And we’re off. The first major deal to come out of the COP26 conference has been announced, with more than 100 countries signing up for an agreement to end deforestation.
Announced late on Monday night, the agreement is the first major declaration of the COP26 conference. The signatories – which include China’s President Xi and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro – have committed to end deforestation by 2030.
The leaders will commit to the pledges tomorrow (Tuesday 2nd November), despite Bolsonaro and Xi both being absent from the conference.
Around a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions are through deforestation and forest clearing, with this agreement one of the most significant commitments in preventing climate change to date.
Brazil and China are two of the largest deforesting nations, with Bolsonaro being previously criticised for his reluctance to take any measures to prevent deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. He infamously relaxed many of the regulations on companies operating in Brazil, leading to criticism from climate activists around the world.
The announcement came following the first day of the conference, in which many leaders gave speeches to the conference hall about the importance of action.
Boris Johnson will unveil the agreement at an event attended by President Joe Biden, the Prince of Wales and Indonesian President Joko Widodo.
At Tuesday’s announcement, he is expected to say: “These great teeming ecosystems – these cathedrals of nature – are the lungs of our planet. Forests support communities, livelihoods and food supply, and absorb the carbon we pump into the atmosphere. They are essential to our very survival.”