On Tuesday 24th May, Zero Hour, along with nine environmental NGOs (Marine Conservation Society, People’s Trust for Endangered Species, RSPB, Soil Association, Wildlife and Countryside Link, The Wildlife Trusts, Woodland Trust, WWF-UK, and Green Alliance), held a Westminster reception, hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Environment, to urge the UK Government to lead the global effort to save nature ahead of the international biodiversity conference, COP15.

Around 50 MPs and Peers from all major parties, including Caroline Lucas MP, Chris Skidmore MP, Lord Goldsmith and Alex Sobel MP, gathered and pledged to support an ambitious outcome at COP15. They promised to take action to halt and begin to reverse nature’s decline by 2030, telling their constituents that they would “stand up for a nature positive world”.

 

 

Along with Zero Hour, the leading environmental charities and campaigners want COP15 outcomes to translate into effective domestic policy which will lead to real action on nature loss at home and overseas. One of our partners for the event, The RSPB, have written a fantastic write up of the event too, which can be read here.


Why is this important?


It is estimated that 77% of the world's land and 87% of the oceans have been altered by humans, leading to a loss of 83% of wild mammal biomass and half of the world’s plant biomass. The Aichi biodiversity targets set in 2010 under the CBD have largely been missed, and nature continues to decline, with more than 1 in 5 species globally at risk of extinction. COP15 is the final chance to agree on action to tackle the global biodiversity crisis: action is needed now.

 

What's next?

At Zero Hour, we've written a COP15 briefing that sets out the policies that must be delivered at COP15. In summary, they are the following: 

 

  1. Joined-up action on the planetary emergency. Protecting and restoring the natural world can contribute to climate change mitigation, but nature-based solutions must not be used to offset business-as-usual emissions;
  2. Addressing the root causes of the destruction of nature, including unsustainable and unaccountable patterns of consumption and land use;
  3. Delivering a global goal to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 against a baseline of 2020;
  4. People-centred conservation targets that focus on quality over quantity. We need to address the root causes of nature depletion and work in the nature-depleted areas where people live; and
  5. A robust implementation plan, reporting framework and adequate finance for countries in the global south. Responsibility for implementation must be mainstreamed across all government bodies and all sectors of society.

You can read Zero Hour's full briefing, which has been endorsed by the Zoological Society of London, here.

Mick Whitley MP, Labour MP for Birkenhead, said in a Labour List article about the event: 

"COP15 is an opportunity to put the principles of the climate and ecology bill into action on a global scale. It is vital it remains at the top of the political agenda. In the months ahead, I’ll keep fighting for the government to go into the COP15 negotiations with an ambition that matches the enormity of the challenge we face." 

We are very grateful to Mick and all the other parliamentarians that attended the reception, and will continue to campaign for the Government to push for bold action at COP15 and for the Climate and Ecology Bill to be enacted here in the UK.