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COP26: 100 countries promise to end deforestation by 2030

bbc.co.uk

Nov 2, 2021

The first big agreement at the COP26 conference in Glasgow, and it's all about forests.

More than 100 countries are going to pledge on Tuesday to end deforestation by 2030.

Deforestation is when trees are pulled down for materials, or to make space for farming or houses.

$14 billion is being provided in public and private funds to help meet this target.

This money will go towards restoring already damaged land, tackling wildfires and supporting indigenous communities who rely on the rainforests for food and medicine.
The world leaders signing the agreement represent 85% of the Earth's forests.

Some of the countries involved include Brazil, Russia, Canada, Colombia, China, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is calling it a "landmark agreement" at the Glaswegian climate conference on Tuesday saying: "These great teeming ecosystems - these cathedrals of nature - are the lungs of our planet."

Professor Simon Lewis, an expert on climate and forests at University College London, welcomed the new commitment, but told the BBC the world "has been here before".

He warned a previous deal made in New York in 2014 had "failed to slow deforestation at all" - although fewer countries signed up to that.

Dr Sizer, a former president of the Rainforest Alliance, said that while this deal is good news, some might find the 2030 target a bit long: "We're facing a climate emergency so giving ourselves another 10 years to address this problem doesn't quite seem consistent with that."

Campaigners say deforestation is happening at an alarming rate - in fact, in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, an area the size of a football pitch is cleared of trees every minute.

Forests play a key role in the fight against climate change.

This is because they take in the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air, and convert it into oxygen.

This prevents CO2 from reaching our atmosphere, which means it can't trap heat and warm the planet.