More than 100 world leaders at the United Nations Climate Change (COP26) summit pledged to end and reverse deforestation by 2030. Almost £14 billion ($19.2 billion) in public and private contributions are included in the funds. Some of the money will go to developing countries to help with land restoration, wildfire suppression, and indigenous community support. The pledge’s signatories, which include Canada, Brazil, Russia, China, Indonesia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the United States, and the United Kingdom, cover around 85 percent of the world’s forests. The governments of 28 nations will also remove deforestation from the worldwide trade of food and other agricultural products such as palm oil, soya, and cocoa. These industries contribute to forest loss by chopping down trees to make room for livestock or crops.

Experts applauded the endeavor but warned that a prior agreement in 2014 “failed to slow deforestation at all,” and that results must be delivered. In fact, deforestation has increased since a similar vow was made that year. Additionally, disputes between donors and recipients are common; in 2019, Norway halted funding for an Amazon foundation after a disagreement with Brazil’s president. There are also serious concerns about how a major financial commitment could be policed. Dr. Nigel Sizer, a former president of the Rainforest Alliance, said, “We’re facing a climate emergency so giving ourselves another 10 years to address this problem doesn’t quite seem consistent with that. But maybe this is realistic and the best that they can achieve.”