Austen Shakespeare

COP26: More than 30 financial institutions to end funding deforestation

More than 100 leaders will commit to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 at an event convened by the Prime Minister at COP26 today.

The pledge is backed by almost £14bn ($19.2bn) in public and private funding.

In addition, CEOs from more than 30 financial institutions with over $8.7tril of global assets – including Aviva, Schroders and Axa – will also commit to eliminate investment in activities linked to deforestation.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to say at the Forest & Land Use event at COP26 today: “Today, at COP26, leaders have signed a landmark agreement to protect and restore the earth’s forests.

“These great teeming ecosystems – these cathedrals of nature - are the lungs of our planet. Forests support communities, livelihoods and food supply, and absorb the carbon we pump into the atmosphere. They are essential to our very survival.

“With today’s unprecedented pledges, we will have a chance to end humanity’s long history as nature’s conqueror, and instead become its custodian.”

Amanda Blanc, Group CEO Aviva PLC, said: “Protecting our forests and their biodiversity is fundamental to the fight against climate change. Financial institutions have a pivotal role, using our influence on the companies we invest in to encourage and ensure best practice.

“Aviva is proud to sign the commitment to end deforestation, helping build a critical mass for change. Together we can reduce risk to the planet and the financial markets, and capitalise on the opportunities that come from more sustainable investment.”

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