Political leaders from 64 countries and the European Union have committed to stronger environmental protections after a UN report found the world has failed to meet any of its biodiversity targets. Firefighters walk along a road as smoke rises from a mountain range in the background Leaders from across the world have promised to turn environmental degradation around and put nature on the path to recovery within a decade. "We are in a state of planetary emergency," the 65 leaders, who include German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, wrote ahead of a UN biodiversity summit on Wednesday. "We commit ourselves not simply to words, but to meaningful action and mutual accountability." The commitments, which come two days before a UN biodiversity summit in New York, include eliminating plastic leakage to the oceans by 2050 and incentivizing banks and businesses to value the natural world. The leaders identify unsustainable production and consumption as a key driver of environmental crises that "require urgent and immediate global action." But strongmen leading some of the world’s biggest polluters — US, China, India, Russia and Brazil — are not among the signatories. Missed targets The pledge follows the September publication […]

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