As the COP26 conference continues, a lot of exciting developments have occurred. This includes over $100 trillion in available funding for new environmentally-friendly projects and a pledge with the backing of over 100 world leaders to end and reverse deforestation.
Together, these nations represent 85% of the world’s forests, so it’s one of the most impactful pledges ever made. Some of the nations that have made the pledge include the United States, China, and even Brazil.
The goal is to accomplish this by the end of the decade (2030), but actions speak louder than words.
Some Nations Are Already Taking Action
It has already been announced that the US will try to pass a new bill in the house to make Biden’s pledge serious. The information available states that the bill will provide $9 billion to fund reforestation efforts.
Nations that the US pays must prove they will follow the agreement, so there will be a verification and enforceable part of the bill. Granted given the deadlock that the House and Senate find themselves in right now, this bill may not happen for some time.
Other than the US, eleven other countries have made similar pledges, but at a much smaller level. For instance, the EU will be committing $1.1 billion to protect forests on a global level.
As the first major pledge and announcement of the COP26, details are still up in the air, but unfortunately, many pledges are not followed through.
Thus, action is very important.
Other Nations Don’t Have A Good Track Record With Deforestation
One of the more…surprising members of this pledge was Brazil. Generally speaking, Brazil is probably the biggest offender when it comes to deforestation. And they really didn’t take any steps to prevent it until international pressure mounted.
In fact, the Brazilian government had been encouraging farmers and ranchers to light fires, which led to a massive forest fire in the Amazon.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great thing that they voluntarily joined the pledge, but how likely are they to follow through?
Of course, deforestation isn’t just a problem that can be controlled with legislation. After all, it’s not just the results of humans. Instead, nature is part of the problem.
Forest fires occur naturally. Granted, you can argue climate change made them more likely, so technically, it’s also a human problem.
Regardless, some nations will have a much harder time preventing deforestation when the root cause is naturally occurring fires. That’s where the funding will really play a key role.
Will There Be Any More Big Announcements From COP26?
My instinct says, yes. So far, while some really positive news has come out of the conference, it’s really not enough. With the main goal of the conference to keep the 1.5C goal alive, so far, it’s still dead.
A bigger announcement is going to need to happen, otherwise, the world is going to continue heating up. Or it may not, who knows.
That said, the conference is continuing until November 12th, so there is still plenty of time for more announcements to pop up.
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.