The world is excited by the UN ‘biodiversity’ COP15 declaration by 190 countries to conserve at least 30% of the global ecosystems by 2030.
This is a bold sounding call but upon closer examination inadequate a slogan. Shockingly, and minima always becoming maxima, it means that ‘we’ have now officially given up on 70% of our natural ecosystems.
The challenge is that the complete functioning of Earth’s oceanic and terrestrial functioning is required to keep temperatures stable, water flowing, food growing, resources available. But this assumes also NO fossil emissions that drive the temperatures up so reserves become too hot to be meaningful.
In other words, 100% renewable energy is needed by 2030 to protect even the low percentage of 30% of bioreserves that are being aimed at – while strengthening Earth’s capacity to lower atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations.
The random quotient of 30% is likely derived from a pragmatic assessment of what has already been ruined, not by common sense or an understanding of natural earth systems. What if we brought our computer or car to the repair shop, and they came back with 70% of parts missing or broken. Would we feel any confidence of sustained, safe functioning – even if the repair shop boldly declared: ‘We proudly protect 30% of your assets’?
Also, it is important that the ‘conserved’ ecosystem areas are located where they matter most. Over 90% of the US ‘conserved’ aquatic ecosystems are in remote areas of the Pacific, on the High Seas, not in domestic rivers and lakes where they are missing. We need functionality and systemic health, not arbitrary percentages.
In sum, while pointing in the right direction, 30×30 is a marketing motto for inadequate policies. It somehow makes us feel good as a sheer declaration (even if it isn’t implemented) but actually teaches us to be careful with top-down declarations of this sort.
For EUROSOLAR it means to strive for much higher proportions, but also to make sure that what is being protected is of value, and viable – and can prosper. In other words: the recovery and expansion of functioning ecosystems is as important as the protection of the remnant stock.
Best regards – EUROSOLAR’s is an exciting and important mission!
A happy, energetic, resilient and peacefully healthy Season and 2023 to all!
Professor Peter Droege
President, EUROSOLAR e.V.