In the not-too-distant future, people may look back to Dec. 19, 2022, as the day on which humanity decided to save itself. On that day, a global agreement was signed in Montreal to preserve the Earth’s natural diversity for the first time. The agreement isn’t perfect, but it’s a chance to avert the planet’s collapse. That it came about at all seems like a miracle.
For two weeks in December 2022, the 196 nation signatories to the UN Convention on Biodiversity wrangled over the future of the planet at the COP15 conference in Montreal, Canada. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference was postponed and moved from its original location in Kunming, China, in 2020, but China retained presidency of the event.