World leaders unite to save earth’s forests: Heads of 100 nations – including China’s Xi and Brazil’s Bolsonaro – join £14bn COP pledge to end deforestation by 2030
- More than 100 world leaders have committed to reverse forest loss by 2030
- The pledge was announced yesterday at the COP26 climate change event
- Forests absorb about one third of the CO2 released from burning fossil fuels
- But an area of forest the size of 27 football pitches is lost every minute
More than 100 world leaders have committed to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030.
The pledge, at a Cop26 event hosted by Boris Johnson yesterday, amounts to almost £14billion in public and private funding.
Forests are the lungs of our planet, absorbing about one third of the global CO2 released from burning fossil fuels every year, but we are losing them at an alarming rate.
An area of forest the size of 27 football pitches is lost every minute.
Countries endorsing the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use pledge include heavily forested nations such as Canada, Russia, Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, China and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Together, they contain 85 per cent of the world’s forests, an area of more than 13million square miles.
The Prime Minister said: ‘Today, at Cop26, leaders have signed a landmark agreement to protect and restore the Earth’s forests.
The pledge to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 came at a Cop26 event hosted by Boris Johnson (pictured) yesterday. The pledge amounts to almost £14billion in public and private funding
Forests are the lungs of our planet, absorbing about one third of the global CO2 released from burning fossil fuels every year, but we are losing them at an alarming rate. An area of forest the size of 27 football pitches is lost every minute (pictured: deforestation in Brazil, 2021)
‘These great teeming ecosystems – these cathedrals of nature – are the lungs of our planet. Forests support communities, livelihoods and food supply, and absorb the carbon we pump into the atmosphere. They are essential to our very survival.
‘With today’s unprecedented pledges, we will have a chance to end humanity’s long history as nature’s conqueror, and instead become its custodian.’
The UK will commit £1.5billion over five years to support the forests pledge, including £350million for tropical forests in Indonesia, and £200million for the Leaf Coalition, which finances replanting forests.
The UK will also contribute £200million, alongside 11 other donors, as part of a new £1.1billion fund to protect the Congo Basin.
The area is home to the world’s second-largest tropical rainforest, which is threatened by industrial logging, mining and agriculture.
Indonesian president Joko Widodo said: ‘Indonesia is blessed as the most carbon-rich country in the world on vast rainforests, mangroves, oceans and peatlands. We are committed to protecting these critical carbon sinks and our natural capital for future generations.
‘We call on all countries to support sustainable development paths that strengthen the livelihoods of communities – especially indigenous, women and smallholders.’
Colombian president Ivan Duque said: ‘Colombia is proud to endorse the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use. The declaration is a landmark commitment from countries to work together to end deforestation and all land degradation within the next decade.
‘Never before have so many leaders, from all regions, representing all types of forests, joined forces in this way and Colombia is committed to playing its part. We will enshrine in law a commitment to net-zero deforestation by 2030 and to protecting 30 per cent of our land and ocean resources by 2030.
‘Now we must all work in partnership with businesses, the finance sector, smallholder farmers, Indigenous peoples and local communities to create the conditions for forest-positive economies to grow and thrive.’
Indonesian president Joko Widodo said: ‘Indonesia is blessed as the most carbon-rich country in the world on vast rainforests, mangroves, oceans and peatlands. We are committed to protecting these critical carbon sinks and our natural capital for future generations.’
Campaigners welcomed the initiative. Justin Adams, executive director of the World Economic Forum’s Tropical Forest Alliance, said: ‘What we’re seeing at Cop26 could finally be the start of something transformational when it comes to stopping deforestation.
‘If we fail to stop deforestation, we will fail to limit climate change. The Glasgow declaration provides a strong political signal, and the powerful collective force of business and finance which aligns considerable economic muscle with these efforts, can shift our food and land use system in a way that we desperately need – for farmers, for consumers and for the planet.’
Nigel Purvis, CEO of Climate Advisers, said: ‘Glasgow is the biggest moment for forests and nature since Paris in 2015. Many more countries are making ambitious commitments to implement nature-based solutions.
‘Glasgow is also producing the largest ever financial incentives for protecting forests, with unprecedented commitments from donor nations, investors and companies.’
The Daily Mail has supported tree planting with its Be a Tree Angel campaign.
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