Merk argiewe: deforestation

Oor 100 countries make Cop26 pledge to halt deforestation by 2030

Oor 100 countries make Cop26 pledge to halt deforestation by 2030
Meer as 100 leaders representing 85 per cent of planet’s forests make pledge

Meer as 100 national leaders will make a promise during the Cop26 summit to stop deforestation and begin restoring the world’s forests by 2030, the UK government has said.

Leaders representing countries that are home to 85 per cent of the planet’s forests – including Brazil – will commit to “halt and reverse” deforestation by the end of the decade at an event convened by Boris Johnson in Glasgow on Tuesday.

Downing Street said the pledge was backed by $12bn (£8.75bn) of public funding from governments aimed at restoring ripped-up land, with a further $7.2bn (£5.3bn) coming from private investment.

The commitment has been largely welcomed by climate campaigners – but they warned that change was needed immediately to stop new logging from taking place, as well as delivering on the restoration of forests.

Greenpeace was critical of the lack of a binding timetable for the measures – claiming the announcement amounted to a “green light for another decade of forest destruction”.

Carolina Pasquali, executive director at Greenpeace Brazil, gesê: “There’s a very good reason [president] Jair Bolsonaro felt comfortable signing on to this new deal. It allows another decade of forest destruction and isn’t binding.”

Sy het bygevoeg: “Meanwhile the Amazon is already on the brink and can’t survive years more deforestation. Indigenous peoples are calling for 80 per cent of the Amazon to be protected by 2025, and they’re right, that’s what’s needed. The climate and the natural world can’t afford this deal.”

The land covered by the agreement includes the tropical rainforests of Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRK), as well as the northern forests of Canada and Russia – an area of more than 13 million square miles.

But campaigners are concerned that the new money announced at Cop26 is not conditional on banning new logging permits, after a moratorium on new permits was lifted by the DRC government in July.

Die Onafhanklike revealed last week that the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI) – aimed at protecting the Congo Basin rainforest – avoided taking any position on the country’s decision to lift a 20-year-old ban.

A draft letter of intent to the DRC government makes no mention of the logging rights issue – despite warnings from environmentalists that allowing more logging in the basin is incompatible with tackling the climate crisis.

Responding to the Cop26 pledge, a spokesperson for Greenpeace Africa said: “With so much at stake, any new money should only be offered to the DRC government if the ban on new logging concessions is restored.”

The UK is committing £1.5bn over five years to support the forests pledge, part of its previously committed international climate finance budget – including £350m for tropical forests in Indonesia and £200m for the Leaf Coalition.

Mr Johnson is hailing the pledge as “unprecedented” – arguing that it will help support the Cop26 goal of restricting global warming to 1.5C through the absorption of carbon emissions by forests.

“These great teeming ecosystems, these cathedrals of nature, are the lungs of our planet,” the prime minister will say on Tuesday, toevoeging: “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.”

Simon Lewis, professor of global change science at University College London (UCL), said it was particularly welcome that indigenous peoples were being acknowledged as key protectors of forests in the $12bn commitment.

But the professor warned that “careful monitoring” of the delivery of initiatives aimed at tackling deforestation would be needed to make sure the 2030 pledge was fulfilled.

“The real challenge is not in making the announcements, but in delivering synergistic and interlocking policies and actions that really do drive down deforestation globally,” said Prof Lewis.

John Lotspeich, executive director of the Trillion Trees campaign, gesê: “It’s fantastic that world leaders have finally stepped up to take action against the devastating effects of deforestation. But at the same time, if forests continue to disappear at the current catastrophic rate, all this work will be to no avail.”

Hy het bygevoeg: “What remains to be seen is whether those who have made these commitments will deliver them through practical action. There can be no delay: we must act now to secure our planet’s future.”