At UN Climate Summit, World Leaders pledge to Check Deforestation

At UN Climate Summit, World Leaders pledge to Check Deforestation

At the United Nations Climate Summit held on Tuesday, the United States joined a global initiative to check deforestation considerably over the next 15 years. In this initiative, along with the UN there are more than 110 corporations, civil society groups and governments. All of them will work hard towards the goal of eliminating this practice by 2030.

According to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Tuesday saw the unveiling of "New York Declaration on Forests" that aims at reducing between 4.5 billion and 8.8 billion tons of greenhouse gases annually. The UNDP said that these numbers would require efforts that will be equal to "removing from the road every car in the world, or not burning a trillion pounds of coal, or turning off every smokestack and tailpipe".

This new deforestation initiative is a way ahead in terms of ground reality than all previous efforts and also is much wider in the scope of participation and targets to be achieved.

Besides the US, participating states include wealthy nations like Canada, European Union members, Norway and the United Kingdom that could help fund reforestation efforts. Also, the emerging countries like Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo where deforestation is widespread also signed on it. Corporate participants in this effort include: Walmart, McDonald's, Danone, L'Oreal, agricultural giant Cargill and Asia Pulp and Paper.

The only problem faced in this initiative is that India and China, two of the three largest carbon polluters in the world, have not signed on it. Also, a developing nation like Brazil where deforestation is on the upswing now after years of decline has declined to participate.

Greenpeace, non-governmental environmental organization, was among several deforestation activists absent from the accord. Though this group welcomed the plan, it said its voluntary commitments were too weak.

Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo said, "We need strong laws to protect forests and people, as well as better enforcement of existing laws".

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