A group of more than 25 countries at the COP27 climate talks in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, have launched a group to hold each other accountable for a pledge to end deforestation by 2030 and announced billions of dollars to finance their efforts, Reuters reported.

A group of more than 25 countries at the COP27 climate talks in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, have launched a group to hold each other accountable for a pledge to end deforestation by 2030 and announced billions of dollars to finance their efforts, Reuters reports.

The first meeting of the Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership, chaired by Ghana and the USA, took place on 7 November – a year after more than 140 leaders made a commitment at COP26 in Glasgow, UK, to end deforestation by the end of the decade, the report on the same day said.

Three major initiatives to protect forests were launched at COP26, The Guardian wrote on 8 November. These included: a commitment by more than 140 world leaders to halt and reverse deforestation; the creation of a working group of producers and consumers of commodities linked to deforestation; and a commitment by commodity traders of cattle, cocoa, palm oil and soyabeans to prepare a roadmap to align their business practices with the target of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.

However, since making the commitment at COP26, progress has been patchy, according to the Reuters report, with only a few countries introducing more aggressive policies on deforestation and financing.

Around 22% of the US$12bn in public funds pledged in Glasgow for forests by 2025, had been delivered to date, Reuters wrote.

The new group announced at COP27 – which includes Japan, Pakistan, the Republic of Congo, the UK and others – accounts for around 35% of the world’s forests and aims to meet twice a year to monitor progress.

Brazil and the Democratic Republic of Congo were not currently part of the group, Reuters wrote.

However, Brazil is expected to join the initiative, under the incoming President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, known as Lula, according to a report in The Guardian on 8 November.

During his first speech as president-elect, Lula pledged to fight for zero-deforestation in the Amazon, The Guardian wrote in an earlier report on 5 November. According to the same report, the three major tropical rainforest nations – Brazil, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo – were holding talks to form a strategic alliance to coordinate their conservation.

Colombia had also proposed creating an Amazon bloc against deforestation at COP27, according to the same report.

New sources of financing announced at COP27 included a commitment by Germany to double its financing for forests to €2bn (US$1.97bn) until 2025, Reuters wrote.

President Gustavo Petro of Colombia, also a member of the group, told the summit that the country would spend US$200M/year for the next 20 years to save the Amazon rainforest, calling on other countries to contribute, the report said.

South Korea has also agreed to be the first Asian government to provide finance for the coalition, joining founders Norway, the UK, and the USA, according to the report.