After climate neutrality, biodiversity could be the next issue in which central banks and regulators use the financial sector as agents. Getting 65 heads of state to come to an agreement is remarkable. And if this deal is about “meaningful action” in the area of biodiversity, it is even more remarkable (1). This week the UN hosted a Virtual Biodiversity Summit (2) with the aim of reaching a new deal when the UN Convention on Biological Diversity meets in China in May 2021.
There are enough warm words on this topic, but maybe this time real action will follow, especially since humanity has exterminated 68 percent of all mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970 (3). This loss of biodiversity is being accelerated and exacerbated by climate change, while forest destruction and wildlife trade have made pandemics like this more likely. Covid-19, Zika, Aids, SARS and Ebola all come from animal populations whose natural habitat has suffered greatly from human interference (4).
Just like the climate before, biodiversity could now also gain importance for financial institutions: The promise of the heads of state and government aims to include biodiversity in all relevant policy areas and international agreements. The financial sector should be given national and international incentives to take into account the value of nature and biological diversity, to mobilize capital and to promote the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of nature in financing and investment decisions as well as in risk management.