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U.N. summit clinches 196-nation deal to halt biodiversity loss

Negotiators reached the 30% by 2030 or "30 by 30" deal – which would improve on the 17% of land and 10% of water now protected – just as the almost two-week United Nations Biodiversity Conference, or COP15, was due to end.

A last-minute deal in Montréal aims to protect 30% of the planet to counter an extinction crisis.
A last-minute deal in Montréal aims to protect 30% of the planet to counter an extinction crisis. (AN/Cam James/Unsplash)

The U.N. biodiversity summit arrived at a historic global deal that aims to conserve for wildlife at least 30% of the planet's land, freshwater and ocean resources by 2030, while mobilizing US$200 billion a year to help meet the targets.

Negotiators reached the "30 by 30" deal – which would improve on the 17% of land and 10% of water now protected – early on Monday, just as the almost two-week United Nations Biodiversity Conference, or COP15, was due to end.

The conference in Montréal was presided over by China, whose new draft agreement on Sunday succeeded in patching together earlier divisions at what the organizers dubbed a "sometimes fractious" conference.

The agreement among 196 nations promises to raise US$200 billion a year in public and financing for biodiversity by 2030, roughly double the amount spent for it in 2020, and to provide 15% of that to the countries most in need.

The U.N.-hosted summit originally scheduled for Kunming, China, was held two years later in Canada due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Wildlife and conservation leaders hailed it as the equivalent of committing to a 1.5° Celsius limit for climate.

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