I hope it’s clear by now that although I am highly sceptical about our ability to control the climate, I do care deeply about the environment. One of the things that constantly bothers me about the climate-concerned, is that attempts to control the climate always seem to trump concerns about the environment, to the extent that they often cause more harm than good. That is, inter alia, why I wrote “Saving the Planet by Trashing Iti and “For Peat’s Sakeii.

Nevertheless, there is another side to this, or at least there can be. Some people at the United Nations do seem to care about the environment for its own sake, not just as a useful tool to enable them to scream hysterically about climate change. Climate COPs are not the only ones held by the UN, for instance. Many people might be blissfully unaware that there are also biodiversity COPs.

Delayed Again

Of course, one reason why many people have no idea about the biodiversity COPs, is because the UN don’t take them anything like as seriously as the climate COPs, and the mainstream media don’t seem to be much interested either. I have written this on 25th April, the very day that Part 2 of COP15 on Biodiversity should have started to take place in person in Kunming, China, following the first part of the conference, which took place virtually from 11th to 15th October 2021.

Not only was the issue deemed to be sufficiently unimportant for the first part of the meeting to be held in person (presumably because of covid concerns) – compare and contrast the climate COP 26 in Glasgow; but nobody seems much bothered to get on with the in-person bits of the conference. Last year the UN websiteiii told us that Part 2 of the conference, the in-person bit, would take place in Kunming commencing today, and would continue until 8th May 2022. We were told:

The second and resumed part of the meetings are expected to address the remaining agenda items, including the finalization and adoption of the post 2020 global biodiversity framework.

We were also told:

The Secretariat will keep Parties and the public updated of any changes and adjustments to the schedule.

And now we learniv (the update was provided on 19th April 2022, less than a week before Part 2 of COP 15 was supposed to commence) that:

The second part of COP 15 will take place in the third quarter of 2022 (dates to be determined).

Yes, so seriously do the folks at the UN take the issue of biodiversity, that they haven’t even bothered yet to agree on some alternative dates. Nor is any reason offered for the delay. And the delay is occurring even though that we are told that:

Despite on-going efforts, biodiversity is deteriorating worldwide and this decline is projected to worsen with business-as-usual scenarios.

Biodiversity: Pressure grows for deal to save nature

Which all makes a bit of a nonsense of the above headline to a rare BBC articlev on its website, dating to 29th March 2022. It was tucked away in the “Science & Environment” section, with no chance of it getting near the front section of the BBC website (again, compare and contrast the near hysterical reporting through most of last year, reaching fever pitch when COP 26 was about to commence). By then, it appears that delays were already anticipated, since we were then told that the conference was expected to resume in August 2022. The article also told us:

Observers have slammed the “snail’s pace” of negotiations and are pressing for a strengthening of ambitions.

Divisions remain, including over financing the plans.

Observers might well slam the snail’s pace of negotiations, and they have even more reason to do so now, since April has slipped to maybe August, to perhaps the third quarter of the year, but on dates yet to be determined. Yet has anyone at the BBC or the Guardian, the COP 26 cheer-leaders, bothered to report on the continuing delays? Has Bernadette Fischler Hooper, head of international advocacy at WWF-UK been wheeled out again to comment on the delay? Not so far as I can see, despite the seriousness of the situation:

Scientists have issued repeated warnings about threats to nature driven by human actions, including chopping down forests and turning natural land over to farming.

A landmark 2019 assessment warned that nature was declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history, with up to one million species facing extinction.

The Cop15 conference in Kunming is expected to take place almost two years later than originally planned due to repeated delays caused by the Covid pandemic.

This has left the world without targets over the course of this decade for halting extinctions and reversing the worldwide loss of nature.

Meanwhile, the spoiled kid that is the climate change lobby continues to gain all the limelight.

Who cares? I do, but I’m not sure many people at the UN, BBC or the Guardian are really much bothered.

Endnotes

i https://cliscep.com/2021/04/11/saving-the-planet-by-trashing-it/

ii https://cliscep.com/2021/06/29/for-peats-sake/

iii https://www.cbd.int/article/new-dates-cop15-virtual-2021-facetoface-2022

iv https://www.unep.org/events/conference/un-biodiversity-conference-cop-15

v https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-60737448

27 Comments

  1. A very worthy article.
    I was taught most about care of the environment and the need for conservation by my Physics teacher in the 1950s and strive to keep my environmental “footprint” as low as possible.
    What really annoys me is that very, very few people understand the concept of the “finite” least of all the waistful, hypocritical “climate change protagonists”
    One day we will exhaust the vital supplies for our industrial economy – that’s when what we enjoy will come to an end, and there will be no “magic bullet”!

    Like

  2. This has left the world without targets over the course of this decade for halting extinctions and reversing the worldwide loss of nature.

    I have become cynical about targets over the years. A lot of time is spent compiling lists of threatened species, and then not much time is spent actually protecting them. The Natura 2000 network actually seems to be rather good until you find that its protection is paper thin. Regarding Hornsea 3:

    The Secretary of State is satisfied that there are no alternatives to fulfilling the objectives of the Development and that the Development provides a benefit that is imperative to the public interest. He is also satisfied that the public benefits of the Development would over-ride the impacts to the Flamborough and Filey Coast Special Protection Area and the North Norfolk Sandbanks and Saturn Reef Special Area of Conservation and The Wash and North Norfolk Coast Special Area of Conservation, if appropriate compensation is secured. He is further satisfied that appropriate compensation would be secured by the conditions he intends to attach to the Order.

    The conditions are artificial kittiwake nests. There are apparently no alternatives to a wind farm which is “imperative to the public interest.” An example of an international conservation agreement that you can more or less ignore when it’s not convenient.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Here’s an example of the sort of thing I was alluding to:

    “50bn tonnes of sand and gravel extracted each year, finds UN study
    Calls for international standard on extraction and better monitoring of most-exploited resource after water”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/apr/26/50bn-tonnes-of-sand-and-gravel-extracted-each-year-finds-un-study

    “Humans extract 50bn tonnes of sand and gravel every year, according to UN research, enough to build a wall 27 metres high by 27 metres wide around the planet.

    Sand is the most-exploited resource after water. But unlike water, it is not recognised as a key strategic resource by governments and industry, something, the UN says, that must change and fast.

    The UN report makes the case for greater monitoring of extraction and supply chains, measures to compensate for the associated loss of animal and plant species as well as the uneven social and economic impacts of sand mining.

    Given the extent and growing awareness of human reliance on sand for economic development in industries, ranging from construction to IT manufacturing and a number of other booming sectors, the researchers said a fundamental shift in the understanding and valuation of sand was urgently needed.”

    Hmm. “…a number of other booming sectors…”. Would that include solar panel manufacturing?

    https://www.greenmatch.co.uk/blog/2014/12/how-are-solar-panels-made

    “It all starts with the raw material, which in our case is sand. Most solar panels are made of silicon, which is the main component in natural beach sand.

    Silicon is abundantly available, making it the second most available element on Earth.

    However, converting sand into high grade silicon comes at a high cost and is an energy intensive process. High-purity silicon is produced from quartz sand in an arc furnace at very high temperatures.”

    But back to the Guardian article:

    “A lack of governance has up to now created an informational black hole around the procurement and use of sand. The Global Aggregates Information Network estimated aggregates production rose 4.9% in the last year from 42.2bn tonnes in 2020 to 44.3bn tonnes in 2021. But the UN report noted: “Globally, the sand supply base is not known and only aggregate production estimates are available.”

    Meanwhile, sand extraction continues to drive biodiversity loss, exacerbates flood risk in removing natural barriers to storm surge such as dunes, affects the livelihoods of fishing communities and even fuel conflict. Its end uses are also some of the biggest industrial contributors to the climate crisis, with recent estimates suggesting the concrete sector, if it were measured as a country, would have the third-highest carbon emissions in the world.

    Emerging research suggests more than 1,000 threatened “red list” species of animals and plants are affected by sand and gravel extraction – with that figure thought to extend to 24,000 species overall.”

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  4. It should be considered that commonly aggregate extraction extends down to or below the water table. This means that, upon abandonment (which commonly happens rather quickly) the holes become valuable sites for refuse disposal or, if abandoned, flood and become converted into wetlands, so benefiting a different and valued type of wildlife. Even some refuse sites are grassed or treed over and get added to our otherwise fast-declining wildlife habitat.

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  5. Alan, interesting observations. No doubt true in some cases. But on a large scale, does sand and gravel extraction do more harm than good to biodiversity? At least we here ask the questions – the usual suspects won’t even go there, I suspect.

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  6. Mark. The question is if you protect habitat by not extracting aggregates, what do you use in their place? Forego large buildings? Return to mud n’wattle?

    There is another aspect and that is that you reduce the monetary value of land to near zero when you seemingly protect it by conferring upon it special status. Developers see parcels of land with essentially zero value and time after time are able to convince authorities to waive protections and yet another precious nugget is consumed into the development maw.

    Like

  7. Not a mention of climate change, almost astonishingly:

    “One in five reptiles is threatened with extinction”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-61242789

    “One in five reptiles is threatened with extinction, according to the first comprehensive assessment of more than 10,000 species across the world.

    Scientists are calling for urgent conservation action for crocodiles and turtles, which are in a particularly dire situation.

    They say reptiles have long been overlooked in conservation, because they are seen as less charismatic than “furry and feathery” creatures.

    So far, 31 species have gone extinct….

    …Habitat destruction from the expansion of farmland, urban development and logging is a big factor pushing reptiles to the brink. Crocodiles and turtles also face threats from hunting…

    …Neil Cox of the IUCN-Conservation International Biodiversity Assessment Unit said negotiations at the upcoming summit on biodiversity in Kunming, China, will be critical for trying to turn the tide on biodiversity loss.

    “The hope is that we can really start making efforts to reverse this extinction catastrophe,” he said.

    The final version of the draft UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will be negotiated at the COP15 summit, which is expected to take place at the end of August….”.

    Better late than never, I suppose.

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  8. “Nature loss: ‘Insatiable greed’ degrading land around the world”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-61221666

    That and wind farms….

    But back to the article:

    “Human activities are damaging and degrading the lands of the Earth in an unsustainable fashion according to a new UN report.

    Up to 40% of the global terrain has already been devalued, mainly through modern agriculture.

    If nothing changes, then an additional area of land the size of South America will be damaged by 2050.”

    Like

  9. “Pollution responsible for one in six deaths across planet, scientists warn
    Toxic air, water and soil are ‘existential threat to human and planetary health’, says global review”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/may/17/pollution-responsible-one-in-six-deaths-across-planet

    “Pollution is killing 9 million people a year, a review has found, making it responsible for one in six of all deaths.

    Toxic air and contaminated water and soil “is an existential threat to human health and planetary health, and jeopardises the sustainability of modern societies”, the review concluded.

    The death toll from pollution dwarfs that from road traffic deaths, HIV/Aids, malaria and TB combined, or from drug and alcohol misuse. The researchers calculated the economic impact of pollution deaths at $4.6tn (£3.7tn), about $9m a minute.

    The overall impact of pollution has not improved since the first global review in 2017, since when 45 million lives have been lost to it. Prevention was largely overlooked in the international development agenda, the researchers said, with funding increasing only minimally since 2015….

    …Toxic chemicals resulted in 1.8 million deaths, including 900,000 deaths from lead pollution, which is more than from HIV/Aids. Lead poisoning could significantly reduce intelligence across large populations, Fuller said, sources of which include water pipes, paint, backyard car battery recycling, as well foodstuffs such as contaminated turmeric.

    The number of deaths from chemical pollutants was likely to be an underestimate, the scientists said, as only a small proportion of the 350,000 synthetic chemicals in use had been adequately tested for safety. The cocktail of chemical pollution that pervades the planet has passed the safe limit for the stability of global ecosystems upon which humanity depends, researchers reported in January.

    More than 90% of pollution deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, such as India and Nigeria. While high-income countries, such as the US and members of the EU, had controlled the worst forms of pollution, the researchers said, few less affluent nations had been able to make pollution a priority….”.

    Which, I suppose, is why the UN largely ignores this and climate change is the great obsession…

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  10. “‘Sleepwalking through extinction’: China urged to end delays to Cop15 summit
    Covid lockdowns in host country frustrate scientists as no date in sight for key UN conservation conference after two years of delays”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/may/20/sleepwalking-into-disaster-china-urged-end-delays-set-date-kunming-cop15-un-summit-aoe

    “China has been urged to name a date for a key UN nature summit this year, amid growing frustration with Beijing and concerns among experts that we are “sleepwalking through this cataclysmic climate extinction”.

    After two years of delays, governments had been scheduled to meet in Kunming, China, for Cop15 in late April to negotiate this decade’s targets to halt and reverse the rampant destruction of ecosystems and wildlife crucial to human civilisation. It had been hoped the summit would be a “Paris moment” for biodiversity, with China holding the presidency for a major UN environmental agreement for the first time.

    But after successive pandemic-related delays, and now a Covid-19 outbreak the Chinese government is struggling to control, there is no date for the summit despite dire scientific warnings about a human-driven sixth mass extinction of life on Earth.

    At a bureau meeting of the UN convention on biological diversity on Thursday, China was again unable to provide a date for the event, which it had previously indicated might take place at the end of August.

    Oscar Soria, campaign director of the activism site Avaaz, said: “It’s unbelievable that China is not able to provide any answers [about the date for Cop15]. It sends the wrong message – that this is not important, and can be postponed, even though we are in an ecological emergency and this cannot wait….”…”.

    And:

    “…Doug Flynn, a biodiversity financing specialist, said: “The political process feels as though it’s being ignored – not treated with the seriousness it deserves. Every time you push it down the road, you weaken it because you’ve got less time to actually action it and make it real … The political process is essential because it sets the playing field. Policy is the most powerful tool we have in this fight.

    “For someone working in the sector for so long, it feels like we’re sleeping through this cataclysmic climate extinction,” he said. “The deafening silence of collapsing ecosystems seems to be matched by the deafening silence of global action, and that has to change.”…”.

    I am often quick to criticise the Guardian (with good reason, I think) but I give it credit for highlighting this issue on this occasion.

    Like

  11. No great surprise, perhaps, but there are some who want the UN Biodiversity Conference’s COP15 to be mostly about climate change. Here’s an open letter signed by 144 scientists (allegedly):

    https://www.ceebill.uk/cop15

    Some familiar names. Eg, Charlie Gardner, who co-founded Scientist Rebellion (the tiny XR outfit that recently got $100k from US plutocrats, possibly by mistake), Sir Andy Haines (who said in the early noughties that climate change was already killing ~150k people a year) and Dave Goulson (who used to be the go-to expert on UK bees but has become deranged by the climate crisis in recent years).

    The letter was organised by Zero Hour, which provided the 144 tally.

    But some of the signatories appear twice. Is 144 a gross overstatement? (Geddit?) Prolly not. 120?

    And are they all scientists? Can’t be arsed to check but such letters usually attract people who are only tenuously linked to science.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. “COP15: UN biodiversity summit moved from China to Canada”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-61871373

    “Major UN talks aimed at striking a deal on safeguarding nature have been moved from China to Canada.

    The COP15 UN Biodiversity Conference began as virtual, online talks in October last year.

    Negotiations were meant to reconvene in Kunming, China in April but that was repeatedly postponed due to Covid.

    The talks are aimed at setting global policy for the next decade. They will now conclude in Montreal between December 5-17.

    The aim of the summit, which China will still chair despite the venue change, is to approve the final version of the draft UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)…

    …Observers have previously slammed the “snail’s pace” of negotiations and are pressing for a strengthening of ambitions…

    …Andrew Deutz, Director of Global Policy, Institutions and Conservation Finance at The Nature Conservancy said his organisation was “relieved and thankful that we have a firm date for these critically important biodiversity final negotiations within this calendar year.

    The global community is already behind in agreeing, let alone implementing, a plan to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030, a plan that people and wildlife desperately need.””

    Like

  13. “Cop15: lack of political leadership leaves crucial nature summit ‘in peril’, warn NGOs
    Nairobi biodiversity talks end in stalemate, prompting open letter to world leaders calling for action before Montreal conference”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jun/28/cop15-lack-of-political-leadership-leaves-crucial-biodiversity-summit-in-peril-aoe

    “UN biodiversity negotiations have reached crisis point due to a lack of engagement from governments, leading NGOs have warned, three years after experts revealed that Earth’s life-support systems are collapsing.

    Last week, countries met in Nairobi for an extra round of talks on an agreement to halt the human-driven destruction of the natural world, with the final targets set to be agreed at Cop15 in Montreal. Governments have never met a target they have set for themselves on halting the destruction of nature despite scientists warning in 2019 that one million species face extinction, and that nature is declining at rates unprecedented in human history….

    …In an open letter published on Monday, environmental groups including Greenpeace, Avaaz, the Campaign for Nature and the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity said progress on the final deal was not being made, and the talks lacked high-level political engagement. In the run-up to any Cop, negotiations are largely handled by technical specialists in the initial phases, with ministers typically getting involved at the end of talks.

    The letter calls on the UN secretary general, António Guterres, and government ministers to inject political leadership into the process and avert disaster at Cop15 in Montreal in December. China will oversee the event as president after its zero-Covid policy forced organisers to move the summit earlier this month.

    “Negotiations have become stagnant, and the post-2020 global biodiversity framework is in peril,” the letter reads. “Countries had once pointed to Cop15 as an opportunity to deliver a global deal for nature and people, similar in significance to the Paris climate agreement, but there is a notable absence of the high-level political engagement, will and leadership to drive through compromise and to guide and inspire the commitments that are required.”…”.

    Like

  14. “Put the planet before football, UN head of Cop15 nature summit tells leaders
    December clash of biodiversity talks in Montreal and World Cup in Qatar will cause ‘embarrassment’ if ministers fail to act wisely”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jul/05/put-montreal-cop15-biodiversity-summit-before-qatar-football-world-cup-mrema

    “World leaders must not let the World Cup in Qatar distract them from a simultaneous nature summit, or they face being embarrassed by the outcome, the UN’s biodiversity chief has warned.

    This December, delegates will travel to Montreal, Canada, for the UN biodiversity conference, known as Cop15, to negotiate a new set of global goals for nature over the next decade after two years of delays, with the final agreement due to be reached on the eve of the World Cup final on 18 December.

    Presidents and prime ministers routinely attend the World Cup, but Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, executive secretary of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, has urged world leaders to remain focused on the nature negotiations, which environmental organisations have warned are in crisis due to the lack of engagement by governments.”

    Yes, it’s all a question of priorities. Unfortunately, apart from the football, this seems to be the priority:

    “Cop15 will start just two weeks after the end of the climate-focused Cop27 in Egypt”

    Like

  15. It’s a question of which crisis will kill us first. Except the climate crisis is doing a *really* bad job at that, which is of immense concern.

    That’s from Lomborg (of course) on 1st January 2022. Details in that Facebook post.

    Like

  16. “Efforts to pass global ocean protection treaty fail”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-62680423

    “A fifth effort to pass a global agreement to protect the world’s oceans and marine life has failed.

    Talks to pass the UN High Seas Treaty had been ongoing for two weeks in New York, but governments could not agree on the terms.

    Despite international waters representing nearly two-thirds of the world’s oceans, only 1.2% is protected.

    Environmental campaigners have called it a “missed opportunity”.

    The last international agreement on ocean protection was signed 40 years ago in 1982 – the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.”

    Like

  17. “What is Cop15 and why does it matter for all life on Earth?
    Once-in-a-decade plans to protect the natural world and halt its destruction will be decided in Canada in December”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/aug/30/what-is-cop15-and-why-does-it-matter-for-all-life-on-earth-aoe

    …How is it different from the climate Cops?
    Biodiversity Cops are separate from climate Cops, the most recent of which was Cop26 in Glasgow. Climate Cops have a clear focus to limit global temperature rises to “well below” 2C above pre-industrial levels, while aiming to limit heating to 1.5C, as settled under the Paris agreement in 2015.

    At the moment, the UN’s biodiversity process does not have an equivalent north star. Governments will sign off targets under the three aims of the convention – conservation, sustainable use and sharing the benefits of genetic resources – which can sometimes clash with each other and are often very technical, even for those negotiating the agreement…

    Like

  18. “‘Point of no return’: Chris Packham leads calls for Rishi Sunak to attend Cop15
    Conservationist says if world leaders do not go to the summit a strong deal to halt and reverse nature loss is at risk”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/nov/25/chris-packham-leads-call-for-pm-to-attend-cop15-aoe

    Chris Packham is urging the British prime minister, Rishi Sunak, to attend a key nature summit to protect the planet for the sake of his great-grandchildren because we are “very close to the point of no return”.

    The Cop15 biodiversity summit being held in Montreal from 7-19 December is the nature equivalent of the recent Cop27 climate summit in Egypt, with governments from all over the world expected to agree targets to halt the destruction of the natural world. But world leaders are not expected to attend the once-in-a-decade meeting where the next 10 years of targets will be agreed…

    …World leaders have not been invited to Cop15 and there are fears that the summit will not be treated with the importance it deserves….

    I suspect those fears are justified. Only climate alarmism sells newspapers and interests politicians and the likes of the BBC. My money’s on Sunak not attending, and probably not even Biden, despite being next door, and certainly not President Xi.

    Like

  19. Chris Packham says –
    “Sunak ought to be looking further into the future, to protect the planet, not for himself, but for his great-grandchildren, if he’s in that way motivated, because environmental care isn’t about the next five minutes, it’s about the next 500 years,” the TV presenter and campaigner told the Guardian. “And that’s what none of these numpties can grasp, or want to grasp. Because all they can see is short-termism, which is about making short-term fixes so that they can get another short term of power, if they can possibly get their grubby hands on it.”

    no bias from Chris then. what a numpty.

    Like

  20. dfhunter,

    Chris Packham might be a numpty, but it all depends on your point of view. I don’t doubt his sincerity, and although I find him overbearing at times, I agree with a reasonable amount of what he says.

    My big problem with him is that he has a voice in the mainstream media largely because of who he is. And who is he? A highly-paid privileged BBC presenter. Working for the BBC shouldn’t mean you are not allowed to hold, or even express, political views. But it does seem wrong that so many people are able to leverage that BBC-induced celebrity, while others equally passionate, knowledgeable and sincere don’t have a voice in the media because they’re not celebrities.

    I don’t where the line should be drawn, nor how to draw it, but there doesn’t even seem to be a line at the moment regarding using the BBC to advance political messaging. Although I’m going O/T now, the same can be said of advertising. I thought the BBC was not permitted to advertise, yet very many BBC TV and radio programmes nowadays are simply a means to push somebody’s book, programme or business. How did that happen, and why is it pemitted?

    Like

  21. “Cop15 was meant to be nature’s Paris moment, but Greta Thunberg’s ‘blah, blah, blah’ cry is proving right
    The Secret Negotiator
    In Montreal, progress on biodiversity issues has been slow. We cannot go on like this”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/dec/14/cop15-was-meant-to-be-natures-paris-moment-but-greta-thunberg-blah-blah-blah

    ven by the glacial standards of UN biodiversity negotiations, Cop15 has been slow. We have been in Montreal for more than a week and I am flabbergasted at the lack of progress, especially after how important several world leaders said the summit would be.

    There is still time to turn it around. But there is no political urgency behind the biodiversity crisis or any desire for transformative change, as far as I can tell. Greta Thunberg’s “blah, blah, blah” criticism of government negotiations on the environment is proving right as things stand, unfortunately.

    We have made progress on parts of the agreement that are not so controversial, but we have left all of the difficult bits to the final few days of a process that has taken three years. It sets up a dramatic showdown for ministers this weekend and early next week as Christmas gets closer. Late-night bilaterals and in-corridor meetings will soon be with us.

    Behind closed doors, countries seem equally dysfunctional. The African group seems uncoordinated, the Latin Americans appear divided, the Europeans are not being constructive, the Canadians have not been helpful in talks and the Chinese are quiet….

    …There are not the same main economic interests here that we see for climate change. But this was meant to be nature’s Paris moment and it looks like that ambition is being pushed into the 2030s and 2040s.

    China is not providing the leadership we need for a breakthrough at the moment. It has always been quiet in UN biodiversity negotiations but this is not the normal role of a Cop president. Politically, a president is responsible for helping to resolve differences and pushing countries to sort out their divisions. That may be happening – nobody has perfect information about the state of play at Cop15 – but it does not seem to be the case.

    In talks, China has remained objective and offered no opinions, telling other countries that they must sort it out between themselves. We cannot go on like this. Someone needs to step up….

    The crucial sentence in that for me was this: “There are not the same main economic interests here that we see for climate change.”

    Like

  22. Then there’s this:

    “Walkouts and tensions as row over finance threatens to derail Cop15 talks
    Delegates from developing nations leave discussions as divisions grow over who should pay to protect biodiversity”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/dec/14/walkouts-and-tensions-as-row-over-finance-threatens-to-derail-cop15-talks

    Divisions between developed and developing nations over who should pay to protect Earth’s ecosystems are threatening to derail a UN biodiversity summit after a group of developing countries walked out of discussions overnight.

    In echoes of last month’s Cop27 climate summit in Egypt – where countries agreed to create a new fund to compensate loss and damage from global heating in vulnerable nations – countries from the global south left Cop15 talks on Wednesday due to disagreements over finance.

    The Cop15 host, China, was organising crisis talks with heads of delegations on Wednesday to try to resolve the issue as more walkouts continued in a row over whether rich countries, such as China and Brazil, should get more aid for biodiversity.

    “Nothing moves until finance moves,” said one observer close to the talks.

    Some countries in the global south want a new fund to be created for biodiversity as part of the final agreement in Canada, alongside increased funding from richer nations. But wealthy donor countries in Europe and the global north are opposed to the creation of a new fund. They say that China, Brazil and other large economies, which have grown substantially in the last 30 years since the UN’s environmental treaties were agreed, should be contributing a lot more.

    UN donor funding for biodiversity is currently targeted at key regions to protect vital ecosystems and stop ongoing harm. China, Brazil, India, Mexico and Indonesia are the top five historical recipients from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and are to feature in the top five for the next $5.3bn (£4.3bn) funding cycle from 2022 to 2026. Many biodiverse nations from Africa, Asia and Latin America argue that they should get more money to pay for conservation….

    Sound familiar? I can’t help feeling that’s whether it’s climate or biodiversity, nobody really cares, it’s just all about transferring money to developing countries. Now maybe that’s a good thing. But maybe we should just drop the pretence?

    Liked by 1 person

  23. No hullaballoo about this COP< and although the outcome is being bigged up, it sounds weak:

    "COP15: Summit agrees on 'pact with nature'"

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-64019324

    Part of the problem, of course, is an obsession with GHG emissions and climate change. Many of the "solutions" to that "problem" are themselves destructive of nature. That's a difficult square to circle.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. A bit ironic, in the week that a fairly feeble “saving nature” deal has just been announced:

    “Finland’s green transition is about to destroy Rudolf’s Christmas”

    As Finland sacrifices its last remaining wilderness areas to wind energy production, the nation’s reindeer herders are now crying out for help.

    In Finland, like many other countries, a fossil fuel-based way of life is coming to an end, no longer gradually and quietly, but with accelerating urgency. The national policy of the green transition is manifesting as a massive boom of wind energy construction and widespread new mining interests. Metals and rare earth minerals are key elements in the green transition.

    Wind energy plays a vital role in increasing the renewable energy supply. The national objective is to multiply wind energy production by 2030–2035. Estimates vary, but up to 25% of total production of electricity will be allocated to wind power. Annual wind power production is planned to be accelerated from the current level of around 6 TWh in 2019 to 23 TWh in 2030 and 30 TWh in 2035.

    Finland’s current policy is that domestic electricity production will increase to the extent that the country will also become a major supplier of electricity. Self-sufficient in terms of annual energy supply by 2030 and a net exporter to European countries thereafter. Many projects are already under way in northern Finland.

    In terms of biodiversity, landscape values and the vital role Finland’s forests play as carbon sinks at the top of the world, it would be wiser to locate wind power in areas that are already constructed, in the immediate vicinity of industrial areas or major roads. However, government policy and laws direct wind power to more remote natural areas – in the north, the last remaining reindeer pasturelands. Reindeer habitat is fragmenting, narrowing, and disappearing as a result. Reindeer herding is deprived of its very ability to exist.

    Reindeer husbandry is the oldest viable nature dependent livelihood in northern Finland. An indigenous culture that has been in the region long before the Finnish state existed, today plays a crucial role in monitoring the impacts of climatic change, while also enduring these impacts from the front line. The biggest threat to this way of life is industrial land use and extraction, in all its forms, taking over the nation’s lands and waters.

    In northern Finland, the green transition currently means deforestation, loss of natural diversity, new mines, carbon dioxide emissions and scarred landscapes. The minerals and material required for power plants, batteries, electricity storage and transmission should therefore be critically examined.

    The full life cycle of wind turbines, the actual carbon footprint and environmental impacts ought to be considered too.

    Another key point of consideration is the functionality of the turbines in freezing winter temperatures – several wind turbines have been halted simultaneously because of freezing this winter.

    But investment in the green transition is urgent and Finland is turning a blind eye. In troubled times, the Finns are now yearning for informed and courageous political leadership.

    If the industrial revolution of the 19th century was characterized by chimneys billowing out thick smoke and the weary faces of factory workers. Today, in Finland, the green revolution will be portrayed as an army of wind turbines, their blades spinning slowly over the empty landscape, casting a black shadow over the last wilderness areas of Europe.

    These wilderness areas have for centuries been sustaining a way of life we could have so much to learn from in terms of sustainable living. But the green transition is well on its way to destroying the region’s indigenous and still vital culture. Along with that we can say goodbye to a winter wonderland, Santa Claus, and his reindeers too.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. More on the story about the conflict between “green” Swedish industries and the reindeer herders:

    “Reindeer herders fear Arctic industry boom”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-63901217

    I think it makes for an interesting read, with it finally dawning on some people that “green” (in the sense of “fighting” climate change) isn’t actually green at all, inasmuch as it often causes significant environmental damage.

    Liked by 1 person

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