Historic declaration at Cop26 by major world leaders to end deforestation
A historic deal was struck at the Cop26 in Glasgow, with major world leaders agreeing to halt and reverse global deforestation. This multibillion-dollar package will be put into play over the next ten years in a bid to tackle greenhouse gas emissions, involving forested areas ranging from the Congo basin – home to the world’s second-largest rainforest – to the eastern Siberian taiga.
Among the leaders who agreed to this deal are US President, Joe Biden, Xi Jinping of China, and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro. They are expected to sign the declaration today, Tuesday, November 2, when the summit continues in Glasgow.
Almost a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions are the result of land clearing by humans. This is mainly achieved through the destruction of forests around the world in order to manufacture products such as beef, soy, and palm oil.
Presidents and prime ministers from major producers and consumers of deforestation-linked products, by signing the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forest and Land Use, will commit to protecting forest ecosystems.
The agreement is expected to be unveiled by British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, at the event attended by Joe Biden, Joko Widodo, the Indonesian president, and Prince Charles.
Mr Johnson is expected to make a speech saying, “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”.
£5.3bn of new private finance and £8.75bn of public funding are included in this package. It is designed to be used for protecting forests, restoring degraded land, mitigating wildfire damage, and supporting indigenous communities.
Also part of the deal is £1.5bn funding from the UK government for forests, as well as a pledge from CEO’s to eliminate activities linked to deforestation. Of this fund, £200m will go to the Congo basin, and £350m to Indonesia, along with a separate £1.1bn fund for the West African rainforest, as reported by theguardian.com.