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Leaders commit to ending deforestation by 2030

World leaders commit to ending and reversing deforestation by 2030, in the COP26 climate summit’s first major deal. 

The pledge includes almost £14bn ($19.2bn) of public and private funds.

The countries who say they will sign the pledge – including Canada, Brazil, Russia, China, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the US and the UK (the full list is here) – cover around 85% of the world’s forests.

firewood on river

Reacting to today’s announcement that 100 leaders have pledged to end deforestation, Environmental Audit Committee Chairman, Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP, said: ‘Our planet’s great forests and rainforests were once teeming with wildlife, but numbers of animals and plant species are in rapid decline as unsustainable consumption is leading to destruction and deforestation. We need our forests to provide habitats for species, but also to absorb a significant amount of carbon. We cannot begin to tackle climate change without safeguarding biodiversity.

 ‘Two months ago, our Committee urged the UK Government to show leadership on protecting biodiversity at COP26. The Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forest and Land Use is a really positive declaration as it shows a significant political willingness to tackle deforestation. But we cannot be complacent, and I hope this commitment will be included in the UN metrics, which the UN Secretary-General announced in his speech during the Opening Ceremony yesterday so that there is regular internationally measured accountability against these pledges.

‘Further action can be taken, as outlined by our Committee, such as introducing an environmental footprint target to show the impact of imported goods, and to make it illegal for UK businesses and the finance sector to use commodities linked to deforestation.’

Photo by Ales Krivec

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