The PM's statement on Biodiversity and Wildlife Habitat
I’d like to thank President Macron for an incredibly stylish and highly effective Summit that he’s just hosted for us here in Biarritz.
Every conversation that I’ve had with my fellow leaders, I’ve been struck by their enthusiasm to expand and strengthen their relations with our country – whether that’s on trade or security or defence, science and indeed the growing opportunities we’ve had to collaborate in space and technology.
We’ve also spoken in Biarritz about the biggest global challenges confronting us all today and these are things that I think very much matter to the people in the UK.
We’ve been talking about biodiversity. We’ve got to stop the tragic loss of habitats and species that is happening around the world. We can’t just sit back as animals and plants are wiped off the face of the planet.
The world’s animal populations have declined by about 60% in the last fifty years – about a million species are now facing extinction.
And we’ve seen in the Amazon rainforest the tragic increase in fires which are made more likely by deforestation. And that’s why today I’ve announce £10 million in new funding to protect and restore the rainforest in Brazil.
With one million birds and 100,000 mammals losing their lives every year from eating or getting tangled in ocean plastic – we’ve got to do much more to protect the oceans, and today I’ve announced £7 million for the Blue Belt programme to extend our work to protect the vital marine ecosystems in conservation areas in overseas territories.
And don’t forget Britain has the fifth biggest marine estate in the world.
If we don’t act now our children and our grandchildren will never know a world with the Great Barrier Reef, or the Sumatran Tiger or the Black Rhino.
And so next year at the biodiversity COP – the Summit in China – the so called aichi targets must, in our view, be replaced with new, more ambitious targets to help us get back the biodiversity that this planet is losing, and has lost.
And I’m pleased that the G7 Summit today in Biarritz has accepted those UK ideas, those proposals for biodiversity targets, for humanity to set targets to stop the reduction of habitats and species. And obviously we are going to follow up on that at the COP Summit in the UK if we’re lucky enough to get that and I very much believe that we will.
There’s one issue underpinning all that which I believe holds the key to tackling so many global problems and that is the vital importance of educating girls and I’m very pleased that here at the G7 people, everybody, every delegation has supported the UK’s campaign to give every girl in the world 12 years of quality education.
Today I announced funding to give 600,000 children in the world’s most dangerous countries, where girls are twice as likely as boys to be out of school, the opportunity to go to school for the first time.
We discussed Iran, and we are all agreed that Iran should never under any circumstances be allowed to get a nuclear weapon. And there is clearly an opportunity for Iran to now come back into compliance with a nuclear deal – the JCPOA – and to resume dialogue as well as to cease its disruptive behaviour in the region.
We expressed, collectively, deep concern about what is happening in Hong Kong, and the G7 nations all want to support a stable and a prosperous Hong Kong. And we remain collectively committed to the one country two systems framework.
And I was pleased that was reflected in the conclusions of the Summit, which was as I say very productive indeed.
People can quarrel with Summits and with world leaders coming together in this way for discussions about the wide ranging issues we have had – but I really think that if the leaders who have been gathered together in Biarritz over the last couple of days really follow through on these discussions, and really mean what they say in the conclusions, I think it will make a real difference to the issues that the people in our country care very deeply about.