Comment on UN biodiversity conference, CBD COP15

Matt Williams is available for further comment and interview.

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By Patricia Curmi

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As the conference reaches the halfway point [1], Matt Williams from ECIU reflects on the prospects for success, including risks to the UK's role in securing an ambitious deal for nature after the announcement of a new coal mine.

Matt Williams, land use analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, said: "As we approach the halfway point through this conference, world leaders haven't turned up. It's lacking the political stardust that the climate talks in Egypt had thanks to them. But there are still signs that it could result in an ambitious new nature deal for 2030 - which is critical to ensuring that peatlands and forests can help tackle climate change.

"The UK's previous stature as an international nature leader may be coming under pressure at a critical moment in the talks. It has just given the green light to a new coal mine, a decision quickly noted as a regressive step after the UK led calls to consign coal to history when it hosted COP26 last year. Coupled with delays rolling out a new farming system, and drift on tree planting and peat restoration, the UK could quickly go from nature and climate leader to laggard."

Notes for editors

Matt Williams is available for comment, and 07854575690

[1] The COP15 2022 Montreal Biodiversity Conference began on Wednesday, 7 Decemberand ends onMonday, 19 December.