UNPRI et al. push for biodiversity
150 financial institutions, representing more than $24trn in assets under management, have petitioned world leaders to adopt a post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework at the UN Biodiversity Conference COP15. The framework aims to stop and revert the loss of nature by 2030.
The statement was coordinated by the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), and the Finance for Biodiversity Foundation.
Firms that have signed the statement include: AXA Group, Legal and General Investment Management, Manulife Financial Corporation, Fidelity International, Groupe La Banque Postale, Shinhan Financial Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management, and UBS Bank.
Governments have been called to implement measures from the Framework which would promote the joint goal of generating financial flows while preserving the planet and its flora and fauna. This mirrors Article 2.1(C) within the Paris Agreement, a climate-focused legally binding international treaty.
In addition, the Framework should also assist in measuring and disclosing nature-related impacts alongside transparent objectives for promoting sustainable investments.
David Atkin, CEO of the UNPRI, said: “Climate change and biodiversity loss are inextricably linked challenges, which present systemic risk for investors. Through this statement, the investment community itself has demonstrated a commitment to support global efforts to halt and reverse biodiversity loss. It is essential for governments to adopt an enabling global biodiversity framework so that all economic actors may move together on nature.”
Jan Erik Saugested, signatory and CEO of Storebrand Asset Management said: “The private financial sector is critical if we are to deliver the urgent action required to halt and reverse biodiversity loss in this decade. Some financial institutions are already taking important steps to address biodiversity loss, but voluntary actions alone will be insufficient to change practices across the financial sector in a way that protects and restores biodiversity at the rate and scale required. It is therefore critical that the Global Biodiversity Framework creates the impetus for governments to create the enabling environment that will support and scale up actions from the financial sector to reverse biodiversity loss in this decade.”
The UNPRI aims to help its network of investor signatories to incorporate ESG factors into their investment decisions. The initiative has more than 5,000 signatories which manage $121trn.
The UNEP FI represents a partnership between UNEP and the global financial sector. It works with more than 400 members and 100 institutions to promote a sustainable finance industry.