If the world loves forests, it should put a price on their carbon

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THE WORLD’S leaders may quail at extinguishing coal-fired plants or raising petrol prices, but they can be relied upon to embrace one ally in the fight against climate change: the tree. For all his claims that climate change was a hoax, even Donald Trump, as president, championed an initiative to plant a trillion trees. So there is cause for scepticism about the pact, announced at the Glasgow climate summit this week, to put an end to deforestation before the decade is out.

The world has seen similar non-binding declarations before. In 2014, governments, companies and non-governmental organisations committed to halving deforestation by 2020 and ending it by 2030, under the New York declaration on forests. The first target was missed, the second looks to be a stretch. And those trillion trees remain an achievement chiefly of alliteration. Nevertheless, this week’s announcements significantly improve on previous efforts.

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