COP15: Investors press for ‘ambitious’ path to reverse nature loss

Clear framework needed to 'unlock investment for nature at scale'

World leaders at COP15 are being urged to adopt a Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) that will align economic actors in halting and reversing nature loss by 150 financial institutions.

The financial institutions, managing more than $24trn between them and coordinated by Principles for Responsible Investment, the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative and the Finance for Biodiversity Foundation, have signed a statement stating the GBF must be “ambitious” and ensure the halting and reversal of nature loss by 2030.

Signatories include AXA Group, Legal and General Investment Management, Mirova, Rathbone Greenbank Investments, Fidelity International, Boston Common Asset Management and UBS Bank.

They have asked governments not just to protect nature but to “provide an agreement that creates the clarity and action to align all economic actors, including finance, to halt and reverse nature loss, and contribute to nature-based solutions to climate change, a fair and just transition, and other sustainable development challenges”.

Those signed up have also committed to support the vision proposed in the draft post-2020 GBF of “living in harmony with nature” by 2050. To this end they will work within their own firms to incorporate nature and biodiversity into their investment decision-making processes, seek appropriate disclosure from investees on nature-related issues and engage in collaborative initiatives to further the group’s efforts.

The investor statement explains the benefits a strong GBF would bring for the industry: “From the viewpoint of the financial sector, a robust agreement would put in place: a clear mandate in the goals of the agreement for the alignment of financial flows; support the assessment and disclosure of nature-related impacts and dependencies; and provide clear targets and definitions to take action and support the development of a pipeline of nature-positive projects and investments.”

Sophie Lawrence, stewardship and engagement lead at Rathbone Greenbank Investments, said: “While many financial institutions are now committed to making great strides for biodiversity, exemplified by the growing membership of the Finance for Biodiversity community, there is only so far we can move ahead of regulation and policy.

“Investors need to see a clear, consistent, and long-term policy framework to unlock investment for nature at scale and fully integrate nature-related risks into decisions.”