Last week, the United Nations (UN) convened a major summit on the issue of biodiversityofficially named the Fifteenth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 15). CFACT is a recognized participant and took part in the proceedings which took place in Kumning, China.

COP 15’s mission was to highlight humanity’s “pressing” need to address how biodiversity and species preservation, factors into the broader UN climate agenda. Attendees largely participated virtually, though some of the key individuals met in China. The choice of China to host a key environmental meeting was surprising, given it boasts the world’s largest output of greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the New York Times, the document released by the summit’s founders called for a 21-point plan of action to reduce “biodiversity loss.”

Among other matters, it calls for increased regulation of the hunting industry, and an increased regulation of water and sewage systems. Most far-reaching of all, the plan contains broad calls for governments to “safeguard” 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030. It argues in favor of creating “a plan, across the entire land and waters of each country, to make the best decisions about where to conduct activities like farming and mining while also retaining intact areas.”

Americans can largely take heart, however: The United States is the only country on the planet that is not a signatory to the underlying agreement that forms the body of this conference. As it is a foreign treaty, under U.S. law, it cannot be ratified without the support of two-thirds of U.S. Senators.

The Convention on Biological Diversity presents a large threat of broad government overreach, and obvious privacy and liberty concerns having a global bureaucracy to micro-manage the world’s land use. Thereby, the agreement would compel U.S. companies to share data with foreign competitors, strangling international competition.


  • Bob Knee

    Bob Knee serves as the National Field Coordinator for CFACT's Collegians program. He also writes on issues of energy, environment, and free speech.