COP26: World leaders pledge to reverse deforestation by 2030

COP26: World leaders pledge to reverse deforestation by 2030

The countries involved in the COP26 pledge recognise that to meet “sustainable development goals […] will require transformative further action in the interconnected areas of sustainable production and consumption.”

In some countries trees have been cleared for land to graze cattle or grow crops.

According to a statement released by the UN Climate Change Conference 2021, leaders of the countries involved in the pledge recognise that “to meet our land use, climate, biodiversity and sustainable development goals, both globally and nationally, will require transformative further action in the  interconnected areas of sustainable production and consumption.”

The pledge builds on previous promises made as part of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, the Sustainable Development Goals and other relevant initiatives.

As part of their pledge, the leaders of the 105 countries involved have stated that they will “strengthen [their] shared efforts” to:

  • Conserve forests and other terrestrial ecosystems and accelerate their restoration
  • Facilitate trade and development policies, internationally and domestically, that promote sustainable development, and sustainable commodity production and consumption, that work to countries’ mutual benefit, and that do not drive deforestation and land degradation
  • Reduce vulnerability, build resilience and enhance rural livelihoods, including through empowering communities, the development of profitable, sustainable agriculture, and recognition of the multiple values of forests, while recognising the rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well as local communities, in accordance with relevant national legislation and international instruments, as appropriate
  • Implement and, if necessary, redesign agricultural policies and programmes to incentivise sustainable agriculture, promote food security, and benefit the environment
  • Reaffirm international financial commitments and significantly increase finance and investment from a wide variety of public and private sources, while also improving its effectiveness and accessibility, to enable sustainable agriculture, sustainable forest management, forest conservation and restoration, and support for Indigenous Peoples and local communities
  • Facilitate the alignment of financial flows with international goals to reverse forest loss and degradation, while ensuring robust policies and systems are in place to accelerate the transition to an economy that is resilient and advances forest, sustainable land use, biodiversity and climate goals. 

In addition, over 30 of the world’s biggest financial companies are also expected to end their investments in activities linked to deforestation. A £1.1 billion fund that aims to help protect the world’s second largest rainforest in the Congo Basin is also reported to be established over the coming weeks.

The full list of countries involved in the pledge can be found here.

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