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World leaders promise to end deforestation by 2030

COP26: Day 1 update

“A landmark agreement to protect and restore the Earth's forests"- World Leaders agree deal to end deforestation by 2030

This week marked the start of COP 26, with world leaders gathering in Glasgow to address the issue of climate change as the rest of the world watches. 

Since the start of the conference we have had two major announcements; the first that India, the world’s fourth biggest emitter of carbon dioxide has committed to achieving net zero by 2070. This is the first time that India has set a net zero target and is one of five commitments made by Prime Minister Modi. Further pledges include a promise for India to get 50% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, and by the same year to reduce the total projected carbon emissions by one billion tonnes. 

While the fact that India has made this commitment is welcome news, there has also criticism with many pointing to the 2070 target as too far away. 

In addition, another major announcement that has come out of COP 26 has been the pledge from world leaders to end deforestation by 2030. More than 100 world leaders today announced the promise to both end and reverse deforestation in what has been called the COP 26 summit’s first major deal. Among the signatories committing to this pledge is Brazil – home to the shrinking Amazon rainforest. In fact, the signatories to this pledge make up 85% of the world’s forests. 

The pledge includes almost £14bn ($19.2bn) of private and public funds, as well as commitments from 30 of the world’s biggest financial companies who have promised to end investment in activities linked to deforestation. 

Some of the funding will go towards restoring damaged lands, tackle wildfires and support indigenous communities. While countries have also committed to removing deforestation from global trade and products such as palm oil.  A £1.1bn fund will also go towards protecting the world’s second largest tropical rainforest in the Congo Basin. 

However, critics of the deal have pointed to similar pledges in 2014 which have failed to deliver. 

It remains to be seen whether world leaders can succeed in this commitment, however many are acutely aware of the necessity of acting now on climate change. With Boris Johnson warning that we are at a ‘minute to midnight’ in the fight to lower emissions it is clear that there has been a step change in sentiment. At Close Brothers we will be monitoring the COP 26 summit and will be sharing the key updates over the next two weeks so keep checking back to find out more.