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October 2, 2020

Let’s act for nature. Thomas Buberl at the UN General Assembly

“Nature truly works for us. Biodiversity loss endangers ecosystemic services, which threatens both society and businesses that depend on them, and in turn investors and insurers that rely on a well-functioning economy. We view the biodiversity challenge as a natural extension of our climate efforts. Indeed, climate change is severely compounding the destruction of ecosystems all around the world. Today I am glad to announce new efforts towards biodiversity protection.” Thomas Buberl, 30 September, speaking to world Heads of State at the UN General Assembly.

On the occasion of the UN Summit on Biodiversity on 30 September, Thomas Buberl addressed Heads of State and the United Nations’ General Assembly, under the theme of “Urgent action on Biodiversity for sustainable development”.

AXA contributes to the protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems through its role as an investor and insurer. We announced four new steps:

  • Committing through pledges: together with more than 20 financial institutions, AXA supports the new “Finance for Biodiversity” pledge, calling global leaders to agree on effective measures to reverse nature loss.
  • Investments: we have decided to double the size of our biodiversity and climate impact fund, directing $350M towards protecting natural capital and improving the resilience of vulnerable communities.
  • Metrics: AXA has joined forces with peers to select and partner with a new biodiversity risks data provider.
  • Coalitions: AXA joined the “Informal Working Group” launched just a few days ago, which will craft the Taskforce on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures.

These actions extend AXA’s efforts regarding biodiversity initiated in 2018 with the signing of  the French initiative “Act4Nature”, and including establishing a 3-years partnership with the WWF focused on biodiversity, publishing joint recommendations co-developed with the WWF and shared during the G7 meetings, launching a biodiversity and climate “Impact Investment” fund dedicated to nature-based solutions and developing the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance.

Thomas Buberl concluded with a call to action for world leaders working on the preparation of the COP15 summit next year in Kunming, China:

Thomas Buberl

Chief Executive Officer of AXA

All companies have a responsibility to evolve, and finance is a key enabler, provided it can operate in a level playing field. However, we cannot drive change on our own. Public action is essential for us to meet the expectations of our youth and society at large. We need common frameworks and international science-based biodiversity targets.

We need an agreement that supports the action of investors and insurers towards biodiversity protection. And we need policymakers to catalyse these efforts in a robust “Kunming Agreement” which will show a clear roadmap for action.

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