Large Nordic youth delegation at COP15 biodiversity summit in Montreal

05.12.22 | News
Toppmötet COP15 bygs i Montreal
Photographer
Paul Chiasson/Zuma/Ritzau Scanpix
From 7 to 18 December, countries from around the globe will gather in Montreal, Canada, to agree on a new global deal for nature. The Nordic Region is present at COP15 with ministers, parliamentarians and 18 Nordic youth representatives who are hoping to put pressure on the final negotiations for an ambitious deal.

The UN summit COP15 will give the world a vital deal to stem the rapid loss of biodiversity. 

“The meeting in Montreal must be a turning point for stopping the loss of biodiversity by 2030, in the same manner that the climate meeting in Paris was a turning point in efforts to combat the climate crisis,” says Maria Ohisalo, Finland’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, who is on her way to the final negotiations together with her ministerial colleagues from the Nordic Region.

Destroyed nature must be restored

The loss of biodiversity is one of the biggest threats to humanity and is closely linked to the climate crisis. Environmental and climate scientists say that without effective measures to protect and restore damaged natural areas, it’s impossible to meet the world’s climate goals.

At the meeting in Montreal, decisions are expected on global goals for the protection of land, water and marine areas, among other things. 

The EU supports the goal of protecting 30 percent and restoring three billion hectares to nature.

The negotiations will also address demands for more sustainable agriculture, forestry and fishing, as well as the fight against invasive species. 

Young people concerned about funding

The funding of the rapid implementation of the deal is expected to be a tricky issue at the negotiations in Montreal. Jonas Kittelsen, youth representative from Norway, believes that the responsibility of rich countries for financing will be crucial. 

“I’m concerned that richer countries might renege on their historical responsibility to finance the mechanisms that are necessary for a strong global agreement for nature,” says Jonas. 

 

“At the same time, what gives us hope is that so many young people and indigenous peoples are playing a central role in the negotiations and will fight for a fair deal that puts human rights and the integrity of ecosystems before the powerful interests of making money from the destruction of nature,” he says.  

Young people take part in negotiations

Eighteen Nordic youth representatives will travel to the meeting in Montreal. With them, they have a list of demands for the final negotiations. 

The demands were developed during a three-year process in which Nordic youth organisations debated, consulted with experts and politicians, and mobilised some 3,000 young people to support a Nordic Youth Position Paper on Biodiversity. The project has been funded through Nordic co-operation. 

Young people will have the opportunity to table their demands at the negotiations in Montreal and consult with the Nordic ministers and negotiators present. 

Nordic line

The Nordic governments are negotiating through the EU, but have also prepared a Nordic position which, among other things, emphasises that nature-based solutions can play an important role in solving global challenges, and which calls on the meeting to adopt measurable goals and clear demands for implementation.

Proposal for a youth fund for biodiversity

The body for Nordic parliamentary co-operation, the Nordic Council, is sending several observers to the negotiations. 

The Nordic Council’s Committee for a Sustainable Nordic Region has, among other things, taken the initiative for a “Youth Climate and Biodiversity Fund” and urged the Nordic governments to co-operate in combating invasive species. 

“The Nordic Region should be a global driving force in terms of both climate and biodiversity. We’re good when it comes to climate solutions, but not so much in terms of biodiversity. That’s why it’s so important for the Nordic Council to be present when the new global deal is concluded. We’ll need to work together at the Nordic level on the implementation of the deal if we’re to succeed,” says Lene Westgaard-Halle, a Norwegian parliamentarian on the Nordic Council Committee for a Sustainable Nordic Region.          

Find out more about the Nordic Council’s latest proposal for biodiversity below: