Africa: Former Heads of Government Call On African Climate Summit – Ensure $20 Billion Nature Finance Promise By 2025 Is Prioritized

At the African Climate Summit, His Excellency Iván Duque, former President of Colombia, His Excellency Hailemariam Desalegn, former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, and His Excellency Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, former Prime Minister of Uganda called on leaders and ministers to ensure that the nature finance commitment made at COP15 to deliver at least $20 billion per annum from developed countries to developing countries by 2025 is given the prominence it requires.

The three world leaders highlighted that the climate crisis and the biodiversity crisis are deeply interrelated and stressed that no efforts to combat climate change will succeed without sufficient attention on nature conservation.

In an Open Letter former heads of state, ministers, diplomats, and scientists who make up the Campaign for Nature Steering Committee called on governments to act with greater urgency to confront the alarming loss of nature and prioritize efforts to increase nature financing and deliver on the historic target to protect 30% of the worlds land and ocean.

“At this summit, we have heard a lot of talk and announcements on private finance and credits for climate action. While innovative finance mechanisms with integrity are welcome, they cannot be used as a proxy or substitute for developed countries to meet their promise of $20bn in nature finance to developing countries by the fast-approaching deadline of 2025.” Said His Excellency Duque, former President of Colombia

“$20 billion of international finance for biodiversity is less than 1% of the $2.24 trillion in global defense spending, yet investment in the natural world is our best defense to prevent the collapse of our ecosystems which is key to our global economic stability and security. The Global North must begin to value and support the Global South’s stewardship of the biological resources and ecosystem services that we all, as a global community, depend on. The Global North must move fast to devise a strategy so that this $20 bn promise is delivered by 2025.”  Said His Excellency Hailemariam Desalegn, former Prime Minister of Ethiopia

“The success of this week’s summit – and more broadly, the success of global efforts to combat climate change – will require prioritizing nature conservation alongside actions to swiftly curb carbon emissions. It is critical that leaders this week send a strong signal that the world must deliver on its promises on nature finance, not only to help prevent the extinction of a million species or to support our economies, but as a crucial component of the global strategy to combat climate change.” Said His Excellency Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, former Prime Minister of Uganda.

Target 19 a) of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework agreed at COP15 in 2022 states: ‘Increasing total biodiversity related international financial resources from developed countries, including official development assistance, and from countries that voluntarily assume obligations of developed country Parties, to developing countries, in particular the least developed countries and small island developing States, as well as countries with economies in transition, to at least $20 billion per year by 2025, and to at least $30 billion per year by 2030.’

IPCC scientists have made clear that there is no pathway for meeting the climate goals without safeguarding nature. Specifically, they stated in their 2022 report that “[r]ecent analyses, drawing on a range of lines of evidence, suggest that maintaining the resilience of biodiversity and ecosystem services at a global scale depends on effective and equitable conservation of approximately 30% to 50% of Earth’s land, freshwater and ocean areas.

Additional research has shown that conserving and restoring natural areas like forests and coasts can provide over one-third of the actions needed to keep global warming below 2°C. Nature finance is therefore critical to the success of this and other climate summits.

The public sector has accounted for the vast majority of historic funding for biodiversity and continues to account for the overwhelming majority of current funding. The Paulson study estimates total current global biodiversity spending of $133 billion per year, of which public spending constitutes 83%. And public sources account for 92% of international biodiversity finance from developed to developing countries, according to the OECD.

Delivering $20B to developing countries by 2025 represents roughly a doubling of the status quo. The OECD estimates current international funding for biodiversity to be $10.4 billion per year, made up of $9.6 billion from public sources, $686 million from philanthropic sources, and $165 million from private capital mobilized by public interventions.


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