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Rain Forests: Guyana

Volume 504: debated on Monday 18 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what response the Government has made to the offer by the President of Guyana for the Government to take responsibility for that country’s rainforest; and if he will make a statement. (311309)

The UK welcomed the offer by the President of Guyana to keep their forests standing. We recognised that Guyana needs to reconcile development challenges with the need to keep forests standing in order to help in the fight against climate change. It is essential that Guyana is supported with sufficient incentives to maintain the services that its rainforests provide. The UK was therefore pleased to hear that Guyana has reached an agreement on support for their forest services with the Government of Norway.

Ahead of the Copenhagen Accord, the UK together with the US, Japan, Australia, France and Norway committed to provide $3.5 billion public finance for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) over the period 2010-12 and to scaling it up thereafter.

At Copenhagen, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and President Sarkozy reaffirmed that $25 billion is needed for a 25 per cent. reduction in emissions from deforestation by 2015, and that developed countries should pay a significant proportion of this. These announcements were strongly welcomed by rainforest countries including Guyana, Indonesia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Papua New Guinea and Costa Rica.

We will continue to work with donors and rainforests nations in preparation for the reconvened climate negotiations in Mexico later this year, to ensure REDD+ continues to be a central element of climate change negotiations.