Corporate capture

Monday 5 December 2022, for immediate release

Ahead of the 15th Conference of the Parties, Friends of the Earth analysis of business influence reveals commitments to profits over biodiversity action. Exclusive Report: The Nature of Business

MONTREAL, Paris, Madrid – Friends of the Earth International released a new analysis before the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in Montreal, The Nature of Business Report: Corporate Influence over the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Global Biodiversity Framework [1]. This analysis draws attention to the ways corporate capture has blocked, eliminated or corrupted efforts to prevent further biodiversity loss at the global scale. The report traces examples of how businesses have directly influenced the Global Biodiversity Framework and have derailed action in favour of profits.

Nele Marien, Forests & Biodiversity programme coordinator at Friends of the Earth International explains:

“From funding delegations, over filling official secretariat roles with corporate-related actors, to intentionally distorting scientific inputs, corporate influence goes deep into the heart of the CBD. One strategy in particular stands out: the formation of purpose-built lobby coalitions allowing many corporations, such as BP or Vale [2], to present themselves as part of the solution and advocates for sustainability with green-sounding names. However, their ‘solutions’ are carefully crafted in order to not undermine their business models; ultimately they do nothing for the environment.”

The report denounces how these coalitions use ambiguous and intentionally muddled language that passes for science, such as “nature-based solutions” or “nature positive,” whose approach benefits the business sector, safeguards corporate profits, and promotes offsetting at the expense of Indigenous Peoples [3].

“There is a fundamental conflict of interest,” adds Nele Marien.

“Corporations are the most prominent contributors to biodiversity loss, ecosystem destruction and human rights violations. Addressing corporate capture of the CBD is a precondition for saving biodiversity. The UN and its Member States must resist corporate pressure and ​​the CBD must reclaim its authority to regulate business.”

Isaac Rojas, Forests & Biodiversity programme coordinator at Friends of the Earth International adds:

“Putting corporations in their place would allow Peoples-led solutions to biodiversity loss to regain momentum. Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities protect 80% of existing biodiversity, often by defending it with their lives. Conserving biodiversity goes along with taking IPLCs and their human and land tenure rights seriously.”

With 1 million species at risk of extinction globally and rapidly increasing biodiversity loss, urgent action is needed. CBD15 in Montreal is an opportunity for Parties to enact meaningful standards that would hold polluters accountable for ecosystem damage while advancing the voices and influence of Indigenous Peoples and local communities.

Press contacts:

English: Shaye Skiff,, +1 202-222-0723

French: Caroline Prak – / +337 48 65 55 24

Friends of the Earth International delegation in Montréal, Canada:

Nele Marien – Forests & Biodiversity International Programme Coordinator, in Montreal, week 1&2 +OEWG5 / Twitter @nelemarien

Isaac Rojas – Forests & Biodiversity International Programme Coordinator, in Montreal week 1&2 /

Theiva Lingham – Friends of the Earth Asia Pacific – in Montreal, OEWG5 and week  &2

Rita Uwaka – Friends of the Earth Africa, in Montreal from 9th December

Dana Perls – Friends of the Earth US, expert on technology-related issues  – in Montreal, OEWG5 and week 1&2.


[2] Vale was responsible for poisoning hundreds of kilometres of rivers with toxic mine tailings after two separate dam collapses in Brazil, in 2015 and 2019. BP is responsible for wildlife-destroying disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and oil spill in 2010.

[3] How positive will “Nature Positive” be?, Friends of the Earth International, November 2022