Over 330 business houses call on heads of state to make nature assessment at COP15

More than 330 business and financial institutions with combined revenues of more than $1.5 trillion, including Mahindra Group and Tata Steel from India, on Wednesday urged heads of state to move beyond voluntary actions, and “transform the rules of the economic game” to halt and reverse biodiversity loss at the UN Biodiversity Conference (CBD COP15) to be held in Montreal in December.

As the nature crisis worsens, businesses and financial institutions from 56 countries, including Canada, the UK, Japan and China, recognise the role they must play to address their impacts and support the delivery of a once-in-a-decade global biodiversity framework (GBF).

They urged world leaders to adopt, in Target 15, the mandatory requirements for all large businesses and financial institutions to assess and disclose their impacts and dependencies on biodiversity by 2030.

Andre Hoffmann, Vice-Chairman, Roche Holdings, said, “Nature recovery is within our grasp provided we all act now. This statement shows the extensive support from major businesses for an ambitious global deal for nature, with clear goals to drive collective business and finance action.

“The political certainty will accelerate the necessary changes to our business models. We stand ready to do everything in our power to shift to a society where nature, people and business thrive.”

Business and finance signatories, including more than 100 companies with multi-billion dollar revenues, have declared their critical role in halting and reversing nature loss through a COP15 Business Statement.

In the statement, the firms outlined the voluntary actions they are taking such as assessing their impacts and dependencies on nature, disclosing material nature-related information and transforming their business strategies to protect and restore natural ecosystems.

The statement from more than 330 businesses read: “This won’t be easy, but it must happen if we are serious about achieving the Convention on Biological Diversity’s 2050 Vision to Live in Harmony with Nature.”

Helena Helmersson, CEO, H&M Group, said: “As a global fashion retailer, we need to take responsibility in halting and reversing biodiversity loss and collaborating with others to accelerate the change. We support an ambitious Target 15 at CBD COP15 that makes it mandatory for all companies to assess and disclose their impact and dependencies on nature.”

Despite clear warnings that two out of three of the world’s most critical risks to our economies are related to the loss of nature, new CDP data revealed that nature-related disclosures are not happening at the scale and speed required to address emerging and urgent risks.

COP15 is shorthand for the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to be held in Montreal from December 7-19.

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