Speaking via video link at the One Planet Summit, Boris stated that the billions (allocated from the existing £11.6 billion UK climate finance pot) would be spent on international climate funding over the next 5 years to support biodiversity and nature, and claimed that “COVID was the product of an imbalance in man’s relationship with nature.”
“We are destroying species and habitats at an absolutely unconscionable rate” he continued, “I think as global leaders we must go further; we need to give real meaning to the Aichi targets. Yes, we must tackle climate change, but climate change must be seen as an objective in our global effort to protect the natural world.”
The projects funding will support include marine conservation via the Blue Planet Fund, forest maintenance, habitat conservation and community protection.
The announcement comes just days after the UK Government faced global criticism from activists, including Greta Thunberg, for not intervening in the opening of a new coal mine in Whitehaven, and the ‘emergency’ introduction of a pesticide containing neonicotinoid thiamethoxam, known to be especially poisonous to bees. The Government had previously promised to uphold the EU ban on use of the product following Brexit, however have U-turned on this decision and sanctioned its use on sugar beet crops.
Over the past 40 years there has been a decline in animal, bird, fish and reptile numbers by as much as 68% and forests are being cleared at an equivalent rate of 800 football fields per hour – a loss that contributes as much as 23% towards global emissions.
The One Planet Summit is a conference hosted by France in conjunction with the United Nations and the World Bank, and aims to build trust and collaboration for ongoing multilateral climate action through commitment and finance.