WWF welcomes progress on the Forests and Climate Leaders Partnership; calls on stronger private sector policies on deforestation and conversion-free supply chains

Posted on November, 07 2022

WWF welcomes the high-level engagement of world leaders at COP27 in the Forests and Climate Leaders Partnership, but warns that a ‘business as usual’ supply-chain roadmap would leave forests, natural ecosystems and the planet at risk.

The Forests and Climate Leaders Partnership can play an important role in halting deforestation and ecosystem conversion provided that it ensures follow-up, transparency and accountability, otherwise the commitments remain only nice words on paper. We also welcome the additional 1 billion EUR public finance committed today by world leaders alongside $3.6 billion of private capital to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation.

WWF stresses the urgency of shifting from commitments to channeling funds quickly and effectively well before 2030 to meet the scale and speed of forest loss. Despite the positive momentum around forests as key allies to tackle the climate crisis, there is a disconnect with real action to address the drivers of deforestation like unsustainable agriculture and forestry, and mining, which are only expanding.

This is why it’s critical that public sector efforts be complemented by strong, robust and transparent private sector efforts. Globally traded commodities such as soy, cattle, leather, palm oil, cocoa and rubber are by far the largest contributors of emissions through deforestation and the unsustainable land sector contributes over 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions. We must ensure the Roadmap announced today keeps its promise to reach the 1.5 C pathway promised at COP26. 

Fran Price, Lead, WWF Global Forest Practice, said: “Our planet’s life support system is in critical condition. Habitat loss is the prime culprit, with the greatest losses caused by deforestation. The new Forest Declaration Assessment shows that efforts to halt deforestation are not enough and we are not on track to achieve our 2030 goals.

The Forests and Climate Leaders Partnership is an important vehicle to follow up on all nature-related commitments and initiatives from COP26, such as the Glasgow Leaders Declaration on Forests and Land Use. It is urgent that this Partnership mobilizes funding quickly and effectively and that it reaches - in a transparent and inclusive way - people and places that are at the forefront of the climate crisis, including Indigenous Peoples and local communities. 

Alongside public sector commitments, we must also ensure the strength and integrity of commitments made by private sector actors to take deforestation and conversion out of their supply chains and hold them accountable. Companies must urgently implement deforestation and conversion-free commodity production and trade by enforcing an explicit target date and a cutoff date no later than 2020. This is critical to any meaningful commitment on deforestation and conversion and respecting all previously set sectoral agreements.”

Mauricio Voivodic, executive director of WWF-Brazil, said: “The roadmap announced today presents some progress as companies are finally recognizing that they need to eliminate the destruction of ecosystems from supply chains. However, it’s still frustrating that ecosystems like Cerrado are not yet fully and consistently considered in the presented commitments of the soy and cattle sectors.
The absence of a clear cut-off date and of targets to eliminate conversion from the soy supply chain locks the sector in a trajectory of high carbon emissions and continuing loss of carbon emissions. Science demonstrates that deforestation and conversion must be urgently eliminated from the commodities supply chains to decrease global GHG emissions sufficiently and reach the 1.5- target.”


Robin Harvey, Media Relations Manager, WWF International - rharvey@wwfint.org

Note to editors:
  • Deforestation and conversion-free supply chains refers to those supply chains where the production, trade, and sale of soft commodities do not result in deforestation or conversion of natural ecosystems.
  • Last year at COP26, 13 of the world's largest agricultural trading and processing companies made a pledge to deliver a high ambition roadmap for the agri-commodity sector by COP27 that would lay out “enhanced supply chain action consistent with a 1.5 degrees Celsius pathway,” including “enabling policy environments, transparency on scope 3 GHG emissions and indirect supply chains and improving livelihoods for farmers (…)”
  • Recent WWF analysis shows that to decrease global greenhouse gas emissions sufficiently and reach the 1.5C target, deforestation and conversion must be urgently eliminated from commodities supply chains. 
  • DCF supply chains are critical for a 1.5 climate pathway; matter for nature; are good for people; are good for business; and are the future of food security.