“One of the most important pieces of news to come out of the COP26 is an ambitious promise to protect the planet’s forests”
The UN COP26 Conference on Climate Change has been dominating headlines over the past week, and it will probably continue to do so in the coming days. However, one of the most important announcements made was the summit’s very first major deal: an ambitious promise to end and reverse deforestation around the world by 2030.
The move was met with widespread support from experts, but some sounded a note of warning: a similar deal was made, and subsequently failed, in 2014. This year, world leaders are taking it seriously, and almost £14 billion in public and private funds have already been pledged to aid the endeavour.
Deforestation is a major contributor to climate change. As our readers will already know, forests absorb vast amounts of CO2, a gas driving climate change. Reducing them depletes the amount of CO2 that the planet can suck from the atmosphere. Well-managed forests are the bedrock not just of the timber trade, but of our planet’s health, allowing harvested timber to act as a natural carbon-capture and storage device, and forests to keep doing what they do.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is hosting the Conference in Glasgow, noted that this was a “landmark” commitment that has drawn the signatures of 110 world leaders – “more than ever before.” He added: “We have to stop the devastating loss of our forests, end the role of humanity as nature’s conqueror, and instead become nature’s custodian.” Mr Johnson’s government has previously made ambitious tree planting promises of its own.
The countries which have signed the pledge account for around 85% of the planet’s forests. They include the UK, the US, China, Canada, Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and more. In addition, more-than 30 of the world’s biggest financial corporations have promised to stop investing in activities linked to deforestation – a major step forward.
Some of the funds raised as part of the pledge will be used to restore land in developing countries, support indigenous people and tackle wildfires. £1.1 billion has been set aside to protect the world’s second largest tropical rainforest in the Congo Basin.
Prof Simon Lewis, a climate change and forestry expert at University College London, told the press: “It is good news to have a political commitment to end deforestation from so many countries, and significant funding to move forward on that journey.”
All of the timber Quercus stocks is available FSC certified as environmentally friendly, and produced by ethically managed forests. If you’re looking to make an order for your next project – or you want some expert guidance on what timber might be right for it – contact us on 0845 50 50 311.