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New briefing paper warns Biodiversity Strategy is test of EU understanding of nature's role in successful Green Deal

last modified Apr 29, 2020 02:08 PM
30 April 2020 – As the coronavirus crisis continues to take a terrible toll on lives and livelihoods worldwide, the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) has warned the EU's forthcoming Biodiversity Strategy will be a test of whether Europe is taking nature, including biodiversity, seriously in its economic thinking.

In a new overview briefing, CISL acknowledges the EU's Biodiversity Strategy will be launched in the midst of a global pandemic which has, in part, been caused by the breakdown of our relationship with nature, 'hammering home' the increased relevance of the interconnectivity of human health and nature.

It suggests the Strategy's content will be critical to building a more resilient future that protects and supports nature's contribution to the European economy, yet notes pressures resulting from the coronavirus crisis threaten to pull the EU away from the course set last year by the Green Deal.

Gemma Cranston, Director, Business and Nature, CISL said:

“A Biodiversity Strategy that commits the EU to action and implements lessons from past failures on nature policy would send the right message that nature is at the heart of the EU’s economic strategy.

“The EU needs a strong position to take into international negotiations on the post-2020 approach to reversing nature loss. To lead from the front and be credible it needs to ramp up its ambition and delivery on tackling nature loss at home.”

CISL emphasises the importance of biodiversity for human – as well as economic – health and wellbeing, and suggests European businesses are looking for clear policy direction.


The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) is a globally influential Institute developing leadership and solutions for a sustainable economy. We believe the economy can be ‘rewired’, through focused collaboration between business, government and finance institutions, to deliver positive outcomes for people and environment. We build the leadership capacity and capabilities of individuals and organisations, and create industry-leading collaborations, to catalyse change and accelerate the path to a sustainable economy.

CLG Europe is an influential and diverse group of European businesses driving leadership on measures to deliver climate neutrality, members include Unilever, Coca-Cola European Partners, EDF, DSM, ACCIONA, Iberdrola, Signify, and affiliates include, Anglian Water, IKEA, Sky and Tesco. CLG Europe is a founder member of the We Mean Business coalition.

The Natural Capital Impact Group, convened by CISL, brings together companies to work collaboratively to determine how businesses can maintain and restore nature through their strategies and operating practices. Members of the group range from utilities to international companies with global supply chains. More information is available here.

A link to the full briefing can be found here