Early this morning it was announced that more than 100 world leaders will commit to halting and reversing forest loss and land degradation by 2030 at an event due to be convened by the UK at COP26 on Tuesday 2 November 2021.
The Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forest and Land Use includes Canada, Brazil, Russia, China, Indonesia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the US and the UK, which together cover around 85% of the world's forests. The commitment will be supported by a financial pledge to provide £8.75bn ($12bn) of finance from 12 countries, including the UK from 2021 – 2025. This finance is intended to support activities in developing countries, including restoring degraded land, tackling wildfires and supporting the rights of indigenous communities. Currently almost a quarter (23%) of global emissions come from land use activity, such as logging, deforestation and farming. Protecting forests is considered to be one of the most important things the world can do to limit the climate crisis, and such a commitment coming out of the first day of COP26 is welcome news. In addition, more than 30 of the world's biggest financial companies (including Aviva, Schroders and Axa) will also commit to end investment in activities linked to deforestation. It is yet to be seen how this commitment will be linked to the UK Government's push for due diligence on forest risk commodities as part of the draft Environment Bill.
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