More than 25 countries agree to protect forests

Picture of trees growing in a forest./Getty Images
South Sudan’s teak forests are disappearing. /Getty Images

Nearly 25 countries at the COP27 climate conference that began on Monday in Egypt launched a group to hold each other accountable for a pledge to end deforestation by 2030, announcing billions of dollars in additional financing for the effort.

The first meeting of the Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership, chaired by the United States and Ghana, takes place a year after more than 140 leaders promised at COP26 to end deforestation by the end of the decade.

The progress has been patchy since the last meeting with only a few countries instituting more aggressive policies on deforestation and financing.

The new group – which includes Japan, Pakistan, the United Kingdom and others – accounts for roughly 35 percent of the world’s forests and aims to meet twice a year to track progress.

“This partnership is a critical next step to collectively deliver on this promise and help keep the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C alive,” said COP26 President Alok Sharma in a statement.