Joint media release: Australia joins forests partnership to drive climate action

The Hon Chris Bowen MP, Minister for Climate Change and Energy
The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister for the Environment and Water
Senator the Hon Murray Watt, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

Australia has become a founding member of the Forests and Climate Leaders Partnership, a new international group to accelerate the contribution of forests to global climate action.

The UK-led voluntary partnership was formally launched today at COP27 in Egypt to maintain the momentum of global action on climate change through forest-based initiatives.

The new partnership is dedicated to advancing ambition from the Glasgow Leaders Declaration on Forests and Land Use, of which Australia is a signatory, to help achieve the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Global Forest Goals.

The Forests and Climate Leaders Partnership will support the goals of the declaration, focusing on stepping up global efforts to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030, and promoting sustainable production and trade.

By joining the partnership, Australia reaffirms its commitment to this ambitious cause, and to work with other countries to support global efforts to combat climate change with forest solutions.

Australia is already contributing to global action to reduce emissions from forest activities as a founding member of the Global Forest Observations Initiative. Australia also provides support to countries in our region to enhance their natural resource management, conservation and protection.

In the decade to 2020, Australia increased its forested area by 4.4 million hectares – the second largest increase of any nation in that period. Australia’s sustainable forest practices are consistent with the focus on ensuring that forests and forest products provide climate solutions.

In addition to Australia, other members of the Forests and Climate Leaders Partnership include Canada, Ecuador, Finland, Gabon, Norway, the Republic of Korea, the UK and the US.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Climate Change and Energy, the Hon Chris Bowen: 

“The Australian Government is getting ahead with climate action, working with industry and the community to decarbonise the economy and our forests will play a crucial role in this transition.”

“By joining this partnership, we will maintain the momentum of global action on climate change as we work to reduce our emissions by 43% by 2030, and achieve net zero by 2050.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for the Environment and Water, the Hon Tanya Plibersek: 

“Australia is home to over 130 million hectares of native forest and the Australian Government is taking strong action to protect, manage and restore these vulnerable ecosystems.

“The foundation of this partnership demonstrates our ambition and reaffirms our recent commitment to protect and conserve 30% of Australia’s land and 30% of Australia’s marine areas by 2030.

“To achieve this target we will add millions of additional hectares of Australia’s iconic landscapes to our national estate including all types of landscape from deserts, to alpine areas to native forests, which are home to some of Australia’s most iconic threatened species.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, the Hon Murray Watt: 

“Forests and forest industries are vital to addressing our global climate challenges, and require an ongoing focus at all levels to unlock their potential. Australia is proud to join with other high-ambition countries and help drive global momentum to address climate change through the partnership.

“Our unique and varied forests, deep Indigenous knowledge and practices, and experience managing forests for multiple outcomes, position us strongly to contribute.

“We look forward to working with others to find innovative ways to build on existing global forest initiatives and maximise the role of forests and sustainable wood as climate solutions.

“Sustainable forest industries have a strong role to play, meeting our growing material demands with carbon-absorbing forest products.”