New pledges by G7 leaders on climate change and biodiversity loss will boost efforts to strike a global pact to protect nature, but an October deadline is likely to be missed without in-person talks, officials and observers said Tuesday.

Nearly 200 countries are expected to agree to the text of a new global treaty to safeguard the planet's plants, animals and ecosystems at a U.N. summit from Oct. 11 to Oct. 24 in China, which has already been delayed twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Basile van Havre, co-chair of the group developing the nature deal for the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), said the equivalent of at least two full weeks of face-to-face negotiations would be needed to prepare for the summit.