Anastasia Balova

February 14, 2023

The impact of COP15 on your business

The 2022 United Nations Biodiversity Conference of the Parties (COP15) was critical to tackle the current biodiversity crisis. Here is what you need to know about the event and how it may affect businesses.

What is COP15?
COP15, the fifteenth meeting of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), brought together representatives from 196 countries known as ‘parties,’ to agree on targets to ensure the survival of species and stop the collapse of ecosystems across the world. The convention also included discussions with a wide ran delegates representing the global business and finance community, scientists and academics, indigenous peoples and local communities, and youth representatives.
These ‘parties’ used this once-in-a-decade opportunity to halt destruction of the natural world by negotiating new plans, strategies, and targets intended to tackle biodiversity loss. Side meetings were held to allow delegates to share ideas and information, as well as sessions attended by global environment ministers.
Previous targets, agreed at the 2010 COP10, were not met. This added pressure to COP15 participants to establish the financial and political support needed to reverse biodiversity loss, especially in emerging economy countries.
How does COP15 effect your business?
COP15 set globally agreed targets to halt and reverse biodiversity loss which applies to all species varieties within animals, plants, fungi, and even microorganisms like bacteria.
“Species and their ecosystem interactions effect almost every industry and person on earth. They support the food we eat and the medicines we rely on. They underpin societies’ health and wellbeing—ensuring clean water for us to drink and oxygen to breath. These biodiversity contributions are referred to as ecosystem services, and they are critical to our survival,” says Mike Rawitch, Senior Managing Consultant- Innovation & Digital Transformation at Ramboll and Team Leader at Galago.
For companies, COP15 pressures on governments to enforce legal, administrative, or political actions that encourage or potentially require companies to take specific steps such as:
  • Monitoring, evaluating, and disclosing their business’ impact on biodiversity
  • Providing relevant information to consumers to promote sustainable consumption
  • Reporting on compliance with regulations and measures aimed at reducing negative effects on biodiversity
It is advisable organisations proactively prepare for these measures and establish themselves as biodiversity leaders, which can produce various benefits.
Beginning in 2023, biodiversity regulations, such as the EU Taxonomy and Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), and reporting standards such as Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) and Science Based Targets Network, will already be in effect.
What were the outcomes of COP15?
A Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) was established which outlines a new set of international goals for biodiversity. A total of 188 governments agreed to the GBF with the aim of addressing the ongoing loss of terrestrial and marine biodiversity. The GBF contains four overarching goals and 23 targets.
The four goals set out a vision for biodiversity by 2050:
Goal A: Maintain, enhance, or restore the integrity, connectivity, and resilience of all natural ecosystems to significantly increase their area. Increase the abundance of native wild species and reduce extinction rates by tenfold. Wild and domesticated species must be kept genetically diverse, and their adaptive potential must be protected.
Goal B: Make sure human contributions to nature are valued, maintained, and enhanced, and that currently declining contributions are restored.
Goal C: Utilise genetic resources to benefit Indigenous people and local communities, including monetary and non-monetary gains. Ensure the protection of traditional knowledge associated with genetic resources, like developing medicines, vaccines, or food products based on discoveries in nature.
Goal D: Ensure all parties—especially emerging market economies —have the resources needed to implement actions for the GBF. Technical and scientific cooperation, financial resources, and access to technology are included.
2030 targets: 30 X 30
Informally, the deal is known as '30 by 30’ (30 X 30), these targets aim to effectively conserve and manage at least 30% of the world's lands, waters, coasts, and oceans with particular emphasis on important biodiversity and ecosystems.
Other important targets:
  • Reduce global food waste by 50%, significantly reducing overconsumption and waste
  • Reduce pesticides and highly hazardous chemical risks by 50%
  • Increase positive incentives for biodiversity conservation, and gradually eliminate or reform subsidies that harm biodiversity
  • Increase public and private funding for biodiversity projects by at least $200 billion per year
  • Increase international financial flows from advanced economies to emerging economies by at least $20 billion per year by 2025, and to at least $30 billion by 2030
  • Require transnational companies and financial institutions to monitor, assess, and disclose their impacts on biodiversity
Need support in meeting regulations and tackling the biodiversity crisis?
“Data is a crucial for governments, landowners, and all types of organisations to better understand what environmental conditions exists in a site or area. Data can facilitate more strategic decision-making to get the best financial and biodiversity possible outcomes,” says Brittni Engels, Senior Consultant at Ramboll and Sales Lead at Galago.
Biodiversity experts can generate insights from geospatial data not possible to obtain through conventional means. Galago, as a part of Ramboll, supports the science-based target to protect at least 30% of the planet’s land and ocean by 2030.
“Galago is well placed to support the outcomes of COP15, as well as help generate data-rich pictures of different ecosystems for clients so they both improve their businesses and support COP15 outcomes,” says Martin Broderick, Principal Sustainability Consultant at Ramboll, UK and Europe Lead at Galago.
If metrics and performance indicators are established, management and financial plans can be more easily be developed to monitor and improve biodiversity over time.
Is your business meeting the COP15 goals?Contact us so we can help facilitate your journey to a more sustainable future.

Want to know more?

  • Brittni Engels

    Senior Consultant, Business Development & Sales