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December 19, 2022

Earthjustice Statement on Convention on Biological Diversity Agreement

Countries agree to protect 30% of planet's lands and oceans by 2030

Contacts

Perry Wheeler, Earthjustice, (202) 792-6211, pwheeler@earthjustice.org 

Washington, D.C.

Over the past two weeks, world leaders met in Montréal at the Convention on Biological Diversity to negotiate a new Global Biodiversity Framework. Today, member nations agreed to protect 30% of the planet’s land and oceans by 2030, manage the remaining 70% of the planet to avoid losing areas of high importance to biodiversity, and ensure that industry discloses biodiversity risks and impacts. While the U.S. is not a signatory to the convention, its delegates engaged with other countries and civil society at the meeting around the need for the U.S. to play a critical role in biodiversity protection.

In response to today’s news, Earthjustice Legislative Director Addie Haughey said:

“Today’s agreement is an important step in the fight to tackle the biodiversity crisis and must spur additional action in the U.S. At this pivotal moment, the Biden administration must set its sights on what it will achieve on biodiversity in the next two years. First and foremost, the administration has a responsibility to reverse the harmful changes made to Endangered Species Act (ESA) regulations by the Trump administration. These new regulations must be advanced immediately to ensure they are completed by the end of President Biden’s first term. It is time for bold action to protect and strengthen the ESA for its next 50 years.

“The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) also provides unprecedented opportunities to make progress on ecosystem protection and addressing the biodiversity crisis. The IRA directs the federal government to pursue protections for carbon rich forests to meet our climate emissions goals, which will also provide significant protections for biodiversity in our forests and contribute to efforts to protect 30% of habitats. Through the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Interior and Commerce Departments, IRA funds can also support the recovery of our most imperiled species and the protection of key ecosystems and habitats.

“President Biden has already committed to restore the ESA, protect 30% of our lands and waters by 2030, and create new protections for mature and old growth forests — with unprecedented resources through the IRA to help achieve these goals. Along with a will to act, the Biden administration has every tool it needs to make significant progress fighting the biodiversity crisis in the United States in the next two years and meeting the global targets that are now in place.”

About Earthjustice

Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.