Hopes that a deforestation pledge signed by over 120 countries at the ongoing COP26 summit could protect \u0022the lungs of our planet\u0022 further dimmed after Indonesian officials suggested that the country won\u0026#039;t actually follow through on the commitment.\r\n\r\n\u0022The ongoing development of [the president\u0026#039;s] era should not cease in the name of carbon emissions or in the name of deforestation,\u0022 Environment Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar wrote on social media. \u0022Forcing Indonesia to zero deforestation in 2030 [is] obviously inappropriate and unfair.\u0022\r\n\r\nIndonesia\u0026#039;s Deputy Foreign Minister Mahendra Siregar cast further doubt on the country\u0026#039;s commitment to the pledge, asserting in a statement that \u0022the declaration issued does not refer at all to the \u0026#039;end [of] deforestation by 2030.\u0026#039;\u0022\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe rate of annual deforestation in Indonesia—the planet\u0026#039;s largest producer of palm oil and home to the third-largest tropical forest in the world—is on the decline. Yet last year it sill lost 270 kilohectares of primary forest, according to Global Forest Watch, which called that loss the equivalent to 208 megatonnes of carbon emissions.\r\n\r\nBy signing the declaration at COP26 this week, nations committed \u0022to working collectively to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030 while delivering sustainable development and promoting an inclusive rural transformation.\u0022 The signatories, according to the text, also promise \u0022to conserve forests and other terrestrial ecosystems and accelerate their restoration\u0022 and to \u0022implement and, if necessary, redesign, agricultural policies and programs to incentivize sustainable agriculture, promote food security, and benefit the environment.\u0022\r\n\r\nThere are 133 signatories to the document as of this writing, including the U.S., Brazil, and Indonesia.\r\n\r\nU.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, whose government is hosting the U.N. summit, touted the agreement as \u0022landmark action to end deforestation by 2030\u0022 and said that \u0022with this pledge, we have a chance to end humanity’s long history as nature’s conqueror, and become its custodian.\u0022\r\n\r\nFor climate activists, however, the pledge was met with a heavy dose of doubt about it having any teeth, pointing to failed forest pledges from the not-so-distant past.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAccording to Greenpeace Brazil executive director Carolina Pasquali, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro\u0026#039;s signature was telling.\r\n\r\n\u0022There\u0026#039;s a very good reason Bolsonaro felt comfortable signing on to this new deal,\u0022 she said. \u0022It allows another decade of forest destruction and isn\u0026#039;t binding. Meanwhile, the Amazon is already on the brink and can\u0026#039;t survive years more deforestation.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022Indigenous Peoples are calling for 80% of the Amazon to be protected by 2025, and they\u0026#039;re right, that\u0026#039;s what\u0026#039;s needed,\u0022 said Pasquali. \u0022The climate and the natural world can\u0026#039;t afford this deal.\u0022\r\n\r\nFriends of the Earth International, meanwhile, panned the pledge as \u0022no more than a rebranding of previous flawed attempts to greenwash increased carbon emissions.\u0022\r\n\r\nThe group accused the pledge of being \u0022riddled with hypocrisy and loopholes that risk allowing corporations and historically big polluting countries to keep emitting fossil fuels while claiming to tackle climate change by investing in forests. The finance pledges are eerily similar to discredited REDD+ initiatives which in the last 10 years have failed to stop climate change and caused large scale land grabbing and land rights violations globally.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022We don\u0026#039;t need to \u0026#039;achieve a balance between anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and removal by sinks\u0026#039; as the COP26 pledge claims,\u0022 the group said.\r\n\r\nWhat is needed, continued FOEI, is \u0022immediate and deep cuts to carbon emissions and polluting activities such as plantations, industrial agriculture, and extractive industries, as well as the preservation of forests, other ecosystems, and the rights of the Indigenous Peoples and local communities who do protect them.\u0022\r\n\r\nIn order to achieve real change, the group argued, developed nations must immediately \u0022commit trillions in climate finance,\u0022 but not through market-based schemes like \u0022carbon offsets\u0022 that have allowed overseas development funding to be captured by corporate interests under the guise of false industry-friendly conservation proposals.