30×30 target agreed at COP15 but lacks crucial detail to stop mass extinction


Montreal, Canada, 19 December 2022 – Despite agreeing the important 30×30 target to protect 30% of land and sea by 2030, and recognising the rights of Indigenous Peoples, COP15 failed to deliver the ambition, tools, or finance necessary to stop mass extinction.

For the UK, whose delegation worked hard to make the 30×30 target as strong and as meaningful as possible, the conference may have ended with frustration. 

Will McCallum, Executive Director, Greenpeace UK said:
“Governments like the UK who fought hard for stronger language within the 30×30 target must channel any frustration with the outcome into leading by example. But with the UK Government failing to protect nature at home, how did it expect to achieve global environmental leadership? Last week the government brought forward incredibly weak Environment Act targets and it continues to allow our most vulnerable marine ecosystems to be plundered by destructive fishing.

“We need to see properly protected ocean sanctuaries, and large swathes of land managed for nature, to show the world that restoring biodiversity unlocks jobs in rural and remote areas, keeps our food system resilient and makes sure we are all more able to withstand the impacts that climate change is already having.” 

Greenpeace welcomes the explicit recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ rights, roles, territories, and knowledge as the most effective biodiversity protection that has come out of the UN nature talks. 

An Lambrechts, head of the Greenpeace delegation at COP15, said:
“Indigenous Peoples are the most capable and knowledgeable guardians of nature. There is so much potential for biodiversity protection if Indigenous Peoples are in leadership roles. Rights-based protections are the future of conservation. Direct finance for Indigenous Peoples is a critical next step.”

“Taken altogether, however, COP15 failed to deliver the ambition, tools, or finance necessary to stop mass extinction. The 30×30 target, to protect at least 30% of land and of sea by 2030, has successfully made it in. But it is stripped-down, without essential qualifiers that exclude damaging activities from protected areas. As is, it is just an empty number, with protections on paper but nowhere else.” 

“USD $20 billion a year until 2025, and then $30 billion a year until 2030, is a start, but it’s not enough. With a $700 billion biodiversity funding gap, it’s unclear where the rest of the money will come from. Finance is not only a question of how much, but how fast. Setting up a fund in 2023 should get funding to developing countries faster. 

“Corporate schemes like nature-based solutions and offsets leeched on to the UN biodiversity talks from start to finish. These are false solutions that may prove to be costly mistakes. The scandals and greenwashing you see in carbon offsetting today are what’s on the menu for biodiversity tomorrow.”



For UK media enquiries: press.uk@greenpeace.org or 020 7865 8255

For International media enquiries: August Rick, International communications officer, Greenpeace East Asia, arick@greenpeace.org, +1 4387286509 

Greenpeace International Press Desk: pressdesk.int@greenpeace.org, +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours)

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