The COP26 climate summit sees more than 100 world leaders promise to end and reverse deforestation. The two-week summit in Glasgow is seen as crucial if climate change is to be brought under control.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is hosting the global meeting in Glasgow, has called Tuesday’s deal, a landmark agreement to protect and restore the Earth’s forests. He continued by saying, “These great teeming ecosystems, these cathedrals of nature, are the lungs of our planet,” in the COP26 event where world leaders have congregated.
Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil has surged to its highest level. In data by Imazo, a Brazilian research institute, shows that between August 2020 and July 2021, the rainforest lost 10,476 square kilometers, an area nearly 13 times the size of New York City. The world bank estimates that about 3.9 million square kilometers of forest have been lost since the beginning of the 20th century.
Deforestation not only removes vegetation, which is important for removing carbon dioxide from the air but the act of clearing the forest also produces greenhouse gas emissions, which is accounted for about 20%.
Canada, Brazil, Russia, China, Indonesia, DR Congo, USA, UK, and among others have promised to sign the pledge. Governments of 28 countries have also pledged, to commit to removing deforestation from the global trade of food and other agricultural products such as palm oil, soya, and cocoa.
Under present targets, the world is on track for warming of 2.7c by 2100, which the UN says would result in “climate catastrophe”.