COP26 saw its first landmark deal yesterday as 110 world leaders committed to ending deforestation by 2030.

The major agreement was announced on Tuesday, November 2 by US and EU leaders as part of the Global Methane Pledge.

The pledge aims to cut methane gas emissions by 30% by 2030.

The deal involves £14 billion of public and private funds and is considered one of the most important international commitments made since the failed 2014 New York Declaration on Forests.

Deforestation meaning

According to One Tree Planted, Deforestation is "the permanent and intentional clearing of forested land by humans, often for agricultural expansion, timber harvesting for fuel or building materials, mining, and human settlement.

Huge forest areas can also be deforested as a result of natural disasters including from the impact of wildfires, cyclones and tornadoes.

Forests currently cover 30% of the Earth's surface but this is currently reducing at an alarming rate.

Trees are essential for maintaining balance in our ecosystem and they can affect everything from weather and wildlife to our water cycle. 

One of the most important things that trees do for us is something called Carbon Sequestration.

In other words, they absorb the carbon that we produce with one mature tree actually being able to absorb as much as 22lbs of carbon a year.

And with the world's leaders currently engaging in talks to reduce our carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050, it makes sense that they would start with trees.

COP26 Deforestation deal

Every year, 20 million football fields’ worth of forests, which is the equivalent of 15 billion trees, is cut down.

If the deal reached at the 26th United Nations Climate Conference is not successful, we will lose all of the Earth's rainforests in 100 years.

Through yesterday's agreement, 110 countries have started to take action to prevent this, including Canada, Brazil, Russia, China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the US and the UK.

Together, the signatories cover approximately 85% of the world's forests.

The deal will include funding for developing countries so that they can make moves in restoring damaged land, handling wildfires and supporting indigenous communities.

28 governments also made commitments to end deforestation from global food trading as well as in the production of other agricultural products like- palm oil, soya and cocoa.

The new deal also aims to empower rural communities that are some of the most disproportionately affected by climate change.

You can see the full list of commitments in the COP26 Declaration on Forest and Land use here.