On November 2, 2021, world leaders gathered to commit to ambitious action to reduce emissions and enhance carbon sequestration from forests and other ecosystems. This action is critical to reaching net zero emissions by 2050.
The United States is taking ambitious action to conserve and restore natural ecosystems at home, through partnerships among federal government agencies, states, tribes, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and private landowners. The United States has exceeded its 2020 Bonn Challenge goal, with more than 20 million hectares of forest land under restoration to date. The Biden-Harris Administration launched “America the Beautiful,” a decade-long challenge to pursue locally led, voluntary nationwide efforts to conserve, connect, and restore the lands, waters, and wildlife, and set out the goal of conserving 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030.
To complement these efforts and support ambitious action globally, on November 2 the United States proudly:
1) Announced the Plan to Conserve Global Forests: Critical Carbon Sinks. This decade-long, whole-of government Plan sets forth the U.S. approach to conserving critical global terrestrial carbon sinks by deploying a range of diplomatic, policy, and financing tools. The first-of-its-kind plan for the U.S. government seeks to catalyze the global effort to conserve and restore the forests and other ecosystems that serve as critical carbon sinks. The Plan has four key objectives: 1) Incentivize forest and ecosystem conservation and forest landscape restoration; 2) Catalyze private sector investment, finance and action to conserve critical carbon sinks; 3) Build long-term capacity and support the data and systems that enhance accountability; and 4) Increase ambition for climate and conservation action. Subject to Congressional appropriations, by 2030 the United States intends to dedicate up to $9 billion of our international climate funding to support these objectives.
2) Launched the Forest Investor Club. This network of leading public and private financial institutions and other investors, with 17 founding members, aims to unlock and scale up investments that support sustainable, climate-aligned outcomes in the land sector. These financial institutions and Network Partners are committed to increasing the scale and geographic scope of investment in conservation, restoration, sustainable agriculture and forestry, and green infrastructure.
3) Established the Forest Finance Risk Consortium (FFRC).The Consortium will bring together financial institutions and experts in forest monitoring and climate finance disclosure to better assess and disclose exposure to forest-related emissions in investment portfolios. The FFRC will improve disclosure of forest-related climate risk in line with existing and emerging climate finance disclosure guidance, decreasing future risks to financial markets and helping financial institutions eliminate climate risks from their portfolios.
4) Worked with the United Kingdom and 10 leading agricultural traders to develop a shared roadmap to align corporate goals and supply chain action with a 1.5 degrees Celsius pathway. The resulting commitments will increase collaboration and implementation in enabling policy environments, promoting transparency on scope 3 (non-energy indirect) emissions and indirect supply chains, and improving livelihoods for farmers.
5) Supported the Glasgow Leaders Declaration on Forests and Land Use, committing to working collectively to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 while delivering sustainable development and promoting an inclusive rural transformation.
6) Joined 11 other donors in issuing the Global Forest Finance Pledge, announcing our intention to collectively provide $12 billion for forest-related climate finance from 2021 to 2025.
7) Joined the COP26 Congo Basin Joint Donors’ Statement, announcing an initial collective pledge of at least $1.5 billion of financing, from 2021 to 2025, to support ambitious efforts and results in the region to conserve and maintain the Congo Basin forests, peatlands, and other critical global carbon sinks.
8) Supported the COP26 Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLC) Forest Tenure Joint Statement, announcing an initial, collective pledge of $1.7 billion of financing, from 2021 to 2025, to support the advancement of Indigenous Peoples’ and local communities’ forest tenure rights and greater recognition and rewards for their role as guardians of forests and nature.
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