BMO named to UN-convened group providing guidance to global banks on nature target setting
The world is in the midst of a biodiversity crisis and according to the World Wildlife Foundation’s Living Planet Report 20221, wildlife populations have plummeted by 69 per cent since 1970.
There are many reasons for us to protect nature – including the important role our natural ecosystems play in capturing and storing carbon dioxide, preventing it from warming our planet. There’s also a strong business case for nature protection with more than half the world’s total GDP moderately or highly dependent on nature and its services, putting them at risk.
Nature loss, sometimes referred to as biodiversity loss, refers to the negative impact resulting from how people use the land and the sea. This includes everything from deforestation and water pollution to urban expansion, and the impacts reach even further, particularly our global food systems, which are the primary driver of biodiversity loss at 85 per cent2.
Through conservation and protecting ecosystems that store carbon, filter water and clean air, we can secure habitats for many species and support a nature-positive future for everyone. Protecting and restoring natural ecosystems is also crucial to combatting climate change.
How BMO is working to protect nature
Today, BMO announced that we’ve been named to a UN-convened group helping to reverse nature loss by 2030. As a purpose-driven organization, this is an important way we’re Boldly Growing the Good for a sustainable future.
The UN Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) Nature Target Setting Working Group will work to build a new path for the banking sector to take urgent action on nature preservation. This work includes:
- Ensuring alignment with existing finance approaches
- Providing guidance to banks on setting targets to align their portfolios to the goals of the Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF)
- Developing a Theory of Change for nature that considers the relationship between banking activities and the natural world
- Analyzing resources needed to close the biodiversity financing gap
- Recommending measures to enable nature-friendly businesses
- Providing guidance for integrating the rights of Indigenous peoples and local communities in biodiversity targets
- Leveraging existing climate mitigation and net-zero targets towards addressing biodiversity loss
BMO is also a signatory to the PRB, the Operating Principles for Impact Investment, and the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials. We also adhere to the Partnership for Biodiversity Accounting Financials (PBAF) and have been recognized for world class sustainability disclosure in line with the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board. In 2021. BMO was also named Chair of the Cross-Sector Biodiversity Initiative to develop and share good practices related to biodiversity and ecosystem services in the extractive industries.
To learn more about our role in the PRB Nature Target Setting Working Group, check out the press release.
 Living Planet Report, WWF, https://wwf.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/lpr_2022_full_report_en.pdf
 Five key drivers of the nature crisis, UNEP, https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/story/5-key-drivers-nature-crisis