The international community should enable tropical forest nations to halve the rate of deforestation by 2020.
The assertion was among the recommendations made in an independent report commissioned by the UK prime minister.
The Eliasch Review, entitled Climate Change: Financing Global Forests, also said that industrialised nations should look to make the global forest sector “carbon neutral” by 2030.
Its main findings included:
- Reducing emissions from deforestation should be fully included in any post-2012 global climate deal, which is expected to be struck at the key UN summit in Copenhagen next year.
- National governments should develop their own strategies to combat deforestation in tropical forest nations.
- Rich nations should provide financial support to establish the necessary mechanisms to deliver the goals of halving deforestion by 2020 and making the global forest sector carbon neutral by 2030.
The review estimates that the costs to build the necessary mechanisms will be up to $4bn over five years for 40 forest nations.
The review, headed by Swedish businessman Johan Eliasch, was set up by Gordon Brown in order to pull together a comprehensive analysis of the financing and mechanisms needed to support sustainable forest management and reduce emissions resulting from deforestation.
“Saving forests is critical for tackling climate change,” Mr Eliasch said.
“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 one trillion dollars a year by 2100.
He added that deforestation would continue for as long as cutting down and burning trees was more profitable than preserving them.
“Access to finance from carbon markets and other funding initiatives will be essential for supporting forest nations to meet this challenge.”
Mr Eliasch is Mr Brown’s special representative on deforestation and clean energy.
Source: Eliasch Review press release
Filed under: climate change, deforestation Tagged: | carbon markets, carbon neutral, carbon sequestration, climate, climate change, deforestation, eliasch review, gordon brown, johan eliasch, tropical forest nations, uk government