Biodiversity is the root of all life, both on land and below water. It has an impact on human health, providing the air that we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, natural disease resistance, medicines, as well as climate change mitigation. The emergence of COVID-19 has proved that when we destroy biodiversity, we destroy the system that supports human life. Nature is sending us a message. Aptly, this year’s theme for World Environment Day is biodiversity – a concern that is both urgent and existential. Protecting nature and reversing degradation to ecosystems is at the heart of the EU Green Deal and is the rationale for the new EU biodiversity strategy for 2030.
“The coronavirus crisis has dramatically changed the world as we know it and pre-crisis challenges have not disappeared but become even more complex. We will only be able to address this situation effectively and mitigate its consequences if we work together and cooperate globally, with our partners. This needs to be underpinned by an ambitious external budget, positioning the EU as leading geopolitical actor at the world stage. The Commission’s proposed €118.2 billion for external action will allow us to deliver on this commitment.” – EU High Representative, Josep Borrell.
If there is one thing that 27 EU member states agree on it is that we all believe in rules-based multilateralism. We repeat, almost mantra like, that we want a strong UN as the beating heart of the multilateral system. The Security Council is the world’s highest multilateral authority and it has the last word on matters of peace and security. I was very pleased to address the Security Council on the EU-UN cooperation (see here) and to express the EU’s strong support for the UN’s work, with concrete contributions in many areas and especially on peace and security.