164. How changing our diets can help win the battle with biodiversity loss

Federated Hermes engagement and stewardship manager Sonya Likhtman talks us through the challenges of biodiversity loss and how they are intertwined with climate change. She also highlights how changing our diets and the rise of technology can help turn the tide against the pending biodiversity threat. Sonya also explains the importance of the COP 15 conference, which could hopefully pave the way for a global framework to tackle biodiversity loss, as well as explaining how financial firms and investors can raise awareness in this space.
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Whether it is the air you breathe, the water you drink or the food you eat – all of them rely on biodiversity. Simply put, biodiversity means the variety of life on Earth. It includes variation at three levels: genetic, species and ecosystem. It captures the diversity of plants, animals, insects and other organisms in land, ocean and freshwater ecosystems.

Unfortunately, it is under major threat. In a 2019 UN report, scientists warned one million species – out of an estimated total of eight million – are threatened with extinction, many within decades – with changes in land use, climate change, pollution and hunting all playing a major role.

At present, we would require 1.6 Earth’s to maintain the world’s current living standard – so something has to give. We spoke to Federated Hermes engagement and stewardship manager Sonya Likhtman who explained the challenges facing us on biodiversity loss and how we can overcome them.

What’s covered in this podcast:

  • What is biodiversity and why does it matter
  • Why the challenges of biodiversity are more complex than other ESG issues
  • How both financial firms and investors can mirror the improving awareness of climate change in the biodiversity sphere
  • Why companies must make sure their supply chains are interacting with nature
  • Hopes that next years’ COP 15 meeting could be biodiversity’s version of the Paris Agreement on climate change
  • How Federated Hermes looks to communicate their expectations with companies on biodiversity and tracking how they implement them
  • Why changing our meat-based diets could play a major role in tackling the challenges of biodiversity
  • How technology could be a game-changer in finding ways to beat biodiversity concerns
  • Why we need to be asking how biodiversity fits into net zero strategies
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