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Global leaders have vowed to combat deforestation by 2030

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At the COP26 session in Glasgow, 110 world leaders vowed to halt deforestation by 2030. Trees are necessary on Earth; living things rely on them; a large forest of the world is often referred to as the planet’s lungs because it converts carbon dioxide into oxygen, and forests also provide habitat for wild animals. However, if they are reduced in size, they will be unable to deliver those services.

Deforestation, farming, and other activities account for one-quarter of all man-made carbon dioxide emissions. The countries that have signed the promise, which include Canada, Brazil, Russia, China, Indonesia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the United States, and the United Kingdom, cover around 85 percent of the world’s forests.

The pledge includes almost £14bn ($19.2bn) of public and private funds. Some environmentalists say the promise won’t end deforestation quickly enough but others say it is a good start.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is hosting the global meeting in Glasgow, said “more leaders than ever before” – a total of 110 – had made the “landmark” commitment. “We have to stop the devastating loss of our forests,” he said – and “end the role of humanity as nature’s conqueror, and instead become nature’s custodian”.

US President Joe Biden said Washington would lead the way with a $9 billion plan to restore millions of hectares of American forests.

The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, stated that signing the proclamation is the easy part. It must be adopted immediately for the sake of people and the earth.

Amazon’s founder and executive chairman, Jeff Bezos, has given $2 billion to conservation efforts. He stated that Amazon’s goal is to use renewable energy to power all of its activities by 2025.

He referred to the destruction of the forest as a grave and immediate threat to all of us. When he got to space, he claimed he realized how fragile the Earth is. From up there, the atmosphere appears thin and fragile, he says.

More than 30 of the world’s biggest financial companies – including Aviva, Schroders, and Axa – have also promised to end investment in activities linked to deforestation.

Prof Simon Lewis, a climate and forests expert at University College London, said that while having a political commitment to end deforestation from so many countries and significant funding to move forward on that journey is encouraging, he also pointed out that similar steps were taken in 2014 with the sole purpose of ending forest loss but were unable to meet the target. Since then, deforestation has escalated.

There are huge challenges, but the two-week meeting is viewed as critical if climate change is to be controlled.

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