During the COP26 climate summit, more than 100 countries around the world, including Brazil, committed to ending deforestation by 2030. Over $14 in private and public funds have been committed to achieving the goal.
In 2014, a similar pledge, which included more than a dozen fast-food companies and palm oil producers, failed to produce any results. While deforestation has continued to increase across the world, especially in Brazil.
One of the largest rainforests in the world, the Amazon is known as the earth’s lung, for capturing vast quantities of carbon from the atmosphere. The Brazilian government has allowed private companies to exploit the Amazon for economic gain, leading to an outcry from environmental activists and indigenous groups.
Amazon rainforests and Russian forests are two of the world’s largest carbon sinks, absorbing billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) every year. However, as deforestation continues to rise, forests are emitting more carbon than they’re capturing.
The countries that have pledged to end deforestation, including the United States, Russia, China, Indonesia, and more host roughly 85 percent of the world’s forest within their borders. Some of these countries such and Indonesia and China are also the largest exporters of palm oil and coal, respectively.
In the meantime, India has not signed the pledge.
Twenty-eight signatory countries have also committed to eliminating deforestation associated with agricultural and food products that are traded worldwide, such as cocoa, soya, and palm oil. In the last decade, more and more forests have been cleared for the cultivation of these lucrative commercial crops, particularly in the southern hemisphere.
Funding for the cause will be used on restoring damaged land, supporting indigenous communities and tackling wildfires. Nearly $1.43 billion of funds are designated for protecting the world’s second-largest rainforest after the Amazon, in the Republic of Congo.