The Norwegian parliament voted to make Norway the world's first country to ban its biofuel industry from importing deforestation-linked palm oil starting in 2020. A 2017 report by Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN) showed palm oil-based biofuels have a more detrimental effect on climate change than using fossil fuels. The resolution calls on the government "to formulate a comprehensive proposal for policies and taxes in the biofuels policy in order to exclude biofuels with high deforestation risk."
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Norway has donated $100 million to start a fund to halt deforestation, with Unilever being the first corporate investor to the fund pledging $25 million over five years. This was announced at the World Economic Forum and the fund’s aim is to ‘safeguard more than 5 million hectares of peatlands and forests’. This fund was created under the ‘Tropical Forest Alliance 2020’ umbrella which brings together leaders of public institutions and private companies to eliminate deforestation from supply chains.
Norway is now the first country committed to the zero deforestation, which precludes deforestation in public procurement. Any companies related to deforestation will not be able to have contract with the Norwegian government. For crops associated with large-scale rainforest destruction like soy, timber, palm oil and beef, if they are to be procured by the government, they will have to be produced in a sustainable way. In addition, now there are recommendations for Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GFPG), the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, to consider biodiversity when making investment decisions.
The Norwegian parliament have announced that their public procurement policy will be going deforestation-free. Norway is recognised as a leader in funding forest conservation around the world and are now the first country to commit to zero deforestation. Nils Hermann Ranum form the Rainforest Foundation Norway commended the pledge and acknowledged it as a victory in the fight to protect rainforests.
Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), which manages $828 billion worth of funds, released its annual report for 2015 today, revealing that six palm oil companies, four pulp and paper companies, and one coal company were dropped from its investment portfolio. Lars Løvold, director of the NGO Rainforest Foundation Norway, said that the GPFG’s actions show that companies involved in deforestation risk being cut off from international investment.
Liberia is to become the first African nation to stop cutting down trees in return for development aid. Liberia is the home to a significant part of West Africa’s remaining forest, with about 43% of the Upper Guinean forest, and it is also a global diversity hotspot, home to the last remaining viable populations of species. Illegal logging in Liberia stared from 2003 after the civil war ended, and some researchers have connected the outbreak of Ebola with the widespread deforestation, which brings people into contact with natural reservoir of the virus. Now Norway has reached agreement with Liberia government that Norway will help Liberia to build up the capacity to monitor and police the forests. With widespread corruption and a government struggling to impost its authority, it should be recognized that stopping all the logging in Liberia will not be easy.
A new decree signed by the Indonesian president to create a national agency aimed at combating greenhouse gas emissions signals progress in the country’s efforts to tackle global warming, said a scientist with the Center for International Research.
The REDD+ (Reducing Emissions through Deforestation and Forest Degradation) agency, which will report directly to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, fulfills one among several criteria detailed in a climate change partnership agreed in 2010 with Norway. Under the terms of the agreement outlined in a letter of intent, the two countries opened the door to developing policy on REDD+, a U.N.-backed framework for reducing emissions caused by deforestation and forest degradation.
Norway’s sovereign wealth fund will require companies in its portfolio to ‘to manage risk associated with the causes and impacts of climate change resulting from greenhouse gas emissions and tropical deforestation.’ The move comes after campaigners had targeted the fund for continuing to invest in companies associated with deforestation while the Norwegian government had committed $522 million to protecting the world’s forests. Questions considered in assessing company risk will include: disclosure on tropical forest footprint; commitment to international standards for sustainable production of agricultural commodities; and reporting on the implementation of its commitments.