The international community should enable rainforest countries to halve deforestation by 2020 and make the global forest sector ‘carbon neutral’ by 2030.
This is the recommendation of an independent report to the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown published yesterday.
The Eliasch Review, ‘Climate Change: Financing Global Forests’, is an independent report commissioned by Mr Brown and led by Johan Eliasch, his Special Representative on Deforestation.
It provides a comprehensive analysis of the financing and mechanisms needed to support sustainable management of forests and reduce emissions associated with deforestation.
The Review finds that:
• The international community should aim to support forest nations to halve deforestation by 2020 and make the global forest sector ‘carbon neutral’ by 2030 – i.e. with emissions from forest loss balanced by new forest growth.
• Reducing emissions from deforestation should be fully included in any post-2012 global climate deal at
• National Governments should develop their own strategies to combat deforestation in forest countries, including establishing baselines, targets and effective governance and distribution of finances.
• In the long term, the forest sector should be included in global carbon markets.
• Public and private sector funding will be needed in the short to medium term as carbon markets grow.
• The international community should provide support for capacity building where necessary. Total capacity building costs are estimated at up to $4 billion over 5 years for 40 forest nations.
Mr Eliasch said:
“Saving forests is critical for tackling climate change. Without action on deforestation, avoiding the worst impacts of climate change will be next to impossible, and could lead to additional climate change damages of $1 trillion a year by 2100.
“Including the forest sector in a new global deal could reduce the costs of tackling climate change by up to 50% and therefore achieve deeper cuts in emissions, as well as reducing poverty in some of the world’s poorest areas and protecting biodiversity.
“Deforestation will continue as long as cutting down and burning trees is more economic than preserving them. Access to finance from carbon markets and other funding initiatives will be essential for supporting forest nations to meet this challenge.”
UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband welcomed the report:
“Deforestation accounts for almost a fifth of global carbon emissions. I welcome this report’s contribution to the global debate about how we address this. It will help us chart a course to reduce deforestation, help the world’s poorest people and cut carbon emissions.
“I hope it can help the vital process of securing agreement on climate change in
UK International Development Secretary, Douglas Alexander said:
“With more than a billion of the poorest people on our planet dependent on forests to provide them with a livelihood, today's report highlights the challenges we face in reconciling the short-term interests of individuals with the global challenge of tackling climate change.”
Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare of
Foreign Minister Bruno Stagno-Ugarte of
Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda of
“As the world acknowledged last year in
Norwegian Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim said:
“The Norwegian government welcomes the Eliasch Review as an important contribution to the discussion of developing a mechanism for including deforestation and forest degradation in a new climate regime. We look forward to working with Prime Minister Brown, the British government and other partners to take this vital effort forward.”