With COP 15 in Kunming and COP 26 in the UK, 2021 is a big year of action for the planet. Researchers say there was a record drop in global carbon emissions from using fossil fuels during 2020, partly due to lockdowns prompted by the pandemic.
But it wasn’t all good news.
In 2020, the United Nations released a devastating report revealing how the world failed to meet a single one of the 20 Aichi biodiversity targets agreed in Japan in 2010.
The person tasked with making sure the signatories follow through with their promises is Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity. She told The Agenda that she is optimistic about achieving the next set of targets:
“Business has an interest to take action of they have to continue to operate the indigenous peoples and local communities who have been the custodians of biodiversity and nature…This is where there are lessons for conservation of biodiversity, ready to act and share those best practices. I have to be optimistic.”
But do others share her apparent optimism? Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, the former Peruvian Environment minister and now Climate & Energy Global Practice Leader at the World-Wide Fund for Nature, is more cautious. He told The Agenda’s Stephen Cole about the many obstacles which must be overcome when attempting to reverse the damage:
“We are implementing an agreement in a difficult time, not only because of the pandemic - the pandemic has brought many complexities to the process - but also because of the emergence of denialism, polarization, more political difficulties…But the idea is that by 2021 we could recover.”
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