Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) has promised a doubling of German funds for the global protection of forests from one to two billion euros. In addition, Germany will provide 170 million euros for a global protective shield to cushion the damage caused by climate catastrophes such as droughts, hurricanes or floods, the Chancellor announced on Monday at the World Climate Conference in Egypt, according to the speech manuscript published in advance. Both are financed from the annual funds for the fight against climate change, which are to be increased from 5.3 to six billion euros by 2025.

At the World Climate Conference in Glasgow last year, Germany pledged a total of one billion euros for global forest protection in the period from 2021 to 2025. This amount will now be doubled to two billion euros. The funds are to be used primarily to protect the rainforest in the Central African Congo Basin or in the South African Amazon region.

According to the federal government, an estimated 420 million hectares of forest have been lost since 1990, roughly the size of the European Union. 88 percent of forest destruction goes back to agriculture. Consumption in Europe also indirectly contributes to the destruction of forests. In addition to wood production, the cultivation of coffee, cocoa, soybeans, the extraction of palm oil and animal husbandry have also led to the destruction of forest areas.

The protective umbrella to cushion climate risks is to be officially established in the second week of the climate conference. The office for this is to be set up in Frankfurt am Main, and the 170 million euros are start-up financing. The funds are intended to benefit countries that are particularly badly affected by climate change. According to the federal government, this now includes 57 countries.