$10trn investor coalition call for government action on biodiversity ahead of COP15

An enabling regulatory environment, the removal of harmful subsidies and a transformational post-2020 Framework among investor recommendations

An investor coalition managing more than $10trn in assets has called on governments to establish a regulatory environment that enables financial institutions to address biodiversity-related risks and opportunities.

With a host of heavyweight signatories, including Aviva, Axa IM, BNP Paribas AM, Church Commissioners for England, Storebrand AM, and Robeco, the statement says it represents “the largest share of AUM to publicly support action from global governments to address biodiversity loss.”

Coordinated by the non-profit Ceres and the Finance for Biodiversity Foundation, it comes as the world gears up for the virtual first half of COP15, scheduled for next month. The second leg, expected to occur in-person in April, will see the adoption of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.

On the framework, the coalition recommended governments agree on an ambitious and transformational version, that requires the alignment of financial flows to global biodiversity goals. RI recently talked to investors about the pros and cons of its current draft. 

The investor coalition has also called for the strengthening of national biodiversity strategy and action plans, as well as the removal of harmful subsidies and reversing them into subsidies that can help bring about change.

It also encourages “a harmonised policy approach that will deliver net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in-line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, and tackle the nature crisis”. 

“The Global Biodiversity Framework must reflect the urgency and the level of ambition required from all stakeholders at this critical juncture for nature,” said Gemma Corrigan, Head of Policy and Advocacy at Federated Hermes. 

“We urge governments to rise to the challenge by implementing policies that will enable financial institutions to effectively contribute to halting and reversing biodiversity loss in this decade."

The investor call comes after last week’s announcement  that the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) Secretariat will be hosted by the UK Green Finance Institute (GFI) and headed up by former World Bank adviser Tony Goldner. 

Mirroring the model of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, the TNFD was first announced in July last year and is tasked with developing a framework for companies and financial institutions to assess, manage and report on their dependencies and impacts on nature. The Taskforce is aiming to publish a market-led disclosure framework by 2023.  

Alongside this, the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) – which is a member of one of the TNFD working groups – launched a consultation on its proposed guidance for biodiversity-related disclosures.