Speaking at the UN climate summit in Paris, Britain’s Prince Charles has called for forest protection. The world needs to take more action to protect forests from predatory corporations. Everyone in the world needs clean air, rain systems, and products that forests provide. More importantly, about one billion people depend directly on forests for their livelihood, said Prince Charles.

Prince Charles Draws World's Attention To Forest Protection

Prince Charles highlights shrinking global forests

The Prince of Wales is a longtime environmental advocate. He also met with South American indigenous leaders to highlight shrinking forests in most of the countries. The Prince said forest restoration was “needed now more than ever.” Many of the world’s largest corporations pay no attention to the “deforestation footprint of their supply chains.” According to the World Resources Institute, about 30 million acres of forests are destroyed every year.

Forests absorb carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, playing a key role in reducing emissions that cause global warming. The United Nations estimates that, if protected, forests could alone provide up to 33% of the climate solution need in the next couple of decades. New plans to protect tropical rainforests are expected to be announced as part of the Paris climate summit.

Major countries pledged to intensify efforts to protect forests

In a joint statement, leaders from Australia, the UK, the US, Brazil, and 12 other nations pledged to intensify efforts to protect forests. Prince Charles’ speech came a day after 151 leaders delivered speeches at the UN summit. Over the next two weeks, negotiators will attempt to hammer out a deal to cut carbon emissions to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

What’s more, France pledged to provide 8 billion euros to African countries over the next five years, a large chunk of which will be invested in renewable energy. President Francois Hollande met with 12 African leaders to discuss threats from climate change such as advancing deserts, coastal erosion, and rivers that are drying up. The meeting also focused on financing for the Great Green Wall, which was launched in 2007 to plant trees to combat the expansion of Sahara Desert.