World Leaders to save forest and to cut methane emissions

World Leaders to save forest and to cut methane emissions

Geography (Optional) – Paper I - Environmental degradation, management and conservation

Prelim – Environment

GS III – Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment


  • COP26 global climate conference held in Glasgow, where global leaders pledged to stop deforestation by the end of the decade and slash emissions of the greenhouse gas, methane, to help slow climate change.

Why small and poor countries worrying?

  • The inability of major powers to agree on rapid reductions in the use of fossil fuels, the main cause of man-made global warming, has upset the poorer, smaller countries likely to suffer its worst effects.
  • Palau, a Pacific state of 500 low-lying islands under threat from rising sea levels.

Pledge to slash methane emission

  • Nearly 90 countries have joined a U.S.- and EU-led effort to slash emissions of methane 30% by 2030 from 2020 levels.
  • The Global Methane Pledge, first announced in September, now covers emissions from two-thirds of the global economy.
  • Signatory country – Brazil.
  • China, Russia and India — have not signed up.
  • Australia has said it will not back the pledge.

Source of Methane

  1. Cows’ digestive systems
  2. Landfill waste
  3. Oil and gas production

Deforestation around the world

  • In 2020, the world lost 2,58,000 sq. km of forests according to the Global Forest Watch.
  • The conservation charity WWF estimates that 27 football fields of forest are lost every minute.

Fund to stop deforestation

  • Over 100 national leaders pledged to halt and reverse deforestation and land degradation by the end of the decade, underpinned by $19 billion in public and private funds to invest in protecting and restoring forests.
  • The agreement expands a commitment by 40 countries as part of the 2014 New York Declaration of Forests.

Other measures

  • COP26 aims to keep alive a receding target of capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels to avert still greater damage from heatwaves, droughts, floods and coastal damage that climate change is already causing.
  • Under the agreement, 12 countries pledged to provide $12 billion of public funding between 2021 and 2025 for developing countries to restore degraded land and tackle wildfires.