UK’s ‘peanut’ pledge to protect land and seas faces criticism at Cop15 | Cop15 | Daily News Byte

UK’s ‘peanut’ pledge to protect land and seas faces criticism at Cop15 |  Cop15

 | Daily News Byte

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The UK has announced it will give almost £30m to developing countries to deliver a target of protecting 30% of land and seas by 2030, a sum criticized by conservationists as “nothing short of what is needed”.

The announcement was made Thursday as Environment Secretary Therese Coffey opened international talks at COP15 in Montreal. The £29m pledge – of which £24m is new money – is being allocated to help developing countries meet the 30×30 targets, a negotiating priority for the UK at the UN summit.

However, it was met with skepticism by some. Craig Bennett, CEO of the Wildlife Trusts, said, “It is obviously welcome that the UK is starting to think about putting money on the table, but we all know that this is nothing like what is needed – either to deal with the nature crisis or the diplomatic process. to unlock,” said Craig Bennett. , which is on Cop15.

“We need real political leadership, and that means Therese Coffey making deals here, Rishi Sunak getting other world leaders on the phone and making deals to start trying to save these negotiations, and putting a whole different set of financial contributions on the table. Creates a league. To unlock this deadlock. That is the minimum required to reverse the crisis of nature.”

Ian Dunn, CEO of PlantLife, who was also at COP15, said: “Sometimes the door opens with just a glimmer of light. This is probably the only positive interpretation. The World Economic Forum suggests that more than half of the world’s GDP is moderately or heavily dependent on nature. That’s $44tn [£36tn]Which provides some perspective for maybe £30m.”

One of the developing country negotiators who walked out of the ongoing talks over money on Wednesday said: “It’s obviously peanuts. Ridiculous.”

Along with the £29m, the government has also pledged £5.8m – part of the funding that has been announced – for nature restoration projects in overseas territories. The money is for the Darwin Plus scheme, which will support more than 20 conservation projects overseas. This includes funding satellite technology to monitor seabirds and humpback whales in South Georgia; Helping reintroduce threatened plants to the Falkland Islands and endangered sea turtles in the Cayman Islands.

More than 160 scientists sent an open letter to Sunak in the run-up to Cop15, saying his decision not to attend sent a strong signal to the government that securing a good international agreement for nature does not matter. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall also stressed that Sunac should create a legally binding domestic target to halt and reverse the loss of wildlife in the UK by 2030, in line with the international (but not legally binding) ambitions outlined in the current draft of the UN Biodiversity Act. framework

Coffee is under pressure for delaying the publication of the Government’s Environment Act targets on clean water and biodiversity. There is concern in the dialogue groups that water pollution targets are likely to be weakened amid the government’s ongoing “attack on nature”. The targets are expected to be announced in the coming days, more than six weeks after they were promised.

The UK’s international environment and climate minister, Zac Goldsmith, is working with more than 30 countries on a new 10-point plan to increase funding for biodiversity in partnership with the EU, Gabon, Ecuador and private donors.

Barry Gardiner, Labor MP for Brent North, described 30×30 as a “glorious soundbite”. In England, for example, the government says it is protecting about 28% of land for nature, but in reality it is closer to 3%, conservationists say. Gardiner said: “Saying something is a protected area on the map creates a paper park. It does nothing to save the environment or any of the species in it… This is a distraction from the immediate and unprecedented action that is really needed.”

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