Member States support global action for biodiversity, but concrete commitments missing | WWF
Member States support global action for biodiversity, but concrete commitments missing

Posted on 19 December 2019

We need a legally binding EU target
Member States today showed their support for nature by calling for an ambitious global framework to halt and restore biodiversity by 2030. WWF welcomes this support, and  the fact that Member States called on the Commission to consider new regulatory measures for biodiversity. However Member States also failed to refer to specific targets at EU level that would help tackle the problem domestically, and show other countries the EU’s readiness to act. 

EU environment ministers, who were meeting to discuss the EU’s position at the international Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP 15 summit in 2020, recognised that current ambition on biodiversity is far too low both in the EU and globally. They referred to elements that for WWF are essential, such as the need for transformative change and to mainstream biodiversity into all relevant EU policies like agriculture, fisheries and trade, the importance of restoring nature both to protect biodiversity and tackle climate change, and the importance of implementation.

However, despite acknowledging the urgency, and in contrast with the recent European Parliament committee position, the ministers’ Council conclusions were vague and missing specific, measurable targets and commitments to address the drivers of biodiversity loss and   protect and restore biodiversity, both globally and in the EU. 

The EU has had ambitious biodiversity targets in place for several decades, but has consistently failed to meet them, due to a lack of accountability and policy coherence. Given the current ecological emergency, the 2030 EU Biodiversity Strategy that EU Commission President von Der Leyen committed to under her Green Deal needs to include legally binding targets, otherwise  it risks having little impact. 

Sabien Leemans, Senior Biodiversity Policy Officer, WWF European Policy Office said: 
“Credible EU leadership on the world stage hinges on what it does back home. As a next step,  EU environment ministers must support an ambitious and binding EU 2030 Biodiversity Strategy. This must include a legally binding restoration initiative to tackle the intertwined climate and biodiversity crises, and concrete commitments to protect and restore nature more effectively, ahead of the CBD COP15.”

By agreeing on concrete domestic action and supporting an ambitious global biodiversity framework, the EU and its Member States would be in a position to provide true global leadership and drive an international coalition against nature loss. WWF has called for a New Deal for Nature and People to emerge from global policy fora in 2020. 


Sabien Leemans
Senior Biodiversity Policy Officer
+32 486 80 04 37

Edel Shanahan 
Junior Communications Officer,
Biodiversity & Agriculture
+ 32 484 49 35 15


Peacock butterfly (Inachis io)
Peacock butterfly (Inachis io) has a most admirable set of defenses against predation from birds and rodents. The eyespots, which resemble an owl when viewed upside down, are flashed at any inquisitive bird. Any would be attacker is giving even greater cause for concern from the loud grating noise produced by the rasping of the forewings. Innsbruck, Austria
© Anton Vorauer / WWF