On 18 and 19 October at the European Business and Nature Summit, European businesses will join the European Commission and partner organisations advocating for an ambitious outcome of the UN Biodiversity Conference COP15. The COP15, which takes place in Montréal in December, will negotiate a Global Biodiversity Framework – essential to safeguard nature and the many ecosystem services we depend on for our health, wellbeing and economy. Today, nearly 1 million species are at risk of extinction globally and nearly 80% of all habitats in Europe are in poor condition.
Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius said:
Biodiversity loss is bad for business. We rely on nature for natural resources that we use in the economy and more than half of the global GDP depends on nature and its services. Depleting nature thus means bankrupting business. We need nature to mitigate and lessen the impact of climate change, keep our water system in balance, pollinate our fields and protect our physical and mental health. Today, European business has made a clear statement ahead of COP15, living up to the essential role they can play in bringing nature back in our lives and our economy.
André Hoffmann, Vice Chairman of Roche Holding said:
We need to change the way we measure business success – away from financial returns only – and follow a more holistic approach. I would suggest a very simple model: the three Ps or PPP. We need to look after the people, the planet and the profit.
Biodiversity loss: a business case of ‘climate change’ dimensions
Leading companies are already making ambitious commitments and taking decisive action on nature. But these voluntary actions have to be followed by policies that transform our economic and financial systems to become nature-positive.
Whereas climate change is by now a familiar concept in most board rooms, with carbon emission disclosure, reduction and offsetting all on the strategic and operational agenda, this cannot be said of the biodiversity crisis. But for many, the business case to protect and restore nature is equally – or even more – convincing.
- Over half of global GDP depends on nature and the services it provides. The world already lost up to 18.5 trillion per year in ecosystem services from 1997 to 2011 owing to land-cover change, and up to 10.5 trillion per year from land degradation.
- Pollinator-dependent crops contribute to 35 per cent of global crop production volume. Yet at the current rates of decline, 40% of world insect species could go extinct in the next few decades.
- Conserving marine stocks could increase annual profits of the seafood industry by more than €49 billion, while protecting coastal wetlands could save the insurance industry around €50 billion annually through reducing flood damage losses.
- Some 70% of cancer drugs are either natural products or synthetic ones inspired by nature, and 4 billion people rely primarily on natural medicines. Biodiversity loss means the loss of countless medicines before they are ever discovered – an irretrievable loss to humanity.
At the European Business and Nature Summit, European companies and policy makers will therefore discuss how companies and financial institutions can contribute to achieving the objectives of the future Global Biodiversity Framework. In particular, they will voice their support for the concept of “nature-positive” as a global goal for nature, in parallel to the “net-zero” goal for climate. They event is expected to launch a discussion paper on what nature-positive means in practice. The first essential step is that businesses better reflect their impacts and dependencies on biodiversity in their business models and corporate reporting. Companies will also sign a statement, calling on COP15 negotiators to include mandatory assessment and disclosure of biodiversity for all large companies and financials – giving a clear mandate to policymakers to make this bold commitment.
The Summit will also welcome new Finance for Biodiversity Pledge signatories, expanding the current 103 global signatories who have already committed to collaborating, sharing knowledge, engaging, assessing their own biodiversity impact, setting targets and publicly reporting on biodiversity matters by 2024.
Background on CBD COP15
The fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 15) will be the biggest biodiversity conference in a decade. At the conference, all parties need to agree on an ambitious global biodiversity framework to effectively halt and reverse biodiversity loss. The framework will provide a strategic vision and a global roadmap for the conservation, protection, restoration and sustainable management of biodiversity and ecosystems for the next decade.
A first part of the COP15 has been held virtually from 11-15 October. The second part will take place from 7 to 19 December in Montréal. The EU is firmly committed to achieve an ambitious outcome of these negotiations. The Council of Environment ministers, meeting on 24 October, will define the negotiating mandate of the EU.
The European Business and Nature Summit is an important milestone in the road to the second part of the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in Montreal in December 2022 and will strengthen the European "Business for Biodiversity movement" and help the business community shape and prepare for these imminent changes.
For More Information
European Business and Nature Summit webpage #BusinessNatureSummit
EU Business and Biodiversity Platform
- Publication date
- 18 October 2022
- Directorate-General for Environment