Thank you for writing to me about deforestation.
You are right to raise the issue of deforestation and I completely agree with you that we must do what we can to protect the world’s rainforests.
At the COP26 Summit hosted by the UK in Glasgow last year, leaders from over 100 countries (accounting for approximately 90 per cent of the world's forests) backed a pledge committing to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030. This is a landmark achievement, backed by over $19 billion USD of newly-mobilised public and private sector funding. I’m sure you would agree it is very encouraging that Brazil, Colombia and many other South American nations have backed it, and the UK will commit £1.5 billion over five years to support this pledge worldwide, including up to £300 million intended for the Amazon.
With the UK’s Environment Act now law, the UK is committed to go further to clamp down on illegal deforestation and protect forests, through a package of measures that will ensure greater resilience, traceability and sustainability are built into the UK’s supply chains. The Government recently held a consultation to seek views on how the Environment Act’s provisions should be implemented, including how many commodities should be regulated through the first round of secondary legislation.
Further, I know that the UK has doubled its international climate finance to £11.6 billion, of which at least £3 billion will be spent on nature, including solutions that protect, restore and sustainably manage forests.
On a local level, I know that Surrey County Council (SCC) and Woking Borough Council (WBC) also take this issue very seriously. SCC is currently working with Surrey Wildlife Trust to plant 1.2 million new trees in Surrey by 2030, including hedgerow trees and the creation of copses and shaws. A great number of these will be planted in Woking, and I know WBC has been working hard to plant the right trees in the right areas to reduce the impacts of climate change and air pollution more locally. Further benefits to this include supporting local wildlife and biodiversity, improved air quality, educational benefits, the aesthetic value and benefits to mental health. You can read more about this here:
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me about this very important matter. I hope that I have shown just some of the key measures and lengths that the Government is going to in order to help meet the challenge of deforestation and how we are taking a global lead on many environmental issues. Please be assured I will continue to monitor these issues very carefully indeed and will raise concerns with ministerial colleagues whenever appropriate.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking