'You might as well bomb our islands,' deforestation deal: COP26 Daily Bulletin
Daniel Harries
Climate campaigners wearing masks of world leaders enact a 'Squid Game' themed protest stunt. /AP Photo/Scott Heppell

Climate campaigners wearing masks of world leaders enact a 'Squid Game' themed protest stunt. /AP Photo/Scott Heppell


· More than 100 national leaders pledged to halt and reverse deforestation and land degradation by the end of the decade, underpinned by $19 billion in public and private funds to invest in protecting and restoring forests.

Under the agreement, 12 countries promised 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 deforestation such as cattle, palm oil and soybean farming and pulp production.

Five countries including the UK and the U.S. and a group of global charities also pledged to provide $1.7 billion to support indigenous people's conservation of forests and to strengthen their land rights.

· Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has said his Bezos Earth Fund will spend $2bn restoring landscapes and transforming food systems. He told the summit that he had grasped nature's fragility on his recent trip  into space.

"Looking back at Earth from up there, the atmosphere seems so thin, the world so finite and so fragile. Now, in this critical year and what we all know is the decisive decade, we must all stand together to protect our world," he said.

· UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson apologized to Israel's energy minister after she complained that the lack of wheelchair access had stopped her attending the summit.

A belatedly arranged wheelchair-accessible taxi transported Karine Elharrar, who has muscular dystrophy, to the venue on Tuesday. Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, one of the world leaders attending the summit, escorted her inside.

Elharrar said on Monday she was sad that she could not reach the conference grounds because the only options to get there from the gathering area were to walk or board a shuttle that was not suited to her wheelchair.

· China's top climate negotiator Xie Zhenhua said an agreement on carbon market rules, which fall under article 6 of the Paris Agreement, could be reached at COP26.

Xie also said that COP26 President Alok Sharma, U.S. climate envoy John Kerry and other leaders in discussions said developed countries could deliver on a collective promise of $100 billion in annual climate financing to developing countries by 2022 or 2023, after having missed the 2020 target.

· Surangel Whipps Jr, president of Palau, a Pacific state of 500 low-lying islands under threat from rising sea levels, told the leaders of the G20 industrial powers in a speech: "There is no dignity to a slow and painful death – you might as well bomb our islands instead of making us suffer only to witness our slow and painful demise."

"We are drowning and our only hope is the life-ring you are holding," he added. 

· Ecuador will expand its Galapagos marine reserve by some 60,000 square kilometers and seek a conservation-for-debt swap to finance it, President Guillermo Lasso said.

The Galapagos island reserve is already one of the largest in the world, at 133,000 square kilometers, but the expansion will add the Cocos Ridge, which extends toward Costa Rica and is a feeding and migration area for endangered species.




· Nearly 90 countries have joined a U.S. and EU-led effort to slash emissions of methane by 30 percent 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. Cutting the emissions of the gas, which are estimated to have accounted for 30 percent of global warming since pre-industrial times, is one of the most effective ways of slowing climate change, according to some scientists.

· Nordic and British pension funds committed to invest $130 billion by 2030 to fight climate change and report annually on the progress of their green investments.

Denmark said $75 billion of the funds were new commitments. The pledge included asset owners in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and the UK, plus a fund from Greenland.

Source(s): Reuters ,AP

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