting a framework for global biodiversity – a “price agreement for nature”.

To accomplish this, for two weeks, 196 countries gathered at the conference in Montreal, Canada, which ended on Monday,19 December.

Norway has promised NOK 120 million to “kickstart” the implementation of the new agreement, but there is still a long way to go.

The new nature agreement also aims for at least 30 percent of the earth’s land, coastal and marine areas to be preserved and protected by 2030. Norway has been among the campaigners working to get this into the agreement. Today, only 17 percent of land areas and 10 percent of marine areas are protected.

Human rights and indigenous rights have also been central themes during the conference. The final agreement commits the parties to focus on human rights in the fight against global warming, in addition to the rights of indigenous peoples, gender and youth perspectives.

This agreement is not perfect, but it is a big step. We know that it will be revisited and tightened in the future. We now have numerical global targets for the state of nature in 2030 and 2050. Authorities, businesses and people all over the world will relate to and strive for this, stated Eide.

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Marit Fosse

Marit Fosse trained as an economist from Norwegian school of Economics and Business Administration in Bergen (Norges Handelshøyskole NHH) and then earned a doctorate in social sciences. She is the author of several books. Nansen: Explorer and Humanitarian, co-authored with John Fox, was translated into Russian/Armenian/French. In addition, Fosse is the editor of International Diplomat/Diva International in Geneva, a magazine set up 20 years ago for diplomats and persons working in the international organizations in Geneva but also elsewhere. In her free time, Fosse is an accomplished painter.