UK to pay developing countries £100m to protect forests

The UK has used the UN climate change conference in Poznan as the backdrop to launch plans to offer financial rewards to developing countries prepared to take action to protect their forests.

Ongoing deforestation has a significant impact on climate change, as less trees mean less carbon being absorbed from the atmosphere.

Around a sixth of all greenhouse gas emissions could be avoided through more sustainable forestry and land use.

Climate Change secretary Ed Miliband announced on Friday, December 12 that the UK would be contributing £100m to help rainforest countries improve their infrastructure without negative impacts on their forests.

The cash will be used to part fund efforts to establish national systems for monitoring, reporting and verifying emissions and encourage sustainable management and conservation.

In addition to new investment, ministers from developed and developing countries signed up to an agreement outlining how they would take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

Ed Miliband said:”Protecting and replenishing the planet’s forests is essential to tackling climate change. Today, developed and developing countries have come together to chart a way forward so that we can tackle climate change and make lives better for people who live in forest communities.

“And this agreement embodies the spirit of co-operation we need with everyone accepting they have a part to play in tackling climate change, including the need for finance. What we have to do next is to translate this spirit into of co-operation into a global agreement next year.”

Secretary of State for International Development, Douglas Alexander, added: “Climate change will hit the world’s poorest people the hardest.

“Protecting the forests in developing countries is vital in cutting carbon emissions but this must be done hand in hand with ensuring communities can still feed themselves and earn a living.

“The funding we have announced today will support activities in developing countries such as enabling farmers to make a living in ways that mean they don’t have to cut down more forests. Our funding will back the vital steps we hope to see in these talks towards achieving a climate change agreement that’s fair for all.”

Sam Bond

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