UKGBC’s Director of Communications, Policy & Places, Simon McWhirter said: 

“COP15 is an historic moment for our planet. By enshrining a shared commitment to protecting 30% of land and seas by 2030, COP15 may well have produced a ‘Paris moment’ for biodiversity.  

The climate crisis has taught us that solid, ambitious milestones are crucial to focusing minds. So, disappointingly, as the Kunming-Montreal agreement fails to set any 2030 outcomes for biodiversity, we have no way of monitoring progress by the end of this decade – in which we still have a tremendous amount to achieve. 

Governments must now walk the talk by substantiating broad commitments with specific, tangible policies, identified trajectories for action, and meaningful financial packages. In addition to greater prioritisation of critical biodiversity hotspots and investment in growing urban green infrastructure, we need more comprehensive action to tackle over-extraction and reap the rewards of a circular, sustainable economic model. 

Similarly, while the UK Government’s environmental targets are encouraging in principle, ministers should view the mission as incomplete. Much more detail is needed on how our targets will be met, starting with the results of the recent biodiversity net gain consultation, but also including more concerted action on water demand reduction and protections for specific biodiversity sites. 

Every step counts on the journey towards a greener and more regenerative world economy – but there is still a long journey ahead.”