Norway and the US agree to collaborate on forests and climate change

The statement recognises the importance of forests and land use in mitigating climate change

By Ajay Kumar Saxena
Published: Thursday 16 June 2016

The statement recognises that climate change mitigation cannot be achieved without forests (Photo credit: Ken Opprann/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The Oslo Redd Exchange 2016 concluded on June 15 with Norway and the United States signing a joint statement for deeper collaboration on forests and climate change. US Secretary of State John Kerry signed the statement with Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment Vidar Helgesen.

The statement recognises the importance of forests and land use in mitigating climate change. Stressing on the need to keep global temperature rise under 2°C above pre-industrial levels, the statement said the goal “cannot be achieved without forests”. To achieve lasting results in conserving and restoring forests, both countries agreed to partner with tropical forest countries, favour large landscape-level approaches to forest conservation, mobilise private investments and support private sector efforts to eliminate tropical deforestation. The countries also committed to the following measures:

  • To enhance their existing cooperation on REDD+ and sustainable landscapes to support partner countries and stakeholders in developing GHG inventory, forest monitoring and MRV systems
  • Facilitate linkages of jurisdictional forest and climate programmes with private sector commitments to reduce tropical deforestation
  • Clarify and strengthen business case for sustainable investment, enhance use of development finance and assistance to mobilise private sector investment for forest and sustainable land use
  • Support states at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)’s 2016 assembly to adopt a Global Market bases Measure to help enable carbon neutral growth in international aviation from 2020
  • To support capacity-building initiative for transparency
  • To strengthen efforts to fight illegal logging and associated trade
  • To provide technical tools and information to pension funds, finance agencies and other investors seeking to reduce their impact on deforestation and forest emissions
  • To support responsible forest management and holding a bilateral expert-level meeting on forests once per year

The day saw parallel sessions on sub-national REDD+ initiatives, REDD+ in the Mayan region of Mexico, prospects for transformational change in land use, payment for performance, specific issues and opportunities related to sub-national REDD+ implementation and lessons from place-based initiatives, among others.

Norway Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who inaugurated the conference, had said ending deforestation was possible only if governments are involved. She also announced that Norway was endorsing the “the Amsterdam Declaration in Support of a Fully Sustainable Palm Oil Supply Chain by 2020" on delinking deforestation from the production and supply of agricultural commodities to Europe, with a particular focus on palm oil.

Palm oil is one of the major drivers of the developing world. Therefore, Norway supports the efforts of the private sector to delink deforestation from their supply chains, and to ensure fully sustainable palm oil supply chains by 2020.

The Norwegian food industry through the Norwegian Initiative for Sustainable Palm Oil (NISPO), as well as the feed industry in Norway have also decided to support the Declaration. Besides, the Norwegian prime minister announced that the Storting (the Norwegian Parliament) will ratify the Paris Agreement.

The conference ended with minister Helgesen noting that illegal logging and tropical deforestation were pressing issues which demanded global collective efforts.

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