Forest protection and sustainable development

Your Royal Highness, distinguished ministers, ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you for inviting me to make a few remarks.

I would like to commend the leadership of His Royal Highness and the governments of Peru and the United Kingdom for putting the issue of deforestation-free development so high on our common agenda before Paris.

I would like to make two points that must remain our focus towards and beyond Paris.

First:

We cannot have sustainable development of this planet without forests.

Forests could help deliver a third of the climate change mitigation the world needs to stay on a two degrees warming pathway towards 2030.

Living forests provide rich biodiversity, regulation of global rainfall as well as protection and livelihoods for indigenous peoples and local communities.

Forest protection must be part of a story of economic growth in developing countries.

This fall I visited Mato Grosso in Brazil. This is a province the size of Germany and France combined.  It still has 60 percent natural forest and wetlands cover.

It also has large-scale soy and beef production, and plans for producing more.

In the past ten years the state of Mato Grosso has reduced deforestation by more than 90 percent. Both government and private businesses have high ambitions for continued low deforestation and green growth. 

Stakeholders here are working together.

Aiming to achieve both agricultural production and forest protection.

Such public-private partnerships are what we need for success.

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My second point:

Developed countries need to support this green transition.

One month from now, the Climate Change Summit in Paris begins.

A majority of countries have submitted their INDC to the UN Climate Convention.

Many of them have included emission reductions from forests and land use. And many will carry parts of the transition costs themselves.

Governments in partner countries need to commit to large-scale payments for reduced emissions from deforestation at the national level.

In this way forest countries and partner countries work together to cover the costs of a green transition.

Norway is willing to consider scaling up its contributions in this field – from the current three billion Norwegian kroner a year – if others do the same.

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The Climate Change Summit in Paris in December is the starting point of our joint efforts.

However. Only if we see Paris as – to quote Winston Churchill – "perhaps the end of the beginning", will we be able to muster the energy, determination, and collaborative spirit we need for success.

Thank you.