$ 4.5 bn from public, private donors to be committed at COP27

$ 4.5 bn from public, private donors to be committed at COP27
بقلم Marwa Nassar - -

At least $ 4.5 billion of newly-mobilized public, private sector funding will be announced at the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), currently held in Egypt’s Sharm el Sheikh.

Today at COP27, world leaders will launch the Forests and Climate Leaders’ Partnership (FCLP), committing to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 in the fight against climate change and as promised in the Glasgow Climate Pact.

The FCLP, launched at the inaugural Forest and Climate Leaders’ Summit, is a voluntary partnership of 26 countries committed to delivery, accountability and innovation following the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use, which was endorsed by more than 140 world leaders at COP26 last year to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation this decade. If achieved, this would deliver 10% of the climate mitigation action needed by 2030 to deliver on the Paris Agreement.

Chaired by the United States and Ghana, FCLP members represent a range of regions, major forest areas, and centers of commerce and finance. 60% of global GDP and over  33% the world’s forests are covered in this partnership.

All members of the FCLP are united by a common goal; each member must be committed to leading on at least one of the FCLP’s action areas. Through the FCLP, countries will lead the initiatives which will scale and drive delivery. The goal is to identify strategic areas where the FCLP can help implement or scale up both new and existing solutions, working closely with the private sector, civil society and community leaders.

As part of this, the United Kingdom has committed £1.5 billion finance for forests, as part of a wider £3bn ring fence for nature. As part of this, the UK is announcing a further £65m for the nature pillar of the Climate Investment Fund, which will place Indigenous people and local communities, who shoulder the burden of climate change, at the heart of forest protection across rainforests, cloud forests and island forests.

The UK is also today announcing that we are working on a new program of £90 million towards the protection of the Congo Basin as part of our promise to support this region. The Congo Basin is the world’s most efficient carbon sink, supports the livelihoods of over 80 million people, and is home to 10,000 species of tropical plants – as well as endangered species like forest elephants, chimpanzees and mountain gorillas.

Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak said “For too long the world’s forests have been undervalued and underestimated. They are one of the great natural wonders of our world, and with the loss of our forests accounting for more than 10% of global emissions, protecting them is one of the best ways of getting us back on track to 1.5 degrees.”

That’s why the UK put nature at the heart of COP26, and countries home to 90 percent of the world’s forests committed not just to halting but reversing forest loss and land degradation by 2030.

“Let’s build on what we have achieved and together secure this incredible legacy for our children and the many generations to come,” he said.

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana, said “Forest loss can be averted. There is, however, the need for a dedicated space, globally, to provide the needed support and accountability checks to countries that are committed to delivering the Glasgow Leaders Declaration. The FCLP is a first and key step towards this goal, and Ghana supports and endorses, fully, the FCLP.”

Olaf Scholz, Chancellor of Germany, said “Our joint global commitment to halt deforestation and restore forests needs to be translated into concrete and scaled action on the ground that will benefit people, biodiversity and the climate. Germany has joined the Forests and Climate Leaders’ Partnership today since we are convinced that it provides a strong forum for international collaboration to progress on this front. To underpin our commitment, Germany will support the establishment of the partnership’s secretariat and is doubling its initial contribution to the Global Forest Finance Pledge to a total of 2 billion EUR.”

At the inaugural Forest and Climate Leaders’ Summit, an alliance of government leaders, companies, financial actors and Indigenous peoples’ will report on progress.

This includes contributing countries demonstrating unparalleled levels of accountability and transparency. 12 countries will report a combined spend of $2.67 billion to support activities in developing countries, including restoring degraded land, tackling wildfires and supporting the rights of indigenous communities.

Leading financial institutions from Japan to Norway to Brazil, all signatories to the Financial Sector Commitment on Eliminating Commodity-driven Deforestation have been moving forward with implementation through the Finance Sector Deforestation Action (FSDA) initiative. FSDA members have published shared investor expectations for companies, are stepping up engagement activity and are working with policymakers and data providers. New members joining in 2022 include SouthBridge Group, the first African financial institution to join the initiative, Banco Estado de Chile, London CIV and GAM Investments.

In their call to action, the GFANZ co-chairs and vice chair, including Mark Carney, are calling on all financial institutions to embed deforestation into their net zero transition plans.

The FCLP will hold annual meetings to encourage accountability, including leader-level events at climate COPs. Starting in 2023, the FCLP will also publish an annual Global Progress Report that includes independent assessments of global progress toward the 2030 goal, as well as summarizing progress made by the FCLP itself, including in its action areas and initiatives.

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