Biodiversity: MEPs call for legally binding targets, as for climate change

  • Legally binding biodiversity targets at global and EU level
  • Sufficient financing needed under the next EU long-term budget
  • Better enforcement of EU nature protection laws

Next year’s UN biodiversity conference, the COP15, should be the biodiversity equivalent of the Paris agreement on climate change, says the Environment Committee.

The Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee on Tuesday approved a resolution setting out their proposals for Parliament’s position for the UN biodiversity conference to be held in autumn next year.

Legally binding global targets

The Environment Committee believes the upcoming COP15 conference on biodiversity should be the biodiversity equivalent of the Paris agreement on climate change and they want the EU to lead the way. In this context, they call for legally binding targets at global and EU level to increase ambition and ensure that post-2020 action on global biodiversity will be effective. Specifically, they want 30 % of natural areas to be conserved by 2030 and 30 % of degraded ecosystems to be restored.

Protecting biodiversity through EU policies

MEPs urge the Commission and member states to commit to “immediate, substantial and additional” efforts in the form of legally binding targets on biodiversity conservation and restoration, to meet EU targets and stop the current trajectory of biodiversity loss.

They want biodiversity objectives to be taken into account in all EU policies and call for biodiversity to be sufficiently financed under the next EU 2021-2027 long-term budget (MFF), in order to achieve the objectives of the UN 2050 Vision of Biodiversity Conservation. They say that minimum 10 % of the EU long-term budget should support efforts to improve biodiversity.

MEPs also underline the need for more sustainable agricultural and forestry practices. The role of urban areas and cities in the preservation of biodiversity should be more thoroughly assessed and an in-depth analysis of all EU protected areas is needed, they say.

The resolution was adopted with 60 votes for, none against and 9 abstentions.

Next steps

The resolution is expected be put to a vote during the January plenary in 2020 in Strasbourg.


The UN Biodiversity Convention entered into force on 29 December 1993. The 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD (COP 15) is to be held in Kunming, China, from 19 October to 1 November 2020. The aim of COP15 will be to update the Convention’s strategic plan and adopt a post-2020 global biodiversity framework.