Climate Action

Forests, climate and people: EU support to combat tropical deforestation

Forest with a path © Goodshoot
01/12/2015

EU Member States, the Commission and partners working together to combat tropical deforestation gather to take stock of EU climate support to forests and to outline future perspectives on the thematic day on forests and agriculture at the Paris climate conference. Beyond sustained finance and technical assistance, the EU will provide free access to best forest data from earth observation. It will also explore EU-wide options to ensure a coherent and holistic policy approach to tackling global deforestation by 2020 and ending it by 2030.

The protection of forests and promotion of climate-smart land use will be a critical part of the Paris agreement, as these areas could represent up to a third of globally achievable climate mitigation potential by 2030.

The EU features among the top supporters of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation in developing countries (REDD+). Since 2006, the EU has contributed about €3 billion, or around 30% of total global finance dedicated to the protection of tropical forests. This has supported tropical forest countries in reducing emissions in the forest sector while respecting robust socio-environmental safeguards. The REDD+ finance provided by the EU is more balanced between the three major forest basins in the world, including Africa, while global REDD+ finance focuses mostly on Latin America and Asia.

At the EU forest event taking place on 1 December at 14:30–16:00 in the EU pavilion at the Paris climate conference, the EU will also announce its political support to the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI) and stress it will further increase its commitment to the revamped UN-REDD programme.

Beyond sustained finance and technical assistance, the EU will provide unprecedented access to the best available satellite earth observation datasets from the EU Copernicus programme, worth approximately €30 million annually. This will cover the 64 UN-REDD partner countries, roughly 40 million km².

The EU will also explore EU-wide options to ensure a coherent and holistic policy approach to tackling deforestation, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, the 2014 New York Declaration on Forests, the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and ambitious Intended Nationally Determined Contributions.

Furthermore, the Commission is assessing the feasibility of policy options available to step up EU action on global deforestation and forest degradation.