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Planet Care

222: Terra Carta

Problem:

Big business must invest in the health of the planet and people. What good is all the extra wealth in the world, gained from ‘business as usual,’ if you can do nothing with it except watch it burn in catastrophic conditions?

Solution:

Terra Carta, (= Earth Charter), a pledge to put planet first and raise $10bn (£7bn) to ‘bring prosperity into harmony with nature.’

On Monday 11th January, 2020, at the One Planet summit in Paris, with the participation of around thirty personalities, most of them in videoconferencing, Charles the Prince of Wales, a lifelong environmentalist and heir to the British throne, launched Terra Carta, a document that asked signatories of several international institutions to agree to almost 100 actions to become more sustainable by 2030.

In the Terra Carta’s statement of intent, the voluntary commitments include supporting international agreements on the climate, biodiversity and desertification, regenerative farming and biofuels, and similar efforts to protect half of the planet by 2050, and make investment and financial flows consistent with a future of low greenhouse gas emissions.

While some signatories are big investors or financiers for the fossil fuel industry and sectors linked to biodiversity loss, a $10 billion investment in nature will be made by 2022 through the newly created Natural Capital Investment Alliance. Companies supporting the launch of the Terra Carta included BlackRock, Bank of America and HSBC, BP. AstraZeneca (AZN), EY, Unilever (UL), Heathrow Airport, and Fidelity International.

The Prince stated “If we consider the legacy of our generation, more than 800 years ago, Magna Carta inspired a belief in the fundamental rights and liberties of people. As we strive to imagine the next 800 years of human progress, the fundamental rights and value of nature must represent a step-change in our ‘future of industry’ and ‘future of economy’ approach.”

Later on Monday, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, announced that an envelope of 14.3 billion dollars (11.8 billion euros) over five years (2021-2025) had been constituted for an 8,000 km “great green wall” intended to prevent the advance of desert in the Sudano-Sahelian zone, which crosses 11 countries in Africa from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea.

The countries concerned in the foreground by the project are: Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan and Chad.

The first One Planet Summit was aimed at leading, at the end of the year, to the adoption of a new roadmap for the protection of ecosystems at the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to be held in early October in Kunming, China.

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