CLIMATE CHANGE

COP26: Kenya signs world pledge to end deforestation by 2030

Marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge calls on rich countries to work with Africa on climate crisis.

In Summary

• This was the first major deal on the last day of the World Leaders Summit at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, United Kingdom.

• President Joe Biden announced up to $9bn of US funding through to 2030 "to conserve and restore our forests and mobilise billions more from our partners".

President Uhuru Kenyatta with World Marathon Champion Eliud Kipchoge in Glasgow
President Uhuru Kenyatta with World Marathon Champion Eliud Kipchoge in Glasgow
Image: PSCU

Kenya is among 105 countries that on Tuesday promised to end and reverse deforestation by 2030.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is leading the Kenyan delegation, where he has been calling for the rest of the world to help Africa deal with the effects of climate change.

Kenya’s forest cover stands at 7.2 per cent but the state wants it increased to 10 per cent by 2022.

To achieve this, some two billion trees will have to be planted and raised between now and then at a cost of Sh48 billion.

This was the first major deal on the last day of the World Leaders Summit at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, United Kingdom.

The pledge was announced by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson during an 'Action on Forests and Land Use' event.

"We have to stop the devastating loss of our forests, these great, teeming eco-systems, three trillion pillared cathedrals of nature that are the lungs of our planet and the destruction together with agriculture and other change of land use that accounts for almost a quarter of all global emissions," Boris said.

The event brought together an unprecedented alliance of governments, companies, financial actors, and non-state leaders to raise ambition on forests and land use.

World marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge used his sub-2-hour run in 2019 to call on rich countries to help Africa deal with the climate crisis.

"There are western countries who are so advanced in data and innovation but who have futile moves from that initial feeling for the climate whereby in Africa we feel so closely," Kipchoge said.

He added; "I urge all of us to bring our worlds together whereby we can combine our unique skills where we can stay connected with our feelings added to the strength of data and innovation."

US President Joe Biden announced up to $9bn of US funding through to 2030 "to conserve and restore our forests and mobilise billions more from our partners".

"The United States is going to lead by example at home while supporting other forested nations and developing countries," he says.