Developing countries will soon get billions of dollars in financial incentives from the industrialized world to stop deforestation and the resulting emissions that are linked to climate change, Environment Minister Jim Prentice said yesterday at a climate change conference in Norway.
“This is really important because it’s tangible progress that we can make on the ground that is good for the planet and it’s a significant source of carbon in the atmosphere today -the destruction of the forests,” Prentice said in an interview with Canwest News Service. “It is one of the most significant causes of global warming that we can address in a hands-on way.”
Although Canada has not yet confirmed its total contribution to the initiative, several developed countries, including the U.S., France, Australia and Norway pledged contributions that added up to more than $4 billion for the initiative, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation. The total represents a portion of a “Fast Start Fund” of $10 billion agreed to by developed countries at an international climate change summit last December in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The countries, which estimated that deforestation is responsible for 20 per cent of annual global greenhouse gas emissions, committed to address the issue at Copenhagen. The related emissions from the forestry sector are estimated to be greater than the carbon dioxide pollution from every motorized vehicle on the planet.
Prentice said Canada also could offer advice to developing countries about how it has protected its own forests under a certified program for industry that covers one of the largest areas of its kind in the world.