World leaders pledge to halt deforestation by 2030

Friday 5 Nov 2021

More than 100 world leaders representing more than 85 per cent of the world's forests are set to pledge to halt deforestation over the next decade at a UN climate summit under way in Glasgow. The announcement at the COP26 meeting includes Brazil, which is home to the Amazon rainforest, as well as Canada, Russia, Norway, Colombia and Indonesia.

The United States also signed onto the agreement, which was backed by $12 billion (NZ$16.7b) in public funds and $7.2 billion in private money. The destruction of forests is a major factor driving up global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, with about 23 per cent of total emissions stemming from agriculture, forestry and other land uses.

While environmentalists and many politicians have worked to keep the world's remaining forests intact for years during previous UN climate summits, they suggested the new agreement could make a turning point.

"Our challenge now must be to halt deforestation and begin restoring forests around the world, and we must do this within the decade or risk the collapse of forests worldwide. It's a huge undertaking," said David Attenborough, in a video prepared for the announcement.

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