Commitments to tackle climate change and halt biodiversity loss by 2030 were reaffirmed by the UK Government yesterday (Thursday 22 July) at the G20 Environment Ministerial held in Naples, Italy.
Under Italy’s Presidency, members of the G20 and guest countries met in a combined in-person and virtual event and agreed the G20 Communique, committing to increase efforts to address the interconnected challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.
In this crucial year for global action on the environment and climate, the G20 set out their determination to step up efforts to end illicit threats to nature, including the illegal wildlife trade and illegal logging.
The group called for action on habitat loss, land degradation, marine plastic litter, sustainable water management and ocean health. As part of this, G20 members who support “30×30” – ensuring that at least 30% of land and at least 30% of the global ocean are conserved or protected – and the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature encouraged others to make similarly ambitious commitments.
Lord Goldsmith called on all countries to support efforts to increase the global protection of land and ocean, and to agree ambitious outcomes at the CBD COP15 on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, including supporting “30×30”.
The Minister also highlighted the importance of taking action to tackle zoonotic disease risks, particularly in light of Covid-19 and in line with a ‘One Health’ approach to emerging diseases, including by tackling biodiversity and habitat loss.
International Environment Minister Lord Goldsmith said:
We must ensure that the decisions we take as we rebuild our economies post- pandemic are completely aligned with our stated commitments to tackle climate change and reverse biodiversity loss.
I am pleased the G20 reached agreement in Naples to take further action against some of the greatest environmental challenges, but that agreement must not be the limit of our ambition, but rather a step towards addressing these interlinked crises.
I am proud of the leadership the UK is providing – through our G7 and COP26 presidency, in partnership with Italy, and beyond. Ahead of COP26 and CBD COP15 we will continue to press countries to join us in ramping up efforts to protect and restore nature.
Yesterday’s G20 Environment Ministerial came ahead of the Energy and Climate Ministerial taking place today, Friday 23 July.