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Glasgow COP26: 100 world leaders commit to end deforestation by 2030

India stays off UK-led deforestation declaration at COP26 climate change summit

Climate Change | Deforestation | UK govt


Biden, COP26
US President Joe Biden launched an assault on methane on Tuesday, with the measures seeking to deploy at least five cabinet-level agencies, advancing initiatives across the globe (Photo: AP|PTI)

Leaders at the COP26 global climate conference in Glasgow have pledged to stop by the end of the decade, underpinned by $19 billion in public and private funds, and slash emissions of the potent greenhouse gas methane.

More than 100 national leaders on Monday pledged to halt and reverse and land degradation by the end of the decade, to invest in protecting and restoring forests.

Under the agreement, 12 countries pledged to provide $12 billion of public funding between 2021 and 2025 for developing countries to restore degraded land and tackle wildfires. At least $7.2 billion will come from private sector investors representing $8.7 trillion in assets under management, who also pledged to stop investing in activities linked to such as cattle, palm oil and soybean farming and pulp production.

India is among the countries that has chosen not to sign up to a Leaders’ Declaration on ending deforestation by 2030.

The methane pledge

Nearly 90 countries have joined a US- and EU-led effort to slash emissions of methane by 2030 from 2020 levels, a senior Biden administration official said ahead of a formal announcement on Tuesday.

Methane is more short-lived in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide but 80 times more potent in warming the earth. As a result, cutting emissions of the gas, which is estimated to have accounted for 30 per cent of global warming since pre-industrial times, is one of the most effective ways of slowing

The Global Methane Pledge, which was first announced in September, now includes half of the top 30 methane emitters, accounting for two-thirds of the global economy, according to the U.S. official.

Among the new signatories to be announced on Tuesday is Brazil — one of the world’s five biggest emitters of methane. Three of the others — China, Russia and India — have not signed up, while Australia has said it will not back the pledge.

US President Joe Biden announced measures seeking to deploy at least five cabinet-level agencies. For instance, the Environmental Protection Agency released a long-awaited proposal stiffening requirements to plug leaks in oil and gas wells.

The Agriculture Department is announcing a program encouraging farmers to harness and sell methane. Pipeline regulators will expand their oversight of natural gas lines.

Alternatives to China’s infra plan

Biden said he would work with European leaders to offer infrastructure financing that prioritises environmental concerns, and he proposed an alternative to “debt traps and corruption” as the US looks to construct a rival to China’s Belt and Road initiative.

Projects should “be designed in close partnership with the countries where they will happen,” Biden said at a breakout session on the sidelines of the UN climate conference in Glasgow.
“We have to show and I think we will show that democracy is still the best way for delivering results.”

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First Published: Wed, November 03 2021. 00:25 IST