The Development Finance Forum is KfW Development Bank's most important expert forum that regularly focuses on a current topic related to development cooperation. This time it was about the connection between climate and biodiversity protection, two crises that are closely related and can only be solved together as a whole.
This high-level expert conference took place on 6 and 7 October at KfW’s Frankfurt offices. Experts from all over the world, from all disciplines and institutions involved – from politics, science, the private sector and civil society –worked together to establish a discourse on how to bring the two issues closer together at both the political level and the level of implementation.
Keynote speakers were Johan Rockström, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and co-author of the latest report “Earth for All” by the Club of Rome, Jochen Flasbarth, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Bruno Oberle, Director General of IUCN. All of them emphasized that we have to hurry, especially with the protection of biodiversity. “The longer we wait, the more expensive it will get”, said for instance Christiane Laibach, member of the KfW Executive Board wo opened the Forum and participated in the first high ranking panel.
The formats ranged from keynote speeches given during plenary sessions to specialist working groups and presentations of innovative solutions in a Future Lab. This resulted not only in an analysis of the current situation, but also provided forward-looking insights into the nexus of the two topics. Among them were the the fact that climate change is not manageable without more protection of nature and that it needs much more financial means for both, including from the private sector. The participants also agreed that metrics were urgently needed for biodiversity.
The conference took place in good time before two major international conferences: the UN climate summit in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt, in November and the major COP15 biodiversity conference in Montreal, in December. One of the issues on the agenda at the climate summit will be the continuation of the “Glasgow Climate Pact” from last year, in which the parties confirmed the 1.5 degree target. The parties also committed to increase international climate financing. In Canada, the Conference of the Parties wishes to set 21 specific goals for biodiversity conservation by 2030 in a “Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework”, for instance, the goal to protect 30% of the Earth’s surface by then.
It will only prove possible to both limit global warming to 1.5 degrees and to reverse the trend in species loss by achieving progress in each of these areas, respectively. That is why it is crucial to establish connections at all levels. The Development Finance Forum provided key information on how to better harness this connection, especially in practical implementation, for instance in terms of new and innovative financial instruments that have to be developed.
After the long period of social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic, it also offered an opportunity for bilateral exchange, networking and discussion opportunities in an informal atmosphere.
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