Global deforestation pledges from Cop26 are ‘severely failing’

Global deforestation pledges from Cop26 are “severely failing,” finds new report from WWF.

At Cop26 in 2021, over 140 countries representing 90% of the world’s forests pledged to halt and reverse deforestation by 2040.

The new report however highlights that the speed and intensity of which global deforestation is occurring could lead to targets being missed.

At Cop26, governments also pledged to increase forest conservation and restoration but WWF’s analysis showings that at least 100 times more public funding has been spent on environmentally harmful subsidies than on restoration projects.

What’s more, the report revealed that changing land use and destroying forests to supply the international trade in soy, palm oil, cocoa and coffee alone resulted in an estimated 392 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2021.

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WWF chief executive Tanya Steel said: “Every hectare of forest we lose takes us closer to runaway climate change, and despite all the promises our leaders have made to turn this around there’s a huge chasm between where we are and where we should be.

“Even worse, we’re continuing to finance deforestation through the products we buy and the activities governments and businesses support through the subsidies and investments they make,” she added.

“We need accelerated action in the UK and across the world from global leaders and businesses to transform the future for our forests and bring our world back to life.”

WWF is calling for the UK government to implement a due diligence system to cut deforestation out of supply chains those within the country aren’t responsible for forest loss.

A deforestation due diligence system is part of the Environment Act 2021 but has yet to be bought into place.

The conservation organisation also advices for due diligence systems for the finance sector. It comes as reports found that financial companies without a ‘zero deforestation’ policy invested £2.9 trillion ($3.6 trillion) in forest-risk companies.

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