The One Planet Summit and the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People

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On the 11th of January, the One Planet Summit was held in which more than 50 countries announced their commitment to protect 30% of land and sea before 2030. This is a key milestone that will set the tone for 2021.

The one Planet Summit is a platform for commitments to combat climate change. It started in 2017, two years after the Paris Agreements were signed with the idea to make stronger and more concrete commitments and to mobilise funding.

This year’s summit was hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron in Marseille and was mainly focused on biodiversity. Nevertheless, there were many other topics, such as the COVID-19 crisis, the climate crisis and the fact that none of the Aichi targets were met. It was stressed that biodiversity decline is linked to so many other issues.  Moreover, this summit precedes the future COP15 for Nature in Kunming, and COP 26 in Glasgow which means it has the opportunity to set the bar for higher environmental ambitions.

When we lose forests, we don’t ‘just’ lose green space or natural habitat. We lose a key ally in our fight against climate change. – Ursula von der Leyen

The event was split up in four themes: the protection of terrestrial and marine ecosystems, agro-ecology, funding for biodiversity, and the link between deforestation, species and human health. For each theme, leaders addressed concerns and presented initiatives. Major initiatives were the ‘Great Green Wall’ which aims to create a green horizontal ‘belt’ below the African Deserts to prevent desertification and provide ecosystem services such as drinking water and tillable soil and the Mediterranean cooperation to facilitate ecological transition.

One Planet Summit 2021 Marseilles

One planet Summit 2021 in Marseilles

Financial commitments

Furthermore, the initiatives were strengthened by financial commitments from several leaders. Emmanuel Macron, promised to earmark 30% of it’s climate funding to ‘nature-based solutions’, Boris Johnson promised 3 billion pounds to be spent on nature and biodiversity and Justin Trudeau committed up to 44 million dollars to the UN’s land degradation neutrality fund. Moreover, the world bank promised to spend 35% of their budget on climate co-benefits. These financial commitments are severely needed as UN research found that an additional 700 billion dollars are needed yearly to reverse human endorsed environmental degradation.

The most important commitment of this day was the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People. More than 50 countries joined this coalition to express the ambition to protect over 30% of land and sea by 2030. This ambition is necessary to protect species, biodiversity and ecosystem services and to reach other environmental targets like the Paris Agreements. Reaching these targets will in its turn have social and economic benefits for societies worldwide. Costa Rica, France and the United Kingdom co-chair this initiative.

France hopes to protect 30% of their terrestrial and marine areas by 2030 and of course we will be buttressing our efforts over the three coming years mobilising many young people also through the civilian service which we are setting up. We will of course be allocating additional resources to that end. – Emmanuel Macron

EUROPARC Federation warmly welcomes these coalitions and targets and will follow them with interest to see what tangible actions will soon follow these promises.

For more information about the One Planet Summit, click here.

For more information about the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, click here.