To meet the challenge of biodiversity loss and climate change, the world needs a whole-of-society response, and it needs it fast. “You need a sense of urgency. If we are brutally honest, we have to admit that in the general public, the biodiversity crisis does not have the same sense of urgency as the climate crisis or the COVID crisis,” (15:55) cautioned Frans Timmermans, European Commission Executive Vice-President for the Green Deal. “We need to use all our efforts to increase the sense of urgency.” Ideas generated in the debate included: overhauling farm and trade policy to promote biodiversity; labelling rules that allow consumers to choose biodiversity-friendly products; expanding the range of plant and animal varieties used in agriculture.
Highlights of the session included:
8:44 – Climate-smart and biodiversity-smart policies also have to drive jobs and growth; the fiscal debt we’re leaving for the future cannot be accompanied by an environmental debt (Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme)
13:59 – Friends of Europe’s #EuropeMatters citizens’ poll shows 49% of Europeans want the EU to prioritise the environment and a sustainable future. (Dharmendra Kanani, Director of Insights at Friends of Europe)
25:59 – business leaders understand the threats from biodiversity loss, especially in agriculture, and are working to address issues such as soil fertility, product diversity (Emmanuel Faber, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Danone)