As 20,000 government leaders, journalists, activists, and celebrities from around the world prepare to descend on Glasgow for a crucial climate summit starting late this month, another high-level international environmental meeting got started this week. The problem it seeks to tackle: A rapid collapse of species and systems that collectively sustain life on earth. Because climate change and biodiversity loss are intertwined, with the potential for both win-win solutions and vicious cycles of destruction, they must be addressed together, scientists say. But their global summits are separate, and one overshadows the other. This week, environment officials, diplomats, and other observers from around the world gathered online, and a small group assembled in person in Kunming, China, for the meeting, the 15th United Nations biodiversity conference. The United States is the only country in the world besides the Vatican that is not a party to the underlying treaty, the Convention on Biological Diversity.
By Catrin Einhorn. New York Times. October 14, 2021.