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‘Point of no return’: Chris Packham leads calls for Rishi Sunak to attend Cop15 | Biodiversity

Chris Packham is urging UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to attend an important wildlife summit to protect the planet for the sake of his great-grandchildren because we are “very close to the point of no return”.

The Cop15 Biodiversity Summit to be held in Montreal December 7-19 is the nature equivalent of Egypt’s recent Cop27 Climate Summit, with governments around the world expected to agree on targets to halt the destruction of the natural world. to invoke. But world leaders are not expected to meet once every decade where goals for the next 10 years are agreed.

“Sunak should look further into the future, to protect the planet, not for himself, but for his great-grandchildren, if he is motivated that way, because environmental care is not about the next five minutes, it’s about the next one.” 500 years,” the TV presenter and campaigner told The Guardian. And that’s what none of these numpties can comprehend or want to understand. Because all they can see is short-term thinking, which is about making short-term solutions so that they can get back to power in the short term, if only they can get their hands dirty.”

World leaders have not been invited to Cop15 and it is feared that the summit will not be given the importance it deserves.

The climate crisis is one of the main causes of biodiversity decline and scientists say we cannot meet climate goals without addressing the biodiversity crisis. “These agents, 27 and 15, are implicitly important because all the science tells us we’re very close to the point of no going back,” Packham said.

“Officer, after agent, after agent, with escape, after escape, after escape, does not serve humanity or the planet. The importance of these things needs to be better understood. And that better understanding should come from our leaders. That’s what they’re for. They are there to lead. And they are not, globally, and certainly not in the UK.”

Wish Tree in Kew, London.  Visitors made 'a wish for nature' ahead of the Cop15 rally in December
Wish Tree in Kew, London. Visitors made ‘a wish for nature’ ahead of the Cop15 rally in December. Photo: Oliver Dixon/Rex/Shutterstock

Packham is joined by the UK’s leading conservation organizations urging Sunak to push for a deal that will reverse the decline of global wildlife by 2030. The RSPB, the Woodland Trust, Wildlife Trusts and Plantlife have launched a campaign called Urgent Conversation which includes a petition asking Sunak to attend the conference and “make the strong global deal needed to end the wildlife crisis” .

Sunak initially said he would not be attending the Cop27 climate conference, but turned his back after pressure from supporters of Britain’s net-zero goals from the Conservative party, as well as international criticism over showing a lack of leadership. A Downing Street spokesman said the Prime Minister does not intend to attend Cop15.

Wildlife groups say the wildlife deal should include targets to prevent extinction and restore habitats that will halt and reverse the decline of biodiversity by 2030, and that 30% of the land and sea will be protected.

The UK is one of the most depleted countries in the world, with more than two-thirds of its land now used for agriculture. Global wildlife populations have declined by an average of 69% in just under 50 years, research shows.

Beccy Speight, chief executive officer of the RSPB, said: “We cannot continue like this. It’s time to have the urgent conversation our leaders have been avoiding. The world urgently needs a shared plan to restore nature and Rishi Sunak must play a leading role in securing a strong deal at Cop15.”

Dara McAnulty, the author of Diary of a Young Naturalist, said: “Cop15 is a very important time to reverse biodiversity loss. All these countries with different government systems, different people, different cultures, working together… It’s really important for young people to speak out about the loss of biodiversity because this is our future… We can do this if we all work together and it shout from the rooftops.”

A spokesperson for the UK government said: “The government remains absolutely committed to leading international and domestic action to tackle climate change and protect wildlife. The UK will be represented at Cop15 by the Minister for the Environment.”

Find out more about the age of extinction here and follow reporters on biodiversity Phoebe Weston and Patrick Groenveld on Twitter for the latest news and features

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