NDC forest ambitions and REDD+
The Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) sector can provide up to one-third of the emission reductions needed to avoid the most severe impacts of climate change (IPCC, 2019). Conserving and sustainably managing forests can unlock significant emission reductions, with approximately 3.3 GtCO2/year of cost-effective mitigation potential in the tropics alone, representing the most significant opportunity to increase the ambition of NDCs in many tropical forested countries.
Many countries refer in their NDCs to reducing deforestation as a priority with high mitigation potential, including efforts to implement Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). As of 1 May, 2021, 47 out of 55 countries that submitted enhanced or updated NDCs to the UNFCCC mention forests. Many Parties also highlight the importance of social and environmental co-benefits resulting from these mitigation activities, including adaptation co-benefits.
Despite this demonstrated political will, both public and private efforts have not made sufficient progress towards reducing emissions from forest loss. Tropical primary forest loss has generally increased, with 4.2 million hectares lost in 2020 (NYDF Assessment Partners, 2021). Substantially accelerated efforts (at least five-fold by 2030 and three-fold by 2050) are needed to ensure that reduced deforestation and restoration contribute fully to achieving the Paris temperature goal.