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Key Tree Pledges Made at COP26 & What They Mean...
(11/11/21)
Posted by : Stephy (UKSSN member), Surrey, Year 10
COP26 Tree of Promises

The Tree of Promises at COP26 - many young people around the country used their leaves to ask world leaders to stop deforestation!

As of 11 November, 137/195 countries have joined the pledge to eradicate deforestation by 2030 (you can find the complete list on the COP26 website).

 

Brazil is among the countries that have signed the pledge. Between August 2020 and July 2021, Brazil lost an area of forest nearly seven times larger than greater London, according to a Brazilian research institute that's been tracking Amazon deforestation since 2008.

 

Indonesia is the world's largest palm oil exporter. Palm Oil is an oil found in Palm Fruits and put into almost everything from sweets and fast food to plastic and cosmetics. There is little escaping it, including the billions of animals and indigenous tribes living in the Amazon. They have their homes torn to pieces every day with little mercy due to palm oil. Thanks to the pledge, this will have to stop; many more companies will need to start to use sustainable palm oil or find an alternative oil such as rapeseed.


Russia is another important country that has joined the pledge. Home to over a fifth of the world's forest, it is essential for taking in vast amounts of CO2 from our atmosphere (about 1.5 billion tonnes annually). CO2 warms our atmosphere, increases the greenhouse effect and plays havoc with our atmosphere, changing the weather. With more trees available, the gas will be reduced, cooling our atmosphere and regulating the climate across the globe.


The 2014 agreement failed due to loopholes; countries like Brazil, China and Russia did not sign up. This pledge is also far more achievable than the previous. Joe Biden claimed he was "confident" the aims could be met, telling world leaders: "All we need to do is summon the will and do what we know is right. We can do this." He said that the US would lead by example and announced it would spend $9bn (£6.6bn) to conserve and restore forests.

 

There is reason to be hopeful that the pledge will be a success due to the more achievable aims made at COP26; those successes are reliant on other changes such as a global drive in technology in areas such as transport and heating.

By Stephy (UKSSN COP26 rep), Surrey, Year 10

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