UN Agreement Inches Towards Conserving 30% of Earth's Area

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The Facts

  • On Monday, delegates at the UN's COP15 biodiversity summit — which has been characterized as a "last chance" for nature's recovery — struck a landmark agreement and pledged to protect nearly a third of the planet's area by 2030.

  • The most prominent part of the agreement, known as "30x30," calls for a coordinated effort to designate 30% of Earth's land and ocean area as protected areas by 2030. About 17% of the planet's land and 8% of its oceans are currently protected from fishing, farming, and industrial activities.

The Spin

Narrative A

The framework has come just in time. This agreement to protect 30% of Earth's lands, rivers, lakes, and wetlands is a step in the right direction. It can prevent mass extinctions, bolster resilience to climate change, safeguard marine ecosystems, and allow humanity to transition towards a nature-positive world.

Narrative B

It's unlikely that this will be fully implemented, as shown by past UN treaties. The agreement could be undermined by its failure to mobilize the promised resources as the financial commitments — including the pledge to increase overall biodiversity financing to $200B a year from all sources — are not legally binding. Also, the US is not a party to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Metaculus Prediction

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