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Biodiversity loss to cost Europe €1.1 trillion per year in 2050 unless an ambitious EU target is adopted now

Today the European Commission published a communication listing four different target options for biodiversity beyond 2010, differing mainly in ambition. In the International Year of Biodiversity, WWF urges the EU to lead with a strong target and clear, measurable objectives, in order to preserve biological diversity in Europe and on our planet earth.

19.01.2010 |World Wildlife Fund

Biodiversity is a global issue and like climate change it has no boundaries. The European Commission acknowledges that biodiversity, the “world’s natural capital”, “remains under severe threat” and that “together with climate change, loss of biodiversity is the most critical global environmental threat and gives rise to substantial economic and welfare losses”; and yet it still hesitates to take a strong stand.

Biodiversity loss and climate change are two sides of the same coin, solving one without solving the other makes no sense - they should be tackled together. Making space for nature by saving biodiversity should be as high up on the EU’s agenda as climate change. If it is not and the current trend of land-based nature destruction continues, in Europe this will cost us around €1.1 trillion per year in 2050, or nearly 4% of the EU’s GDP¹.

“The current trend of biodiversity loss is occurring at 100 to 1,000 times the normal rate2, leaving us no time or space for alternatives and ambiguous words: the European Union needs to show the highest level of ambition and accountability in order to guarantee that our priceless natural capital is preserved and continues to provide social and economic benefits for future generations. We need to aim at halting the loss of biodiversity and restoring ecosystem services in the EU not ‘insofar as possible’ but absolutely by 2020 ” says Andreas Baumüller, Biodiversity Policy Officer at WWF European Policy Office.

WWF strongly asks the Spanish Presidency to lead the European Union towards a progressive biodiversity policy that includes:

  • an ambitious, measurable biodiversity target and sub-targets across different policy areas (i.e. fisheries, forests and freshwater), with clear indicators in order to monitor and ensure that the objectives are met;
  • more direct funds for nature conservation in order to protect and manage Natura 2000 terrestrial and marine sites;
  • appropriate integration of biodiversity across all relevant policies areas (i.e. energy and climate).

WWF asks the Commission to propose a clear set of indicators to Heads of State in March and urges that only the most ambitious ‘beyond 2010 biodiversity’ target, including indicators, is adopted.

Link: http://www.panda.org/

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