Theguardian-UK to lead global fight against illegal logging and deforestation
Plan to form coalition of developing countries at COP 26 to help support efforts
The UK is to spearhead a major global crackdown on illegal timber and deforestation, with plans to form a coalition of developing countries against the trade as part of its hosting of crunch UN climate talks this year.
Deforestation is a leading factor in rising global greenhouse gas emissions, but many developing nations lack the means and institutions to combat illegal logging and regulate forest industries. The Department for International Development (DfID) will shortly lay out plans to help countries strengthen the rule of law, support the trade in responsible forestry and provide on-the-ground assistance to stamp out illegal logging.
“The illegal timber trade robs the earth of trees, which not only help stop climate change, they also play a critically important role in maintaining the world’s threatened biodiversity,” said Zac Goldsmith, a minister for international development. “This is a huge success story for the UK and for the world, and sets the scene for what we hope will be a successful year of international cooperation in the run-up to COP 26.”
The UK will need to form a global coalition of developing countries to put pressure on leading economies to act swiftly on carbon, if this year’s UN climate talks are to succeed. The UK will host the COP 26 talks in Glasgow in November, but the government has faced a troubled start to its presidency, with the abrupt sacking of the intended president, the former energy minister Claire O’Neill, and delays in setting out a clear plan.
All countries are expected to come forward with tougher plans to reduce global emissions as part of COP 26, and experts have said this will only happen if the UK takes the lead in forming a coalition of small and big developing countries, including forested African nations and Indonesia, as well as major economies such as the US, China, India and the EU.