Global nature pact in doubt as COP15 talks seek breakthrough

(Context, 8 Dec 2022) As COP15 biodiversity talks begin in Montreal, experts warn disagreements over oceans and finance could derail hopes for an ambitious agreement.

As thousands of people descend on Montreal this week for a crucial U.N. biodiversity summit, fears are growing among delegates over whether the countries involved can agree on an ambitious global pact to protect nature this decade.

Extra talks in the days before the Dec. 7-19 summit, known as COP15, hoped to streamline the wording of draft biodiversity protection targets - pushing more than 190 nations towards a successful compromise.

Instead, the draft nature pact has become even messier.

"I don't feel that the delegates went as far as we would have expected," said Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, executive secretary of the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity, at a press conference this week.

Environmentalists say a deal on nature is vital amid widespread degradation caused by human activity, with the world's wildlife populations declining by more than two-thirds since 1970, according to green group WWF.

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Context, 8 Dec 2022: Global nature pact in doubt as COP15 talks seek breakthrough