Statement at the Forest and Land-use Event

Your Royal Highness, Presidents and Prime Ministers, ladies and gentlemen, there is progress being made here at COP 26.

We need to address the twin crises of climate change and nature loss at the same time.

I believe we can find solutions to both.

For my Government, climate and environmental considerations will be at the core of all policy:

We cannot solve the climate crisis without stopping tropical deforestation.

There is a win-win-situation we need to grasp here.

Deforestation leads to climate change, nature loss and human suffering.

Reducing deforestation is no easy task.

But it will have a triple positive effect: for people, for the climate and for nature.

Addressing deforestation requires tough decisions to regulate land-use and enforce legislation.

We need a just rural transition that benefits people, and it needs social equitable.

We are mobilising finance to support governments, indigenous peoples and local communities in protecting forests.

I was in government 15 years ago when this initiative started, and I am encouraged by the progress being made by many tropical forest countries.

And I am pleased to see new partnerships forming to support forest countries in their further efforts.

The joint public finance pledge we are making today is unprecedented.

But perhaps even more exciting is the LEAF Coalition’s breakthrough in mobilising private finance.

Some of the world's largest companies stand ready to reward tropical forest countries that reduce deforestation.

The companies are doing this voluntarily, in addition to making deep cuts in their own emissions.

There is another win-win-situation.

This is, as we know it in the Nordic countries, public-private collaboration at its best.

With our partners, Norway is making high-resolution satellite imagery available to everyone, anywhere, for free.

This improves policy-making and helps hold companies accountable.

And it empowers indigenous peoples and local communities.

It strengthens the position of environmental defenders, who risk their lives for the sake of the forests.

I am encouraged by the new commitments from commodity traders to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains.

Many of the dots are now connected.

And I am glad to see that financial markets are incorporating forest-related financial risks in their investment decisions. This is an acknowledgement that climate risk is a financial risk, and must be managed as such.

We need data and transparency if markets are to reduce pressure on tropical forests.

To protect forests, we must empower the people who live in them.

This is in fact a matter of social justice.

The evidence shows that strengthening the rights of indigenous peoples reduces deforestation.

Only a fraction of indigenous communities have secure tenure rights.

This must change.

I commend the leadership shown by Costa Rica and other countries.

I have listened with interest to the vision presented by indigenous leaders here today, on stage and back-stage.

Norway is fully committed to supporting your efforts.

And I am honoured to announce a collective pledge of 1.7 billion US dollars to strengthen the rights of indigenous peoples.

The donor group is seeking to reinforce your role as guardians of forests and nature.

We will support national land and forest tenure reform processes.

And we will support indigenous governance structures and sustainable livelihoods.

This is in fact a matter of economics, politics - and deep down of ethics.

And it is a matter of keeping 1.5 degrees alive.

Thank you