Thank you very much. This critically important event — an just the conversation we need to begin the week.
Because as everyone here knows, the climate is not the only planetary system under extreme crisis right now. Biodiversity and nature are also being pushed to the brink.
Almost a year ago now, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued their Sixth Assessment Report. This report updated the latest science on climate change’s “ Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability.”
Buried within the dense pages of scientific assessment was a foundational conclusion.
The resilience of all biodiversity and ecosystems depends on the effective and equitable conservation of 30 – 50% the Earth. This includes land, freshwater and ocean areas worldwide.
This is a stunning conclusion. And it shows that the science is clear: without protecting nature worldwide, we won’t be able to adapt to the climate changes bearing down on us now.
We must significantly enhance our efforts to conserve nature in order to address the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity.
The upcoming COP15 – exactly one month from today – must be the turning point in this global effort.
The United States is committed to achieving an ambitious and transformative Global Biodiversity Framework next month.
That must include a target of conserving 30 percent of global land and waters by 2030, as well as 30 percent of the global ocean.
Achieving this target will not only stem biodiversity loss and build more climate resilient ecosystems — but it will also contribute to a sustainable global economy.
This “30 by 30” target must become our North Star, much like 1.5 degrees is the Paris Agreement.
But the efforts to make 30×30 a reality must start at home. Every country must be willing to do their part to conserve and protect the unique ecosystems on land and in the ocean within its borders.
This is why one of President Biden’s first Executive Orders committed the United States to conserving domestically at least 30 percent of its land and waters by 2030. This is an effort we have named “America the Beautiful.”
And unlike too many times in history, we are committed are taking an all-of-society approach to conservation. This means that we recognize that Indigenous, rural, and urban communities — alongside, scientists, youth and historically marginalized groups — must be critical leaders in achieving this goal.
Philanthropies will also have a key role to play. It gives me great pleasure to be sharing the stage tonight with philanthropies that have already made a tremendous difference on this issue. They have in catalyzed support and implementation of 30×30 worldwide.
These leaders have been instrumental in bringing global attention to the 30×30 goal through ground-breaking contributions to nature conservation.
And while we will need to scale finance from all sources, these private funds have moved quickly and deliberately in the past few years, and are scaling quickly to do more. And we don’t have any time to lose.
Looking ahead, we will need much more willingness to be bold, by both public and private actors, to make 30×30 a reality.
The truth is, we all need to do more. The actions of the past won’t get us where the science says we need to be just eight years from now.
So join me in welcoming the insights and remarks from such an esteemed panel — and also join me in commuting us all to do more, in the next critical month and the rest of the decade ahead. Thank you.