Netherlands joins call to end deforestation by 2030 at COP26
One hundred countries, including the Netherlands, reached an agreement to end deforestation and land degradation by the end of this decade. The countries are allocating billions to this. The deal announced at the climate summit in Glasgow is supported by the leaders of forested countries like Brazil, Russia, Canada, Indonesia, and Congo.
The participating countries own 85 percent of the world's forests. It concerns an area of about 34 million square kilometers. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is hosting the COP26 climate conference, called the deal "a milestone to protect and restore the Earth's forests." An area of about 27 football fields is now lost to deforestation every minute.
€10.2 billion in public money will be allocated until 2025 to fulfill this promise. In addition, 6.2 billion euros in private funds will be invested. The Netherlands, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Norway, and several philanthropic institutions agreed to invest 1.5 billion euros directly into indigenous peoples to protect forests.
Over 50 financial institutions, including insurers and asset managers like Aviva, Schroders, and Axa, also indicated that they want to stop investing in activities related to deforestation. About the same number of countries said they want to stop the palm oil, soy, and cocoa trade. A lot of forest is cut down to grow these products.
Forests are said to be the Earth's lungs. They absorb a large part of the CO2 on the planet. The fact that Brazil is also participating is good news for the Amazon, the largest tropical rainforest on Earth. There, forests have been felled on a large scale for agriculture.
The new deal is more comprehensive than a previous one signed by 40 countries in 2014. At the time, it was also agreed to end deforestation by 2030 and halve it by 2020.
Reporting by ANP.