Financial institutions managing a collective $24 trillion issued a statement Tuesday calling for negotiators at the U.N. biodiversity conference in Montreal to adopt an ambitious framework for halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2030.
The statement, issued during the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity, or COP15, that concludes Dec. 19, came from 150 signatories who also pledged to work on their own biodiversity commitments, according to a news release.
The statement called for governments to adopt a framework that would serve as a mandate for aligning financial flows and global biodiversity preservation, similar to one produced at a U.N. climate conference in Paris in 2015.
A biodiversity framework should support ways to assess and disclose nature-related impacts and offer both targets and definitions, the statement said.
"We take inspiration from the Paris Climate Agreement where Article 2.1(c) set a clear mandate for countries to require the financial sector to align its activities with climate goals. COP15 provides a unique chance to get a similar policy mandate in respect of the financial sector and biodiversity," the statement said. "We cannot reach net-zero without halting and reversing nature-loss, and we cannot tackle biodiversity loss without tackling climate change. We, the financial community, have a role to play in this complex ecosystem."
The statement was coordinated by the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment, the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative, and the Finance for Biodiversity Foundation.
The statement's signatories include Amundi, AXA Group, Fidelity International, Groupe La Banque Postale, Legal and General Investment Management, Manulife Financial Corp., Shinhan Financial Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management and UBS Bank.
Caroline Le Meaux, global head of ESG research, engagement and voting at Amundi, said in the release that biodiversity "forms the foundation of our economy. Science is clear that we only have a decade to halt and reverse biodiversity loss."