Biodiversity summit moved to Canada as China struggles to contain Covid-19

Negotiations for a deal to protect nature will take place in Montreal in December 2022. (Credit: Unsplash)

Organisers change venue for biodiversity talks amid fears that China could delay the summit once again.

The United Nations biodiversity summit Cop15 has been relocated from China to Canada, the New Scientist and other media reported on Monday. Negotiations for a new deal to protect nature will reportedly take place in Montreal from 5 to 17 December.

Organisers from the Convention on Biological Diversity had yet to make an official announcement at the time of publication of this article. Geneva Solutions confirmed the information through independent sources.

Originally set to take place in Kunming, the crucial meeting, where countries are meant to deliver a Paris-like agreement for biodiversity, has been postponed time after time since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.

Negotiators gathered in Geneva in March after two years of online meetings failed to produce a refined draft text for ministers to adopt at the summit. Another round of discussions begins tomorrow in Nairobi and runs until 26 June, where countries will try and iron out as many unresolved issues as possible.

Read more: Biodiversity talks in Geneva need more talk

One of the key unresolved components of the agreement is the goal to protect 30 per cent of land and sea areas by 2030. Other issues revolving around finance and implementation of the deal are also cause for disagreement.

Marco Lambertini, director general of WWF International, said in a statement: “In the face of accelerating nature loss that is increasing our vulnerability to pandemics, affecting entire economic sectors and undercutting our efforts to tackle the climate crisis, it is mind-boggling that governments have so far failed to reach common ground on an ambitious global biodiversity plan with all the ingredients necessary to secure a nature-positive world by 2030.”