Günter & Ekhardt (2023): Balancing climate goals and biodiversity protection: legal implications of the 30×30 target for land-based carbon removal

Philipp Günther, Felix Ekardt IN: Frontiers in Climate, 5, https://doi.org/10.3389/fclim.2023.1276606

This article examines the legal conflicts between land-based carbon dioxide removal (CDR) strategies and the establishment of protected areas through the lens of international environmental law. The authors argue that the 2022 Global Biodiversity Framework’s “30×30” target—which aims to protect 30% of global terrestrial and marine areas by 2030—constitutes a “subsequent agreement” under international law and thus clarifies the legal scope and content of the obligation to establish protected areas under Article 8 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Since states have pledged 120 million square kilometers for land-based CDR, these commitments potentially conflict with the “30×30” target, especially if global cropland for food production is to be maintained. Consequently, some land-based CDR strategies may directly or indirectly impede the achievement of the “30×30” target, which could be deemed inconsistent with international law.