Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

top
Capital News
Xi Jinping speaks at the summit in the Chinese city of Kunming

World

China pledges $233 million to global biodiversity fund

Xi Jinping speaks at the summit in the Chinese city of Kunming © AFP / STR

Beijing (AFP), Oct 12 – China on Tuesday pledged to inject $233 million into a new fund to protect biodiversity in developing countries during a key UN conservation summit, despite disagreements among major donors on the initiative.

Beijing — the world’s biggest polluter — has sought to play a more prominent role internationally on biodiversity conservation in recent years.

Its pledge came as delegates from about 195 countries gathered in the southern Chinese city of Kunming for the first of a two-part summit on safeguarding plants, animals and ecosystems.

The summit aims to establish a new accord setting out targets for 2030 and 2050.

“China will take the lead in establishing the Kunming biodiversity fund with a capital contribution of 1.5 billion yuan ($233 million) to support the cause of biodiversity conservation in developing countries,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said during a speech delivered via video link at the COP15 leaders’ summit.

“China calls on… all parties to contribute to the fund.”

A key proposal being debated at the conference is the “30 by 30” agenda that would afford 30 percent of the Earth’s land and oceans protected status by 2030.

Global spending to protect and restore nature needs to triple this decade to about $350 billion annually by 2030 and $536 billion by 2050 to meet this target, a UN report said in May.

But some rich country donors say a new fund for conservation is unnecessary because the United Nations’ Global Environment Facility already helps developing nations finance green projects.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“It is… important to mobilise all sources, including existing funds such as the global environment facility and the climate fund, to protect… and restore biodiversity,” French President Emmanuel Macron said.

The funding issue will be taken up at negotiations in Geneva in January 2022 and then later at the second part of the summit in April and May next year.

China’s pledge is far below the $4 billion committed by Britain for global conservation projects over the next five years or France’s commitment to spend 30 percent of its climate finance on biodiversity.

“China’s announcement… is the start not the end of the race,” said Georgina Chandler, senior international policy officer at the UK-based Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

“We now need to… see other countries stepping up between now and spring next year… Without tangible actions on the table, the world will agree on yet another set of targets with no commitment to delivering them.”

– ‘Suicidal war’ –

The UN Convention on Biological Diversity has been ratified by 195 countries and the European Union — although not the United States, the world’s biggest polluter historically — with the parties meeting every two years.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that the world’s poorest nations will be worst affected by biodiversity loss.

“We are losing our suicidal war against nature,” he said.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“Ecosystem collapse could cost almost $3 trillion annually by 2030 — its greatest impact will be on some of the poorest and highly indebted countries.”

The biodiversity discussions at COP15 are separate from the weightier COP26 summit set to begin next month in Glasgow, where world leaders are under pressure to act on the climate crisis.

Play to listen to Capital FM News
Advertisement

More on Capital News

Capital Health

Beijing, China, Oct 21 – Authorities in China cancelled hundreds of flights, closed schools and ramped up mass testing on Thursday to try and...

Fifth Estate

The first round of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) is underway in...

Fifth Estate

Last month, three Chinese astronauts returned to earth after a successful three-month mission to space. The Shenzhou-12 spacecraft became the first manned flight to...

World

Beijing (AFP), Oct 9 – China’s President Xi Jinping said on Saturday that “peaceful reunification” with Taiwan “will be and can be realised”, as...

World

Washington (AFP), Oct 7 – US special operations forces have been quietly training Taiwanese troops for months, a move which China warned Friday could...

World

Taipei, Taiwan, Oct 7 – The head of a French delegation of senators on Thursday called Taiwan a “country” during a visit to Taipei,...

World

Taipei, Taiwan, Oct 5 – Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen warned of “catastrophic consequences” if the island were to fall to China and vowed to...

Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 4 – The Kenya National Highway Authority (KeNHA) is set to open sections of the Nairobi Expressway to ease traffic congestion...