Rich countries pledge USD 4 billion to stop deforestation
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Last Updated: Thursday, May 27, 2010, 23:45
Oslo: Developed nations pledged more than USD 4 billion today to finance a programme meant to help poor countries protect their forests and slow global warming.

An agency monitoring the aid will be up and running before UN climate talks start in Cancun, Mexico, later this year, the European Union's climate commissioner said at a conference on deforestation in Oslo.

Also, Indonesia agreed to a two-year moratorium on issuing new permits for forest destruction as part of a $1 billion deal with Norway that would pay Indonesia a fixed sum per ton of CO2 emissions reduced through rain forest preservation. Norway has had a similar deal with Brazil since the mid-1990s.

Deforestation, the burning of woodlands or the rotting of felled trees, is thought to account for up to 20 percent of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as much as is emitted by all the world's cars, trucks, trains, planes and ships combined.

The new programme called REDD Plus, for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation will encourage rich nations to voluntarily finance forest-protecting projects while coordinating that aid to avoid waste and ensure transparency.

It was approved but not implemented at the UN climate talks in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December.

In Oslo, Germany, France, Norway, the US, Britain, Australia and Japan pledged USD 4 billion to finance REDD Plus through 2012, with Denmark and Sweden adding USD 73 million more to the effort on today.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, May 27, 2010, 23:45

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