Norway emerges as champion of rainforest conservation

Norway emerges as champion of rainforest conservation

By Rhett A. Butler – Mongabay.com 

Scandinavian country with population 1.5 percent that of the United States is the biggest international funder of rainforest conservation.

Scandinavian country with population 1.5 percent that of the United States is the biggest international funder of rainforest conservation.

While citizens in western countries have long paid lip service to saving rainforests, Norway has quietly emerged as the largest and most important international force in tropical forest conservation.

The small Scandinavian country has committed 3 billion krone ($440 million) a year to the effort, a figure vastly greater than the $100M pledged — but never fully contributed — by the United States under the Tropical Forest Conservation Act (TFCA).

Norway now hopes it can help push to include forest conservation in the successor to the Kyoto Protocol by providing funding and fostering cooperation among international actors like the UN and World Bank, as well as developing countries, to fund the creation of an international architecture which makes it possible to incorporate deforestation and degradation into a post-2012 climate regime.

Norway’s leadership on forest conservation arose from its concern over the impacts of climate change and what it sees as an attractive source for cuts in carbon dioxide emissions: reducing deforestation and forest degradation, which together account for roughly 20 percent of emissions caused by human activity or more than all the world’s trucks, cars, ships and airplanes combined. The country, which is the world’s third-largest gas exporter, the fourth-biggest oil exporter, and has some of the highest emissions per capita in Europe, aims to be carbon neutral — at least in terms of domestic emissions — by 2030. Although Norway was among the first countries in the world to adopt a carbon tax (in 1991) and hydropower is the source of nearly 99 percent of its electricity, it needs to aggressively reduce n emissions to meet its targets. 

Read more on: Mongabay.com

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