The world has a new plan to save nature. Here’s how it works — and how it could fail.

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...Much of the air at COP15 was sucked up by discussions on closing that financial gap. They centered around three tense issues:

1) How much money will the world commit, in total, to biodiversity conservation each year?

2) How much of that money will wealthy nations give to developing countries?

3) Who will manage and distribute the money?

Negotiations reached a tipping point last week when delegates from developing countries including Brazil, India, and Indonesia walked out of finance talks after reaching an impasse with rich nations. “Financing is always the achilles’ heel of every global agreement,” Florian Titze, a policy advisor at WWF Germany, said at a press conference earlier this month.

By early Monday morning, however, delegates had struck a deal: In the new framework, they commit to spending $200 billion per year on conservation by the end of the decade, which will include public, private, and philanthropic support. It’s a huge sum, yet still only dents the massive finance gap.

Importantly, that money includes $20 billion in annual aid from rich nations to developing countries — which harbor most of the world’s remaining biodiversity — by 2025. The number increases to $30 billion a year by 2030.

The framework not only funnels money into conservation but aims to redirect government funds away from activities that harm nature. Countries spend as much as $1.8 trillion on subsidies that damage ecosystems, including those for fossil fuels, according to one 2022 study. Under one of the framework’s targets, countries pledged to identify harmful subsidies by 2025 and then, by 2030, shrink them by at least $500 billion a year...