Yesterday, at the G7 Summit in Cornwall, leaders agreed the G7 Nature Compact halt and reverse biodiversity loss and tackle deforestation, marine litter and the illegal wildlife trade.

Jo Blackman, Head of Forests Policy and Advocacy at Global Witness, said:

“G7 countries play a crucial role in fuelling the destruction of the world’s climate-critical forests, through their massive consumption of commodities associated with deforestation and the billions of dollars of financing provided by their banks and investors to destructive agribusinesses.

The G7 leaders’ Nature Compact has rightly recognised they need to do more to safeguard forests and identified due diligence requirements as a tool to ensure supply chains do not fuel deforestation. This must now be backed up by all G7 members, and other key consumer countries, bringing forward legislation to end their countries’ complicity in global forest destruction ahead of COP26. To be effective, this legislation must stop all businesses, including financial institutions, from being able to profit from deforestation and associated human rights abuses around the world.

Keeping the world’s forests standing is vital to stop climate change, prevent further biodiversity loss and future pandemics and uphold the rights of Indigenous peoples and local communities who have safeguarded forests for generations.

As the COP26 approaches and pressure mounts for urgent climate action, the world is watching G7 leaders. The question is, will they step up and protect the world’s forests?”