At the UN climate talks in Warsaw on Wednesday, the US, UK, and Norway announced a joint plan to dedicate $280 million to a new initiative aimed at cutting deforestation around the world. The money will be used to help promote sustainable agriculture, resulting in fewer forests being cut down to grow crops. The plan, called the BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes, has been in development for over six years, but is only now beginning to be implemented. It will be managed by the World Bank.
Image © Vincent Desjardins
Norway is the biggest contributor to the program, earmarking $135 million of its climate budget to the cause for the first year. The UK is following closely with $120 million, and the US is trailing behind at just $25 million. It should come as no surprise, given these figures, that some environmental groups are criticizing the program for not going far enough.
In fact, Asad Rehmen, the head of International Climate, Friends of the Earth EWNI called the investment “the clearest choice in favor of dirty energy we’ve seen so far in Warsaw.” He points out that simply protecting forests without investing in a transition to renewable energy is only tackling a small part of the problem when it comes to climate change. Other environmental advocates, like Josefina Brana-Varela of WWF, are more hopeful. She’s praised the announcement as “a great example of nations coming together to address climate change,” while still stressing that more countries need to take action for this program to really be effective.
Lead image © Disco-Dan