The Council today authorised the Commission to endorse, on behalf of the EU, the “Leaders’ Pledge for Nature“, in order to send a united signal to step up global ambition for biodiversity. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is thereby authorised to endorse the pledge at an UN event to be held virtually on 28 September 2020 in the context of the UN Summit on Biodiversity.
The pledge is a voluntary declaration which stresses that biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation require urgent and immediate global action. It is an expression of the need to increase efforts to address the interrelated challenges of biodiversity loss, land, freshwater and ocean degradation, deforestation, pollution and climate change in an integrated and coherent way.
It is, inter alia, a commitment to putting biodiversity, climate and the environment as a whole at the heart both of COVID-19 recovery strategies and of the pursuit of national and international development and cooperation. The aim is to ensure that the response to the current health and economic crisis is green, just and contributes directly to recovering better and achieving sustainable societies.
The authorisation given today is in line with the Council’s ongoing efforts to protect biodiversity. In its conclusions of 19 December 2019, the Council encouraged the EU and its member states “to consider joining relevant global initiatives aimed at strengthening political awareness and ambition for the protection of biodiversity, such as high ambition coalitions, to urgently implement existing commitments and to make additional commitments, and thereby to significantly step up actions to halt biodiversity loss and to reverse ecosystem degradation, thus also contributing to the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration”.