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World not on track to achieve goals of reversing defrorestation by 2030 – UN Report

The world is not on track to achieve forest goals of ending and reversing deforestation by 2030, according to a report by three United Nations agencies.

The UN-REDD Programme, UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) and the Green Gigaton Challenge (GGC) in a new report released on Monday said reversing deforestation by 2030 is critical for a credible pathway to the 1.5°C Paris Agreement goal.

The gencies said for the 2030 goals to remain within reach, a one gigaton milestone of emissions reductions from forests must be achieved not later than 2025 and yearly after that.

The report, Making good on the Glasgow Climate Pact: a call to action to achieve one gigaton of emissions reductions from forests by 2025, finds that current public and private commitments to pay for emissions reductions are only at 24 per cent of the gigaton milestone goal.

Only around half of these commitments, it said had been realised through signed emissions reduction purchase agreements and none of the funding for these commitments had yet been disbursed.

“There is no Paris Agreement and no SDGs without forests. As UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report reminded us once again, the window is closing and we urgently need to scale up action and finance for forest-based mitigation to achieve the 2025 one gigaton milestone and avert catastrophic climate change.

“If we succeed, and the new Forest and Climate Leaders Partnership is a promising sign of ambition, then vital targets for climate and nature remain within reach,” said Susan Gardner, Director, Ecosystems Division, UNEP on behalf of the GGC.

The study outlined that an unmistakable signal in the form of a carbon price of $30-50 per ton of carbon dioxide emission (CO2e) for forest emissions reductions is needed to provide the incentives, means and predictability required for countries to invest in the protection of their forests.

Such a price according to the new report will combine a donor-funded floor price with private sector demand for high-integrity emission reductions above that price.

“Currently, finance for forests does not reflect the urgency or the scale of the problems we are facing.

“Upfront investment in REDD+ readiness and implementation must continue and be scaled up to ensure capacity and action to achieve emissions reductions results, with effective measurement, verification and reporting systems and safeguards in place,” Andre Guimaraes, Executive Director, Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM) said.

The report also highlighted how high-forest low-deforestation (HFLD) countries need more financial support.

The countries, the report showed store 18 per cent of tropical forest carbon worldwide, but current forest climate finance mechanisms are not adequate for rewarding their historical conservation, and resisting increasing pressures to deforest.

“It is vital that their access to sufficient climate finance is rapidly improved. For a 66 per cent chance of limiting global warming to no more than 2°C, 15 gigatons of emissions per year by 2030 must be avoided or absorbed, above the commitments already made by countries,” said the report.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Forest-based solutions provide a crucial annual mitigation potential of around four gigatons by 2030.

Actions to halt forest loss and degradation, coupled with sustainable forest management, conservation and restoration can deliver cost-effective climate mitigation for 27 per cent of the solution to help avert climate catastrophe.

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