First cracks appear in Forests Deal as Indonesia Minister calls it “unfair” and Johnson lets governments off the hook


At Tuesday evening’s press conference, Boris Johnson said consumers would be key to holding companies and financial institutions to account on deforestation “even if governments do break the pledges that they’re making” as part of the COP26 Declaration On Forests And Land Use.

Yesterday, the first signs of those pledges being broken began to appear as Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Minister, Siti Nurbaya Bakar, released a statement on social media in which she said “forcing Indonesia to zero deforestation in 2030 is clearly inappropriate and unfair.”

This, despite Indonesia being a signatory to the deal. 

Responding, Kiki Taufik, Global Head of Greenpeace Southeast Asia’s Indonesian forests campaign said:
“The Minister’s statement – that comes just one day after President Jokowi signed the COP26 Forests Deal – is profoundly disappointing. It’s clear where her loyalties lie.

“She should be at the vanguard of ensuring all Indonesian citizens can enjoy their right to an intact and healthy environment as mandated in the Indonesian Constitution.

“For Indonesia to have a Minister for Environment who supports large scale developments with clear potential for environmental destruction is deplorable. Rather than ensuring we protect the planet for future generations, this is doing the opposite.

“Do we need to remind the minister that we are in the midst of a climate crisis? If we do not take immediate action to stop deforestation and the emissions occurring daily from peat drainage for industrial plantations, we will not achieve our emissions reductions goals, let alone fulfil President Jokowi’s stated goal of becoming a net carbon sink by 2030.”

On Tuesday evening, Boris Johnson said:
“The pressure comes from consumers around the world who will say to those banks – whether it’s Aviva, Barclays or whoever else, that if they break that pledge there will be a democratic, a consumer price to pay and the same goes for the companies that break that pledge. 

“So there’s been a big shift in the balance of power I think over forests towards consumers, towards people who care about it and who want to stop the forests being chopped down… whatever governments… even if governments do break the pledges that they’re making. Do you see what I’m saying?”

Anna Jones, Greenpeace UK Head of Forests said:
“At Tuesday’s press conference, Boris Johnson rendered the 100+ signatories to the Forests Deal pretty much meaningless, shifting responsibility back towards consumers to hold companies and financial institutions to account. Now, already, we’re seeing the first cracks in the deal starting to appear.

“Companies like JBS, Cargill and Bunge have a litany of broken promises, some dating back more than a decade. They have made endless commitments with little or no substance while they continue wrecking forests and destroying the lives and livelihoods of Indigenous Peoples for profit. 

“Governments AND companies need to take their pledges seriously—placing the responsibility on consumers is totally unacceptable.”


Johnson’s comments on deforestation at the press conference here at 34m 18s in:

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