Minister Steven Guilbeault admits slow progress at COP15 | COP15

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Minister Steven Guilbeault admits slow progress at COP15 | COP15

< p class="styled__StyledLegend-sc-v64krj-0 lgXjWn">Minister Steven Guilbeault at COP15.

Federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault admitted Friday that the progress made so far at COP15 in Montreal is not going as fast as he would like.

After nearly a week of deliberations, negotiators reached agreements on 3 of 22 goals, including one of Canada's main goals: to ensure that Indigenous peoples are consulted and play a role in new conservation agreements.

But Mr. Guilbeault admits he was hoping for more agreements to be struck beforehand. other environment ministers will start arriving next week for this international UN meeting on saving the planet's biodiversity.

There are many things negotiators could deal with before ministers arrive, and that is what we are asking them to do, he said on Friday morning.

Non-governmental organizations have more openly denounced the slowness of the negotiations in Montreal.

We don't see any progress, a lot of focus on things that waste time at a time when time is tight, it's a commodity that is in short supply here, said Marco Lambertini, director of the Global Fund for the nature (WWF). Yet we are rapidly approaching what should, in theory, be a deal.

“It's time for negotiators here in Montreal to stop spending time on paperwork and focus on what really needs to be done. »

— Marco Lambertini, director of the World Wide Fund for Nature

Negotiators have had two years to prepare for this COP15 and there is no excuse for further delay, said Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, from the Association of Fulani Women and Indigenous Peoples of Chad. . Seriously, what have they been up to in recent years?

In Montreal, work on COP15 is progressing slowly. The negotiators agreed on only 4 of the 22 objectives. Reporting by Elisa Serret.

But not everyone was so negative. What I hear from the team in the room is that the atmosphere is good, said Sandra Schwartz of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society ( SNAP). They definitely talk about progress.

Schwartz acknowledges, however, that the discussions on the bigger issues are just beginning. There are concerns that things will be pulled out to reach an agreement at this stage, she admitted. It is always important not to let the frame weaken.

COP15, a small city of 17,000 delegates in the heart of Montreal, is trying to set specific goals for the preservation of Earth's ecosystems. Although 120 of the more than 190 countries present have agreed to goals such as conserving 30% of the planet's land and water by 2030, agreement remains uncertain.

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But Mr. Guilbeault, who has participated in his career in more than twenty high-level environmental conferences, as an environmental activist and then a minister and a politician, said on Friday that x27; he kept hope.

Delegates have until Monday to clean up the text, he said Friday morning. And if they don't, politicians will have to do it themselves next week. If we get a text that isn't as clean as we'd like, that means ministers will have even more work to do.

Environmental activists hoped that this COP15 concludes with a Montreal agreement on biodiversity, like the Paris Agreement on the reduction of greenhouse gases, at the end of the 2015 climate conference.

The two issues are intimately linked. Scientific research has concluded that there is no chance of keeping climate change at 1.5 degrees Celsius without a 30% level of biodiversity conservation.

Scientists also say this is the minimum needed to maintain the natural systems essential to human life, from clean water to pollinating crops.

Canada has four main targets at this COP15. He wants an agreement to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030, to protect at least 30% of land and oceans in the same time frame, to fund developing countries adequately, to achieve the same goals, and to include Indigenous participation.

Ms. Schwartz, of the organization SNAP, remained optimistic on Friday. The planet needs it. We cannot afford to wait any longer.

More than 190 countries are present in one way or another at this conference, which runs until #x27;on December 19 at the Palais des congrès de Montréal.

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