Press release

Renewed support to reduce emissions through protecting the world’s forests

Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom, three of the largest supporters of forest conservation, announced today their continued financial commitment to REDD+, or reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Representatives of the UN at the REDD+ forest event

Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom, three of the largest supporters of forest conservation, announced today their continued financial commitment to REDD+, or reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

In a joint statement, the three governments pledged to increase their cooperation and scale up finance for forest protection. In particular, it announces a collective commitment to fund up to 20 new “large-scale REDD+ Emission Reduction programmes” if developing countries put forward robust, credible proposals.

The joint statement by Germany, Norway and the UK also recognizes the critical role of the private sector, in particular producers and buyers of agricultural commodities that drive over half of global deforestation. It welcomes efforts by companies that have pledged “deforestation free supply chains” by 2020, and promises to partner with such companies, including by promoting procurement policies within their own governments, to increase the economic signal and contribute to faster changes in production practices that are unsustainable.

The three governments also stated their intention to support adequate, predictable and sustained financing for forests in a new international climate change agreement, expected to be finalized in Paris late next year and go into force by 2020.

UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey said

“Our global forests are the lungs of the world, and protecting them is fundamental for our survival. When we hand these forests over to future generations, we must be able to say we exercised our stewardship wisely and responsibly.

“This statement is an extension of our governments’ support of the New York Declaration on Forests, which captures not only our shared vision and ambition with regard to forests and climate change, but the partnership approach that we hope to achieve with forest countries, the private sector and civil society.

“By working together we can transform the forest sector in ways that benefit local communities, protect livelihoods, support biodiversity and reduce emissions. We must not let that opportunity pass us by.”

Germany’s Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Barbara Hendricks, said:

“Germany has been a long-time supporter of forest protection and restoration. We are pleased to be partnering with Norway and the United Kingdom to see how, together, we can increase the effectiveness of our investments and increase our ability to support developing countries that see protection of forests and sustainable use in their development interests.

“At the same time we recognize the dynamic power of a growing movement of major companies to get their supply chains deforestation free. We will continue to work towards ensuring that forests receive the value they deserve, including through a new post-2020 climate change agreement.”

Norway’s Minister of Climate and Environment, Tine Sundtoft, said

“We are committed to creating strong economic incentives for developing countries to protect forests, including providing payments for measured, reported and verified results.

“Our message is simple – if forest countries are prepared to deliver sustainable, credible emission reductions through protection of their forests, we are prepared to purchase those emission reductions.

“This pledge is just a first step in what needs to be done to meet our goal of halting the loss of natural forests by 2030.”

Unilever CEO, Paul Polman, said

“Unilever welcomes the Joint Statement on REDD+ by Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom. We share their vision and ambition to halt the destruction of natural forests, and welcome their efforts to promote procurement practices that match our own policies to eliminate deforestation from our supply chains by 2020. We look forward to partnering with these governments to help producers of goods—such as palm oil, beef, soy and paper—change practices to ones that are more sustainable and benefit local communities and the environment.”

World Bank Group Vice President, Rachel Kyte, said

“We applaud the strong and long-term commitment that Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom have demonstrated to address tropical deforestation and forest degradation. We look forward to our continuing partnership yielding results for people, economies and climate. The New York Declaration on Forests is a unique and much-needed opportunity to bring public and private sector together in the interests of forests and agriculture.”

Many have lamented the continued loss of forests around the world, despite the billions of dollars that have been spent trying to save them. REDD+ Emission Reduction programmes are a new way to finance the protection of forests, by paying for quantified results—for tons of carbon not emitted into the atmosphere by deforestation or for carbon sequestered through the planting of trees.

The New York Declaration on Forests also announced today at the Climate Summit with over 100 endorsements from governments, companies, civil society and indigenous peoples’ organizations, states that its goals to slow, halt and reverse deforestation could reduce emissions by 4.5 to 8.8 billion tons per year by 2030.

Published 23 September 2014