7th November 2022, Sharm El-Sheikh – Responding to today’s announcement at COP27 of a Ghana and US chaired “Forests and Climate Leaders’ Partnership”, Veronica Oakeshott, Forests Campaign Leader at Global Witness, said:
“We welcome this new mechanism as an assurance that forests are firmly on the agenda of every future COP. But if it is to be anything more than an annual leafy photo opp, it must have a laser-like focus on getting governments to pass laws that stop investment into forest wrecking businesses. The time has passed for friendly agreements and strong words – firm action on the finance driving deforestation must now be the priority. It’s vital that as founders the UK and US lead by example and show true forest leadership by regulating finance themselves.”
“The private and public money that has pledged to combat deforestation today is dwarfed by the private finance being regularly ploughed into deforestation risk business. Between 2015 and 2021, financial institutions based in the EU, UK, US and China made deals worth $157 billion with firms accused of destroying tropical forest in Brazil, Southeast Asia and Africa. These negative financial flows - that prop up irresponsible agribusiness - are destroying the lungs of our planet and having a catastrophic effect on local communities.”
“It’s a welcome sign that ‘shifting the private finance system’ is a focus area of this new group. We hope key missing countries - covering forest rich areas or financial centres - will sign up to the Partnership soon, including Brazil, Indonesia, DRC and China.”
Later this week, new Global Witness research is set to reveal the progress of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) in reducing investments by financial institutions in companies and commodities at risk of causing deforestation.
- Veronica Oakeshott is in Sharm El-Sheikh and available for interview
- For an advanced copy of the GFANZ analysis (embargoed until 9th November) please contact [email protected]