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Is COP15 in your diary?

21 November 2022

Today, ICMM CEO Ro Dhawan has published an open letter to world leaders ahead of COP15.

COP27 has wrapped up and it is time to turn our focus to the meeting that is imperative for achieving its ambitions, and for the future of our planet: COP15. With world leaders shuttling from COP27 to the G20 Summit and the World Cup, the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) COP15 event taking place in just a couple of weeks is at risk of falling below the radar. These critical negotiations will determine the global goals we need to reach for nature by 2030 to ensure a healthy, functioning planet for us all. The targets which emerge will also either make or break progress towards our climate ambitions. As Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, Executive Secretary of the CBD, declared: this is “a Paris moment for biodiversity.

Scientists have been telling us for years that climate and nature are inextricably linked. Nature can provide at least one third of the most cost-effective mitigation needed to meet our climate goals, whilst simultaneously shielding us from some of the most damaging impacts of climate change. And conversely, climate change is one of the top five drivers of biodiversity loss, already causing potentially irreversible harm to species, ecosystems and communities across the world. Addressing these two challenges together offers huge opportunities for accelerating progress on both fronts, however doing one without the other (or worse - neither) will inevitably lead to failure. It is time for us all to show up for nature.

We have three simple messages that we call on world leaders to consider at COP15: Be Present, Engage, Take Action.

  1. Be Present. The CBD is expecting the largest business presence ever at the biodiversity COP in Montreal this December. The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), representing 26 of the world’s largest mining companies, will be there. As land stewards, suppliers of minerals for the energy transition, and as an industry that is wholly dependent on healthy functioning ecosystems, we ask governments to acknowledge the urgency of the crisis and show leadership from the highest-level. We will be present because the outcome of these negotiations is vital for our industry, our world and its economy. We hope to see you there.
  2. Engage. Since 2003, ICMM’s member companies have pledged to not mine in World Heritage Sites. Through the ICMM Mining Principles, member companies are committed to the application of the mitigation hierarchy towards no net loss of biodiversity, ambitious net zero climate targets, responsible water management, and safeguarding human and indigenous rights. However, we know we need to go further in contributing to halting and reversing nature’s decline globally and that collaboration across stakeholder groups and landscapes is going to be key to making this happen. Let’s use this moment to find new ways of working together to solve a challenge that is bigger than any one of us can solve individually.
  3. Take action. We call on governments to support a clear, actionable, nature positive global goal to urgently halt and reverse nature loss. There is already considerable business momentum behind setting nature positive goals and a comprehensive policy framework laid out in the draft Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. We ask all government leaders to address climate and nature holistically and to adopt the Global Biodiversity Framework, as this is essential for setting a level playing field and ensuring that the progressive action taken by some is not undone by others.

Just as nature is strongest when there is the greatest diversity of species functioning in harmony together, we are strongest when we – as governments, businesses, communities and citizens – work together. This collaborative approach is fundamental to creating an equitable, sustainable and nature positive world. We ask you to prioritise taking action on nature and join us in Montreal in December.

Yours faithfully, 

Signature for Rohitesh Dhawan  

Rohitesh Dhawan 
President and CEO, ICMM