Agreement on US$3.5bn initial funding for deforestation

Australia, France, Japan, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States have today collectively agreed in the context of an ambitious and comprehensive outcome in Copenhagen to dedicate USD3.5bn as initial public finance towards slowing, halting and eventually reversing deforestation in developing countries.

A joint statement follows:

“Actions to reduce emissions from forests can help to stabilize our climate, support livelihoods, provide biodiversity conservation, and promote economic development. As part of an ambitious and comprehensive deal, we recognise the significant role of international public finance in supporting developing countries’ efforts to slow, halt and eventually reverse deforestation. With this in mind, we collectively dedicate USD3.5 billion of fast-start climate change financing for ‘REDD+’ over the 2010 to 2012 period. We regard this as an initial investment in developing countries that put forward ambitious REDD+ plans and that achieve forest emission reductions according to their respective capabilities. We collectively commit to scaling up our finance thereafter in line with opportunities and the delivery of results. We invite other donors to join us in this effort to make early action on REDD+ a reality.”

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said:

“Deforestation accounts for almost a fifth of global emissions, and the forests of the rainforest nations provide a global service in soaking up the pollution of the world.

“Unless action is taken, these forests could be lost forever, impacting not only the global climate but on the livelihoods of 90% of the 1.2 billion people living in extreme poverty who rely on forest resources for their survival.

“An agreement to slow, halt and eventually reverse deforestation has to be central to the outcome here in Copenhagen. Around $25 billion over the period of 2010-15 is needed to cut deforestation rates in developing countries by 25% by 2015. Developed countries should provide the majority of this, supporting rainforest countries’ own efforts.

“This collective fast start effort is a very significant building block towards that. The UK’s contribution to this initial effort is $480million, part of the overall UK fast start package I announced last week.

“I will be putting every possible effort into strengthening the collective effort and working with all nations to reach the most ambitious climate deal.”

Reactions to the announcement:
'The announcement is a major breakthrough, bringing us towards the estimated costs of fast-tracking REDD+ start-up through the first three years of an interim start-up phase. Gabon is committed to moving forward.' - President Omar Bongo, Republic of Gabon.

“Colombia is committed to reduce its emissions from deforestation, as one of its ways to contribute to the global mitigation effort. We welcome initiatives such as this one that provides prompt start finance that will allow developing countries, and their communities, to start work on the ground.” - Columbian Environment Minister, Carlos Costa

“Costa Rica has demonstrated that halting and reverting deforestation in tropical developing countries is possible, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks is feasible and cost-effective. Our country had 72 percent cover in 1950, it went down to 21 percent in 1987 and it has now recovered to 51 percent in 2005. Although this is an achievement, we aspire to do more. That is why we welcome the pledge for fast-start financing for REDD+ because it will allow us move forward as well as helping other developing countries to become effective carbon sinks.” - Dr. Alvaro Umana, Ambassador for Climate Change and Chief Negotiator of Costa Rica.

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