One hundred countries, representing 85 percent of the world’s forests, have given themselves nine years to halt and reverse deforestation, in a major new commitment at global climate change talks on Tuesday.
Brazil, Russia, Canada, Colombia and Indonesia will be among the nations committing to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 at the third day of COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, in an initiative spearheaded by the conference host, the UK.
The inclusion of Brazil, home to the world’s largest tropical rainforest, is crucial to the initiative and comes amid a turnaround in the country’s ambitions to reduce emissions and tackle deforestation. Across the world as a whole, an area of forest the size of 27 soccer pitches is lost every minute, according to the UK.
The international pledge will be backed by $19.2 billion (about 14 billion pounds) in funding, the UK said. However, only $7.2 billion of that will be new money, coming from companies and philanthropies and will go to encouraging deforestation-free soy and cattle production in South America, and to scale investments in tree planting and other nature-based solutions.
In addition to the private funding, 12 countries including the UK will allocate $12 billion (8.75 billion pounds) of public funds from 2021 through 2025 to tackle wildfires, restore land and help indigenous communities. These contributions will mostly come from existing financial commitments, according to a spokeswoman from the UK government.
Meanwhile, 30 financial institutions including Aviva Plc, Schroders and Axa, will also commit to eliminate investment in activities linked to deforestation.
“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, said UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.