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Environment Protection

Question for COP26

UIN 53870, tabled on 23 September 2021

To ask the President of COP26, with reference to Zero Hour’s report, Three COP Outcomes We Can’t Live Without, (a) if he will make an assessment of its recommendations for (i) a joint emergency strategy for climate and nature (ii) commitment from parties to the UNFCCC to the global carbon budget aligned with 1.5 degrees Celsius and (iii) a global goal to achieve net gains in biodiversity by 2030, against a baseline of 2020 and (b) if he will make it his policy to take forward these recommendations at COP26.

Answered on

18 October 2021

Ahead of COP26, we are calling for global action and ambition to reduce emissions from all sectors in order to meet net zero by 2050 – including in agriculture, forestry and other land use, which is collectively responsible for 23% of global emissions.

On i) we are pushing countries to make ambitious commitments to curb the dual crisis of biodiversity loss and climate change, which will be announced at COP26 in November. This will put us on a path to reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 and mitigate the climate crisis.

In addition, this year the UK has convened meetings between the COP26 and COP15 Presidencies and their respective Secretariats to increase synergies and jointly address the interlinked crises of climate, biodiversity and land through integrated approaches. Discussions have explored the importance of unified action at all levels to restore the land that sustains us, halt the loss of biodiversity, and mitigate and adapt to climate change.

On ii) the science is clear that in order to prevent the most catastrophic effects of climate change we must limit warming to 1.5c. This is why we are urging all parties to submit ambitious NDCs that keep this target within reach by COP26.

On iii) the UK is pursuing a hugely ambitious package of outcomes from COP15 that goes beyond agreement of new global biodiversity goals and targets, but also puts in place the core elements needed to drive real-world change. These are: 1) a set of ambitious targets to deliver on our overall goal of ‘bending the curve of biodiversity loss by 2030’; 2) significantly increased mobilisation of global resources from all sources and a shift towards nature positive decision-making across all sectors; 3) strengthened accountability to mitigate the risk that countries agree ambitious targets but fail to take meaningful steps to deliver change.

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