Finance firms call for ‘ambitious’ biodiversity framework

Ahead of COP15, 78 financial institutions have issued a statement calling on governments to align economy with biodiversity targets

Financial institutions representing $10trn in assets have signed a statement calling for governments around the world to create a biodiversity framework that aligns finance and business with natural capital goals.

The 78 firms, including Amundi, Aviva, AXA Investment Managers, BMO Global Asset Management, BNP Paribas, NN Investment Partners, Nordea, Rathbone Greenbank Investments, Federated Hermes, Robeco and CCLA Investment Management, said “strong policies” need to be put in place to create a “more ambitious” Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). This, they said, makes a case for the economic benefits of creating a nature-positive economy.

By signing the Financial Institution Statement, the groups said in a letter: “As financial institutions, we recognize the need to protect, conserve and restore nature for future generations because we cannot generate value for our clients without a healthy biosphere. Biodiversity loss will have significant and systematic consequences for the global economy, and exposes us to market, credit, liquidity and operational risks. A realignment of our economies, including public and private financial flows, towards nature-positive pathways is imperative, and could deliver $10trn of annual business opportunities and 395 million jobs by 2030.”

It added: “We support the establishment of an ambitious and transformational post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) for adoption at the 15th Conference of Parties of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15). We welcome the vision of “living in harmony with nature by 2050” through the recovery of natural ecosystems with net improvements by 2050. To achieve this vision and to ensure that the next set of targets are met, unlike the Aichi targets , action to halt and reverse nature loss by 2030 must urgently be scaled up by all stakeholders.”

The statement was coordinated by the non-profit Ceres and the Finance for Biodiversity Foundation, and comes ahead of the COP15 in October. It will be delivered to the executive secretary of the CBD Secretariat, Elizabeth Mrema, and others who are responsible for crafting the next draft of the GBF.

Five key points are highlighted in the statement:

  • Agree on an ambitious and transformational post-2020 GBF that requires the alignment of financial flows with global biodiversity goals;
  • Strengthen national biodiversity strategy and action plans (NBSAPs) to ensure successful implementation of the GBF and enforce domestic policies to deliver biodiversity targets;
  • Establish a regulatory environment that enables financial institutions to address biodiversity-related risks and opportunities, including by introducing consistent and decision-useful corporate disclosure requirements;
  • Remove harmful subsidies and reverse them into aligned subsidies to bring about economic change and reduce market failures.

Gemma Corrigan, head of policy and advocacy at the international business of Federated Hermes, commented: “The Global Biodiversity Framework must reflect the urgency and the level of ambition required from all stakeholders at this critical juncture for nature.

“We urge governments to rise to the challenge by implementing policies that will enable financial institutions to effectively contribute to halting and reversing biodiversity loss in this decade.”


Natalie Kenway

Natalie is editor in chief at MA Financial covering ESG Clarity, Portfolio Adviser and International Adviser. She was previously global head of ESG insight for ESG Clarity and has been an investment journalist...