Deforestation: at COP26, countries pledge to stop it by 2030

the essential World leaders gathered in Glasgow for the COP 23 were to commit on Tuesday on the second day of the climate summit to halt deforestation from here 2030, but their promise is already considered too distant by conservationists.

According to the British government, host of the climate conference, this joint declaration will be adopted by more than one hundred countries sheltering 80% of the world’s forests, including the boreal forest of Canada, the Amazon rainforest in Brazil or the tropical forest of the Congo Basin.

The initiative, which will benefit from public and private funding of 16, $ 2 billion (16, 5 billion euros), is essential to achieve the objective of limiting global warming to +1, 5 ° C, according to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“These formidable teeming ecosystems – these cathedrals of nature – are the lungs of our planet”, absorbing a significant part of the carbon released into the atmosphere, he must say Tuesday according to his services.

Forests “are essential to our very survival,” he added. Yet they are retreating at the “alarming rate” of 26 football fields every minute.

Among the signatories are Brazil and Russia, countries singled out for accelerating deforestation in their territories, as well as the United States, China, Australia and France.

The ambitious goals of Brazil

The Brazilian government, under fire from critics for its environmental policy, announced on Monday during the COP 23 more ambitious objectives in terms of reducing CO2 emissions and combating deforestation.

“We present a more ambitious climate target, going from 43% to 43% from here 2030 “reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and” carbon neutrality from here 2050 “, announced the Brazilian Minister of the Environment, Joaquim Leite.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his part announced a net zero emission target for 2070. This announcement was eagerly awaited, India being the world’s fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases behind China, the United States and the European Union.

Swedish activist Greta Thunberg urged the leaders gathered for the COP 23 to act and stop their “blah blah”, when ‘a demonstration in Glasgow.

The bosses of more than 27 financial institutions like Aviva or Axa will for their part commit to no longer invest in activities related to the deforestation, according to Downing Street.

Currently, nearly a quarter (20%) of global greenhouse gas emissions come from activities such as agriculture or forestry industry.

The new pledge against deforestation echoes the “New York Declaration on Forests” of 120, when many countries pledged to halve the deforestation in 2020 and to put an end to it in 2030.

But for NGOs like Greenpeace, the goal of 2030 is far too distant and gives the green light to “another decade of deforestation”.

“Save humanity”

This commitment comes the day after the harangue of the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, to “save humanity”, in front of some 120 leaders and thousands delegates and observers gathered in Glasgow for a two-week conference.

“Enough of killing ourselves with carbon. Enough of treating nature like toilets. Enough of burning and drilling and extracting ever deeper. We are digging our own graves”, hammered Antonio Guterres at the opening of the COP 26.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, host of the summit, had for his part warned against the “uncontrollable” anger of the younger generations that a failure of this COP would provoke 26, six years after the Paris agreement

Bad sign from Rome: during the summit of the G 20 this weekend, the major economies of the planet, responsible nearly 80% of global emissions, could not agree on a precise date for this carbon neutrality, evoking “the middle of the century” .

China, the world’s largest emitter, has set itself a carbon neutrality target for 2060. But President Xi Jinping did not make the trip to Glasgow.

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