Five Takeaways from the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26)


On Monday 19 December 2022 in Montreal, Canada, the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity ended, culminating in the adoption of the “Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework”, which sets out a series of global targets to address biodiversity loss and restore ecosystems by 2030.

In this article, we highlight key features of the Framework and other significant developments from the conference, and what these mean for Australian businesses.

What is the Biodiversity Conference Of the Parties?

Established in 1992 and with 196 current signatories (including Australia), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is an international treaty for the conservation of biodiversity, sustainable use of the components of biodiversity and the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from the use of genetic resources.

The Conference of the Parties (COP) to the CBD have since established a number of global protocols aimed at furthering these objectives, including the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety which seeks to protect biodiversity from risks posed by living modified organisms, and the Nagoya Protocol, with sets out a legal framework for fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources.

At COP10 in 2010, the COP agreed on a Strategic Plan for Biodiversity for 2011-2020, which set out a series of targets aimed at (among other things) addressing the underlying causes of biodiversity loss, improving the status of biodiversity, and promoting sustainable use of biodiversity. Significantly, in a report published in 2020, the United Nations found that none of these targets had been achieved.

It is against this background that COP15 was tasked with finalising the post-2020 successor to the Strategic Plan. The conference took place in two parts, the first held online in October 2021 and the second from 7-19 December 2022 in Montreal.

What did COP15 aim to achieve?

Although the focus of this year’s COP was on finalising the successor to the 2011-2020 Strategic Plan and putting in place measures to galvanise urgent and transformative action by governments and civil society to halt and reverse biodiversity loss, other key priorities for the conference included increasing the voices of Indigenous Peoples and communities in dialogue over biodiversity knowledge and benefit sharing, and discussing how information from genetic sequencing can be more fairly shared. Alignment of financial flows with nature and driving finance toward sustainable investment was also a key discussion po

Key outcomes from the conference

Adoption of the “Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework”

The last day of negotiations saw parties finally agree on the successor to the 2011-2020 Strategic Plan, adopting the “Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework” (Framework).

The overarching goals of the Framework envision that by 2050, areas of natural ecosystems will be substantially increased, biodiversity will be sustainably managed, that there will be increased equitable benefit sharing of genetic resource use, including with Indigenous Peoples and local communities, and that adequate means of implementation will be provided to close the biodiversity finance gap. The 23 targets in the Framework are geared toward achieving these goals, and include (among others):

  • ensuring that the loss of areas of high biodiversity importance, including ecosystems of high ecological integrity, is as close to zero by 2030;
  • ensuring that by 2030 at least 30 per cent of areas of degraded terrestrial, inland water, and coastal and marine ecosystems are under effective restoration;
  • ensuring that by 2030 at least 30 per cent of terrestrial, inland water, and coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services, are effectively conserved and managed;
  • reducing the negative impact of pollution from all sources, by 2030, to levels that are not harmful to biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services;
  • taking effective legal, policy, administrative and capacity-building measures at all levels to ensure the fair and equitable sharing of benefits that arise from the utilisation of genetic resources and from digital sequence information on genetic resources; and
  • ensuring the full, equitable, inclusive and gender-responsive representation and participation in decision-making, and access to justice and information related to biodiversity by indigenous peoples and local communities.

Importantly, the Framework recognises the need to align ‘public and private activities, fiscal and financial flows’ with the goals and targets of the Framework, and to that end, sets out a series of targets geared toward enhanced private sector participation. We explore these below.

(a) Aligning financial flows with implementation

The gap between current and required annual financing needed for biodiversity conservation is estimated at approximately US$700 billion.

Acknowledging the need to close this gap, the Framework calls for Parties to ‘substantially and progressively’ increase levels of financial resources from all sources, including domestic, international, public and private resources, to implement national biodiversity strategies and action plans. It also calls for at least US$200B per year to be mobilised by 2030. To achieve this, developed countries are asked to increase total biodiversity related international financial resources to at least US$20 billion per year by 2025, and at least US$30 billion per year by 2030.

Parties are also asked to leverage private finance, promote blended finance, implement strategies for raising new and additional resources, and encourage the private sector to invest in biodiversity, including through impact funds and other instruments.

Importantly, COP15 also saw the parties agree to establish by 2024 a new Global Biodiversity Fund to support implementation of the Framework. The fund will be established by the Global Environment Facility.

(b) Requiring disclosure of biodiversity-related risks

A significant inclusion in the Framework is a call for biodiversity-focused disclosure requirements. In particular, Target 15 asks parties to take legal, administrative or policy measures to encourage and enable businesses, and in particular, to ensure that large and transnational companies and financial institutions:

  • regularly monitor, assess, and transparently disclose their risks, dependencies and impacts on biodiversity including with requirements for all large as well as transnational companies and financial institutions along their operations, supply and value chains and portfolios;
  • provide information to consumers to promote sustainable consumption patterns; and
  • report on compliance with access and benefit-sharing regulations and measures.

It is anticipated that over time, the adoption of such disclosure requirements will reduce biodiversity-related risks to business and financial institutions whilst also reducing negative impacts on biodiversity and increasing positive impacts.

This aspect of the Framework reflects growing regulatory and stakeholder demand for companies and financial institutions to assess, report and manage their nature-related risks, and recent efforts to facilitate this type of reporting. In particular, the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) is developing a framework for organisations to report and act on evolving nature-related risks and opportunities, which will provide guidance and recommendations on the disclosure of nature-related risks and opportunities. Businesses may voluntarily choose to disclose their nature-related risks and opportunities in line with that guidance. Further, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) announced that it will release guidelines for transparency on biodiversity after the ISSB publishes its requirements for climate and sustainability-related disclosures in 2023.

(c) Eliminating subsidies for harmful practices, and incentivising sustainable use

Encouraging sustainable consumption and reducing pollution and harmful practices are also key themes emerging from the Framework. Importantly, the Framework asks parties to identify by 2025, and eliminate, phase out or reform incentives, including subsidies, that are harmful for biodiversity in a proportionate, just, fair and effective way, while substantially and progressively reducing them by at least US$500 billion per year by 2030. Alongside this, parties also agreed to scale up positive incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.

Private sector initiatives

COP15 saw an unprecedent presence of business and finance sector participation, with investor groups calling for alignment of financial flows and mandatory disclosure, and the launch of a number of private sector initiatives.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development announced that it is developing business guidance for actions to align strategies with the shared goal of a nature-positive planet by 2030. The guidance will provide a checklist of actions to assess, commit, transform and disclose performance. Meanwhile, NatureFinance announced the development of an ‘alignment tool’ which can track private and public financial flows to assess whether they are ‘nature positive’.

In addition, the Nature Action 100 (NA100) engagement initiative was ‘soft launched’, with at least 120 investors reported to be considering participating. Similar to the initiative Climate Action 100+ (CA100), NA100 aims to engage with 100 companies, deemed to have the highest impact on nature; encouraging them to track, and report on progress against biodiversity focused indicators; and to advocate for, and support, nature-focused policy change.

In market developments, the Biodiversity Credit Alliance (BCA) was launched during COP15, with the aim of defining and categorising biodiversity credits for the voluntary biodiversity market, identifying a set of universal principles that all biodiversity credit methodologies should achieve, and establishing a peer review mechanism for biodiversity credits. We note important parallels between the work of the BCA and work to enhance integrity in the voluntary carbon market. For example, the Integrity Council for Voluntary Carbon Markets (ICVCM), is due to release its core carbon principles (CCPs) and assessment framework later this year. This work will complement the work of the Voluntary Carbon Market Integrity Initiative (VCMII) which has recently published its Provisional Claims Code of Practice (Code) for public consultation. The Code provides guidance for ensuring integrity in both the demand for and supply of carbon credits.

Australia’s participation at COP15

Australia took a fresh and constructive approach to its engagement at COP15. Of note, Australia was one of a number of countries that joined the High Ambition Coalition for Nature, which will be working on the implementation of the Framework, and will join the Steering Committee of the Coalition.

Outside of negotiations, Australia signed an agreement with the US to measure the environment’s economic value and reflect it in national accounts and economic measures. Australia also agreed to join the Sustainable Critical Minerals Alliance, which is an alliance of Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the United States that is focused on preventing biodiversity loss, ensuring engagement with Indigenous peoples and phasing out emissions from the mining of critical minerals.

Australia also announced that it will host the 2024 global Nature Positive Summit, which will aim to promote private investment in environmental protection and increase international public finance for nature up to 2030. The Summit also aims to assist countries, in particular developing countries, to acquire the knowledge and tools needed to attract private investment in nature.

It is also significant that during the conference, the Federal Government delivered its long-awaited response to the statutory review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act), announcing that significant reforms to the EPBC Act will be made, including:

  • establishing an independent environmental protection agency;
  • implementing numerous national environmental standards;
  • creating a new data division to improve the availability and quality of environmental information;
  • developing the regional planning initiative to enable better decision-making under the EPBC Act;
  • reforming the offset arrangements to ensure they deliver nature positive outcomes and reduce delays;
  • improving the national conservation planning framework; and

In pursuing the legislative and policy actions to give effect to these reforms, Australia will also need to reflect upon how the targets in the Framework will be given effect domestically.

What does COP15 mean for businesses and the private sector?

The targets in the Framework, as well as the various initiatives launched by both the Australian Government and business groups throughout the conference, will hold important implications for the private sector.

Private sector commentators have welcomed the adoption of the Framework, and its inclusion of specific targets focused on business and on consumers. For financial institutions, the adoption of the Framework may lead to opportunities to engage with governments to increase financial resources for biodiversity, including through blended finance, impact funds, and through developing innovative financing instruments. For businesses, opportunities may arise from the call for parties to encourage private sector investment in biodiversity, and for parties to introduce incentives to encourage nature positive actions.

Further, the work of the BCA and increased global focus on the voluntary biodiversity credit market may open up opportunities for project developers, financiers, landholders and consultants alike to engage with this market. Efforts to create a national biodiversity credit market in Australia are already well underway with the Federal Government announcing their plans to establish a national voluntary biodiversity market and certification scheme as well as the recent launch of the NaturePlus Credit Scheme by GreenCollar.

There will be challenges too, particularly for resource-intensive businesses whose practices are not yet aligned with biodiversity conversation. The targets in the Framework will require parties including Australia to implement strong measures in coming years to halt biodiversity loss, phase out incentives for negative practices, and reduce pollution. It can be expected that there will be flow-on effects for business practices.

Further, the likelihood of countries introducing mandatory biodiversity risk reporting in coming years signals that businesses should start preparing to disclose these types of risks to their businesses and supply chains, and putting strategies in place to mitigate nature-related risks. While the Federal Government is yet to signal the introduction of a mandatory biodiversity risk reporting framework for Australian businesses, it is currently consulting on a mandatory climate-related financial risk disclosure framework (read more about the Consultation Paper in our article Government consults on mandatory climate risk disclosure framework). Businesses should keep a close eye on developments in this space, and be prepared for climate reporting frameworks to expand to require parallel biodiversity risk reporting.

As we look ahead to 2023, it will be important to keep watch as Australia and the global community get to work on implementing the targets in the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, 2030 is not far away.


  1. Hi there to every one, it’s in fact a nice
    for me to go to see this web page, it consists of useful Information.

  2. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to
    your website? My blog site is in the very same area of interest as yours
    and my visitors would really benefit from some of the information you present here.
    Please let me know if this okay with you.
    Thanks a lot!

  3. Howdy would you mind stating which blog platform you’re
    working with? I’m going to start my own blog soon but I’m having a hard time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most
    blogs and I’m looking for something unique. P.S Apologies for being off-topic but I had to

  4. Hi, I do think this is a great web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I
    am going to revisit once again since i have saved as a favorite it.
    Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide
    other people.

  5. I like the valuable information you supply for your articles.
    I will bookmark your blog and take a look at once more here regularly.
    I’m quite sure I’ll be told lots of new stuff right here!
    Good luck for the following!

  6. Awesome things here. I’m very happy to look your article.
    Thanks so much and I’m having a look forward to
    touch you. Will you kindly drop me a mail?

  7. Hello, i think that i noticed you visited my web site thus i got here to
    go back the want?.I’m attempting to in finding things to improve my web site!I assume its ok to use
    a few of your ideas!!

  8. Great blog here! Also your website loads up fast! What host
    are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host?
    I wish my web site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  9. Nice respond in return of this query with firm arguments and explaining all regarding that.

  10. Nice answers in return of this difficulty with solid arguments and describing everything regarding that.

  11. My brother suggested I might like this blog. He was totally right. This post actually made my day. You cann’t imagine just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  12. There is definately a lot to know about this topic. I love all the points you’ve made.

  13. Greetings I am so glad I found your blog page, I really found you by mistake, while I was searching on Askjeeve for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to say thanks a lot for a marvelous post and a all round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design), I dont have time to go through it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the superb b.

  14. I have been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

  15. These are actually impressive ideas in concerning blogging. You have touched some pleasant points here. Any way keep up wrinting.

  16. I am extremely inspired with your writing talents and alsosmartly as with the format in your blog. Is this a paid subject matter or did you customize it yourself? Either way stay up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one these days..

  17. Pretty portion of content. I simply stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to claim that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing on your augment or even I achievement you get entry to persistently fast.

  18. Does your website have a contact page? I’m having problems locating it but, I’d like to send you an e-mail. I’ve got some suggestions for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it expand over time.

  19. Hey! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this page to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

  20. My family members all the time say that I am wasting my time here at net, but I know I am getting knowledge every day by reading such pleasant articles.

  21. Asking questions are in fact good thing if you are not understanding anything fully, except this article gives nice understanding even.

  22. Pretty section of content. I simply stumbled upon your blog and in accession capital to say that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing for your augment or even I achievement you get right of entry to consistently rapidly.

  23. I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your blog. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Fantastic work!

  24. great issues altogether, you just won a emblem new reader. What may you suggest in regards to your post that you made a few days ago? Any sure?

  25. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely comeback.

  26. Great goods from you, man. I’ve be aware your stuff prior to and you’re simply too fantastic. I really like what you’ve obtained here, really like what you’re stating and the way by which you assert it. You make it entertaining and you still take care of to stay it sensible. I cant wait to read far more from you. This is actually a terrific website.

  27. I’ve been exploring for a little bit for any high-quality articles or blog posts in this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this web site. Reading this info So i’m satisfied to show that I have a very just right uncanny feeling I came upon exactly what I needed. I such a lot for sure will make certain to don?t disregard this site and give it a look on a constant basis.

  28. If you want to take much from this piece of writing then you have to apply such strategies to your won weblog.

  29. I am truly pleased to read this webpage posts which consists of lots of useful information, thanks for providing these data.

  30. Quality articles is the main to invite the users to go to see the site, that’s what this website is providing.

  31. Appreciating the commitment you put into your website and in depth information you provide. It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed material. Wonderful read! I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  32. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful information. Thank you for the post. I will definitely comeback.

  33. I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your site. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Great work!

  34. What’s up, after reading this remarkable post i am also glad to share my experience here with mates.

  35. Wonderful beat ! I wish to apprentice even as you amend your site, how can i subscribe for a blog site? The account aided me a applicable deal. I were tiny bit familiar of this your broadcast provided bright transparent concept

  36. I got this site from my friend who informed me about this website and now this time I am visiting this site and reading very informative articles here.

  37. Im not that much of a online reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back in the future. All the best

  38. I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an edginess over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again since exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase.

  39. It is appropriate time to make a few plans for the longer term and it is time to be happy. I have read this publish and if I may just I wish to recommend you few fascinating things or advice. Perhaps you could write next articles relating to this article. I wish to read more things approximately it!

  40. What’s up, this weekend is nice designed for me, because this time i am reading this impressive informative article here at my house.

  41. Heya! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone 3gs! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the fantastic work!

  42. I was more than happy to find this site. I wanted to thank you for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely appreciated every bit of it and I have you book-marked to see new things on your web site.

  43. This is very interesting, You are an excessively professional blogger. I have joined your feed and sit up for in quest of more of your wonderful post. Also, I have shared your site in my social networks

  44. Hi there! I just would like to give you a huge thumbs up for the great info you’ve got here on this post. I’ll be coming back to your blog for more soon.

  45. I think the admin of this web site is actually working hard in favor of his website, because here every information is quality based data.

  46. I was more than happy to find this website. I wanted to thank you for your time just for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoyed every bit of it and I have you bookmarked to see new things on your blog.

  47. I wanted to thank you for this good read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it. I’ve got you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post

  48. Great post.

  49. This is my first time visit at here and i am truly happy to read all at alone place.

  50. This design is wicked! You most certainly know how to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Fantastic job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  51. It is perfect time to make a few plans for the longer term and it is time to be happy. I have read this submit and if I may I want to suggest you few fascinating things or advice. Perhaps you could write next articles relating to this article. I wish to read more things approximately it!

  52. Im not that much of a online reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back in the future. Cheers

  53. Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely think this website needs much more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the info!

  54. It’s really a nice and helpful piece of information. I’m glad that you simply shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *